Clean Idea: Start A Web Hosting Business
Starting a web hosting business isn't as hard as it might sound. Even though it doesn't hurt to have a clue about the technology involved, being the aspiring entrepreneur that you are; this information is available at your finger tips. And, unlike what you may have heard from others who are in the business; you likely won't have to know a damn thing about hosting a website.
Now, this blog isn't about teaching you technology nor is it about showing you how to learn any technology-specific skill -- so we won't get into the technology side of hosting a website at all. I'm going to show you how easy it is to make a reasonable amount of cash by sitting on your ass and letting someone else do the work for you.
The first thing you are going to need is some kind of space to host the accounts you're going to be accumulating. A good place to start before you have an enormous customer base is a reseller package. Eleven2 has decent prices on their reseller packages for the amount of drive space and available bandwidth. With a reseller account you basically lease a portion of another company's servers in a shared hosting environment. A lot of people prefer to have total control over their business and opt for a dedicated server which is a bit more costly and usually start around $100USD p/mo. The advantage of having a reseller plan is the fact that another company is essentially handling support, server updates, security issues, etc. etc. You are controlling your business through a control panel.
So, lets say you're paying $33.95 per/mo for their 10/300 plan. That's 10gb of file storage and 300gb of monthly file transfer.
So, you buy your domain (www.dotster.com coupon code: corvette for $1.00 domain 12mo). You set up a Paypal verified account to accept payments of all types, and set up your website as one account on your reseller package your first month total expenses are $34.95.
You give the link out to all of your friends, do a little viral advertising by throwing in a free domain for every 12 month activation (costing you $1USD) and you have 20 accounts in one month.
Each account would have a total of 0.5/15gb transfer p/mo and you could easily charge $10.00 p/mo per account. That's a gross $200USD and a net $146.05 per month. Let your reseller take care of most of the issues with running the business and sit back to enjoy the monthly income.
Imagine scaling this profit over a dedicated (managed) server that only costs you $100USD per month and can handle 100x the accounts. Hit a niche (designers, forum hosting, image hosting, file hosting, etc) to see an even greater return on your investment.
So there you have it. Start your web hosting business in under 24 hours.