As a successful business owner, you know that there’s always new ways to improve what you do.
You appreciate the value of learning from others, of drawing inspiration and influence from wherever you can find it, and putting it all together to take your company to the next level.
In most cases, you probably do this by talking to a mentor, reading top business books written by industry experts, attending conferences and networking events, or simply with keeping up with the scores of advice articles you’ll find online.
Yet whilst you’re looking through the latter, have you ever stopped to consider whether the hosting company which powers your business website could teach you a thing or two?
After all, in a day and age when almost everything we in our business is online, your hosting provider plays a bigger role in your success than you may have first thought.
Don’t believe us?
Here’s a few things the best web hosting companies can teach you about running your business.
Low-cost introductory offers work
Have you noticed that most of the top hosting providers dramatically reduce their costs for first time customers?
Usually offering more than fifty percent off their usual retail price, leading providers like iPage, GoDaddy and Bluehost have developed their reputation as the industry’s biggest players thanks to this very approach.
What can we learn from this?
A few things, though mainly that offering discounts is a great way to attract new customers, particularly those who may be wary about making a long term or heavy financial investment.
By reducing prices for new customers, you give them an opportunity to sample what you’re all about whilst still turning some kind of profit. As long as you deliver the kind of high standards and quality service you promise, there’s a strong likelihood that those customers will be willing to stick around and buy more from you, even at full price.
Give it away to keep it
In a similar fashion, it’s not uncommon for big-name web hosting brands to throw a whole lot of free extras at their customers.
Take a look at any shared hosting plan, and you’ll likely see that along with the essential stuff like storage and bandwidth resources, companies offer several hundred dollars’ worths of free advertising credits for top platforms like Google, Yahoo! and Facebook.
Let’s face it, we all like something for nothing, and these kind of freebies can help you present your products or services as providing extra value for money. If you can give something away, you’re more likely to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more.
Customer service matters
If you have a spare moment once you’ve finished reading this article, take to the web and look up some independent user reviews of either your existing hosting provider or any of the countless others on the web.
Though things like performance and reliability are often mentioned, you’ll find that there’s one common factor in just about every hosting review you’ll ever read, and that’s talk about how good or bad the company’s customer service teams were.
What does this teach us about running our own business?
Well, for one thing, it teaches us that customer service is one of the most important factors of your entire service.
Do it badly, and there’s a good chance even your most loyal customers will eventually get fed up and head to one of your competitors.
Do it well, and you’ll get the kind of glowing praise that could well lend to even more customers, especially considering that peer recommendations can do a lot more to convince a customer to make a purchase than any amount of corporate sales copy or marketing campaigns ever could.
Define your niche and stick with it
Whether it’s GoDaddy’s passion for helping small businesses grow their online presence, Bluehost’s commitment to supporting new website owners with low cost, easy to use WordPress hosting, or HostGator’s dedication to green website hosting, all of the leading brands have their own niche and unique selling point.
Define yours, and even if you branch out into other areas, ensure it remains at the very heart of everything you do.
Are there any other important lessons the major web hosting companies can teach us about running a small business? We’d love to hear your suggestions. Join in the conversation on the Web Design DIY Facebook page or get in touch on Twitter @WebDesignDIY.