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Starting a Reseller Business

Acquire Your Brand Name

You can set up the business in two ways:

  • Do Business As (DBA)
  • Corporation (LLC)

Do Business As

A DBA filing allows the company to transact business using a different name at the county or state level. For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, the company name is the same as the names of owners.

Corporations and LLCs

Corporations and LLCs can file DBAs to transact business under a different name from the state-registered name at the time of the incorporation of the business. A DBA filing does not alter the official name of the entity but allows the business to use a different name for trading. Filing a DBA allows any company to transact business using a new name.

For corporations and LLCs, DBA does not create a new business entity but permits the existing entity to use a different name. Jolt recommends that you register as a proper company since it creates a positive impression on prospective clients.  Place yourself on the customer side. Would you do business with an unknown or a legitimate firm?

This article is specifically made for resellers working out of United States. The individual laws of the given country can differ accordingly. A proper company can be way more beneficial in the long run, regardless of where you are located. For resellers in the US, Jolt has listed the following sites offering quick affordable incorporation services. Clients in other countries should confer with their respective local authorities to register their business. I have used google.com and few other search engines and recommend www.bizfilings.com.

Try to register your brand name as trademark. However, this is optional because resellers normally have limited budget so do this once funds are available.

For resellers operating outside the United States, please https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/filing-online?MURL=teas for guidance. You have the option of filing it online yourself, or having a lawyer do it for you.

Website Design and Creation

Those with skills in web development can build their own sites; otherwise, hire a good web designer to do it for you. Another option is to download pre-made templates from http://www.templatemonster.com.

Template-based sites are ready to use but do not provide a professional image of the website because a single template may be used by numerous other hosting companies.

A functional navigation structure is critical. Clients must see what you’re trying     to sell them. Do not conceal your products deep in your pages. Simply show a straightforward yet complete portfolio of your services. Links must be clear. The text should make sense to lay people with limited knowledge of web hosting. Try to be in the client’s position.

Web Hosting Plans

The web hosting plans serve as one of your key selling points. The disk space and bandwidth allocated for a specified price depend on your business plan and specific target market. Your web hosting plans and pricing should reflect the budget of your potential business.

Planning to establish a budget hosting company? Then it should follow that your web hosting plans and corresponding pricing reflects that goal. In the same vein, if you wish to establish a premier web hosting company, then your web hosting plans and corresponding pricing reflects that, too.

  • Emphasise the difference between X and Y web hosting plans.

Why should I pay £60 monthly for a service that I can get for only £5 from another company? A viable explanation on the website will help the potential visitor make the right decision.

  • Do not set up your web hosting plansmerely to fill up the page.

You can have 100 hosting plans or just one but still make no difference on sales. The difference lies in pricing, quotas, types, and effectiveness.

How do I bill Web Hosting Clients?

The basic requirements include payment processor and client management script.

Payment Processor

The main factor is your ability to receive online payments.

For US resellers, it is easy to get a merchant account provided you are more than 18 years old and maintain a US bank account. You can also charge your clients through PayPal or http://www.stormpay.com.

Other procedures include:

Individuals without merchant accounts can use http://www.2checkout.com.

Fees for 2checkout come to 5.5% of total amount processed. Setup is fast so you can start selling in minutes. Most merchant accounts charge between 2.5% and 4% although you need to mail the required documents for verification. It may take several days or weeks to get it running.

You can contact your bank to get a merchant account or any of the recommended websites. Keep in mind that these websites only accept clients who are US residents:

Client Management Script

There are different client managers. You can lease them monthly or purchase the license for a one-time fee. Here is the list of popular managers:

Lease costs around $25 per month, while it can cost you from $150 up to $1000 for an owned license depending on the product.

Jolt uses WHMCS for client management.

How to support Hosting Clients?

As a reseller, you need not worry about managing your server. This is the job of the parent web host. While this consideration provides some relief, there is something more important than just providing web space on a server.

This is called service.

Depending on your business plan and available resources, online help desk support could be the fastest and most efficient manner of providing technical support to your web hosting clients. This may not be generally true but it applies to many web hosting companies today. A more direct approach is to provide support through phone which can increase overhead costs. However, keep in mind that this can give you an edge over competitors who don’t provide this option. Consider providing support using email, phone, or online help desk.

You can also add tutorials and a proper knowledge base to help reduce the number of common tickets such as the following:

  • How to update my credit card?
  • How to change my password?
  • How to setup email in Outlook?

If you have sufficient funds, try to opt for Sirportly Support Desk Software. It was developed intelligently and performs efficiently as help desk environment.

It only costs £14.99 per user for one month. Check out https://www.sirportly.com/pricing.

There are many FREE web hosting help desk apps. Jolt provides one-click install help desk software through an auto installer called Softaculous, which comes with every web hosting account.

We also recommend the following:

  • The osTicket (available in Softaculous)
  • PHP Support Tickets (available in Softaculous)
  • Support Logic Helpdesk
  • Support Services Manager
  • Crafty Syntax Live Help
  • Help Centre Live

Sirportly Help Desk is a paid version but worth the funds. We at Jolt use the same help desk.

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