If you thought that there was good money to be made by taking a web hosting reseller account and selling website services, then you are quite right. But with the money, comes a lot of issues which not everyone can stomach. Those who have an allied business like website designing or coding find it easier to sell hosting services due to their prior technical knowledge and existing customer base. This article discusses some common problems which web hosting resellers face on a regular basis. While most of them are well equipped to tackle these issues, some newbie resellers may be quite overwhelmed by it.
To keep a healthy cash flow, a reseller must ensure that he collects payment from his clients on time. If his clients don’t pay, he will have to suffer the shortfall and pay from his own pocket. Payment collection is a major reason why web hosts outsource their business development to resellers. If a reseller gives credit to his customers, he must bear in mind that he also needs to meet payment deadlines and has certain fixed costs which are recurring. If a reseller continues to bear the payment for a client and bills him after huge intervals (like 2 – 3 years) it may be difficult for him to recover the money and he may lose some of his bargaining power as the service was already delivered.
Even if client payments are delayed, Web Hosts usually have very strict payment policies, which require payments to be made on time, by the reseller partners. This means that if the payment is not made, either a hefty penalty is levied on the reseller or the account is simply suspended. Depending on the relationship with a provider, the hosting reseller may give some credit services to the reseller, depending on the volume of business and the company policies.
Many a times the end users account is suspended or limited due to activity which violates the policies of the principal web host. Due to spam complaints, malware or even hacking attempts, web hosts go to tremendous lengths to ensure that their servers remain secure. When a customer account is suspended, the reseller is usually the first level of support to be contacted. Since he has no real control over server administration, he can often be in a sticky situation, caught between a policy-driven web host and a non-compliant but valuable customer. It is only in such situations that the true interpersonal skills of the reseller are put to test.
Sometimes resellers may run in to a very difficult customer who is just not satisfied. This is mostly due to the customers lack of knowledge of web hosting or due to instigation by a web designer or coder who wants to shift the customer to his own hosting services. There is no convincing such a customer who just cannot accept that there is some shortfall in their research or knowledge. This is another reason why hosters prefer to allow a reseller to handle customer support, because many a times, resources spent on attending to a difficult customer can be put to better use in getting more business.
Competition is extremely high in the web hosting arena, especially due to minimum regulatory or government compliance and low entry barriers. This causes small and medium businesses to simply drown out against the tough giants of the industry. Competition is so intense that every hosting business tries to outdo the others, using innovative means, which may also be unethical sometimes. Although there are no laws governing the business of web hosting and the conduct of a hosting business, online reviews, customer satisfaction websites and even online poll websites help keep web hosts in check.