One of the most successful digital businesses in the present era is Web hosting. It is the basic service that is needed by every website that is why web hosting business can be called the essential service of digital industry. However, due to its saleability many web hosting providers are fiercely competing to acquire maximum clients using different strategy. One of the widely used and time tested business strategies is to use the services of Affiliates, Resellers or Channel Partners for selling the services to different parts of the world. By joining a web host on any of the above profiles you can expect a good income. However, many people find it a bit difficult to decide whether they should join as a reseller, affiliate or channel partner. This article clearly explains the definition of the three and also helps you to decide what suits you the best:
As a reseller you need to distribute the resources among your end clients and how efficiently you do that determines the level of success you can expect as a hosting reseller. For that you need to have the maximum control over most of the resources. So, before you choose to work with any web host it is important to know the scope of control and administration rights that you have to distribute various resources. Needless to say, the wider control you have the better customer services you will be able to provide.
What should you know?
As a reseller your race does not end when you make a sale. You also need to take the ownerships of some managerial tasks too that can involve one on one conversations with the clients or interested audience, answering their calls and managing the billing tasks. Depending upon the limitations of your webhost or your own objectives, you may also need to involve yourself into technical support.
As a reseller you are not bound to reveal the name of the parent company even while your business primarily or solely depend upon their inventory. Besides, you can add a comfortable layer of profit before selling the services to your end clients. You have complete freedom to decide the cost.
Furthermore, you can increase or decrease the package prices according to the prevailing market conditions. The Reseller can use the custom name servers. So, even while selling the services third party, the channel partner can still maintain their independent entrepreneurial identity.
The major objective of an affiliate is to promote your services or products primarily using the digital strategies like adding link in their blogs or publicising your services on their social media posts. In most of the cases, their objective is to digitally reach the prospects, educate them about your services and finally drive them to your products/services page so that they can make a quick online purchase. In short it can be said that the affiliates are generally involved in the pre-sales tasks.
What should you know?
Affiliate does not need to involve themselves in activities like corporate meetings, staff recruitment, customer acquisition strategies etc. He does not need to look after the resource allocation as per the client needs or design/scale a custom package for a client.
They are also free from the hassles and costs associated with establishing or maintaining a brand like advertising, media exposure or organizing industry events. An affiliate can work comfortably as a one-man army and can easily manage his activities on his own. He is largely free from the financial pressures as he doesn’t have to invest heavily in infrastructure or managerial expenses and can expect net returns.
The good thing is that while they can enjoy an escalated income, they don’t have to invest in the operational costs. In short they can enhance their income and get more preference by the clients without having to incur any operational cost.
The channel partners are the ones who are already established in the market and are generally into the business of related products. They sign up as channel partner and widen their product portfolio. It helps them in 2 ways. First, they can become the single point of contact for their primary clients by offering multiple related services. It can win them more favour with the clients and remain ahead in the competitions. Secondly, the channel partners enjoy a good commission on the customers referred to the parent company and depending upon the volume of referrals they can expect a substantial hike in their income.
What should you know?
A channel partner can be compared to the regional representative of the web hosting company in his area. The customers and prospects can visit his physical office to know more about the services and his team can offer some assistance in operational activities. This physical and direct interaction gives some credibility to the parent company in a foreign location.
He needs to sign up key contracts, offer, provide quality consultation to the clients and manage legal obligations. In a few cases he might even be required to arrange a physical meeting with the client
If you are already running a business associated with infrastructure of a website, like web designing or web development firm then you can enhance your revenue by joining a reseller program. You can use web hosting as an add-on product to expand your portfolio.