Web designers face a similar challenge to one that confronts conventional hardware and software vendors. After completing a project (the website, for example) for a customer, how can you generate recurring revenue – and how can you get the customer to think of you again as a provider when the time comes to redo or replace what was done for the original project? If your web design business is lucky enough to have a constant stream of new customers, these issues may not be important for you. But many web designers constantly have to face upturns and downturns in business, as well as competition. Additional sources of revenue may therefore become important.
One-Off Projects, Monthly Income – Or Both?
Hardware and software vendors have figured out a couple of ways to derive ongoing revenue from their customers. They have databases and statistics about how often companies or industries update their IT resources (the ‘refresh’ cycle.) For web designers, this may be more difficult. There is no equivalent of the standard 3 year refresh cycle that still drives much of server or PC hardware business, for example. However, many vendors also sell accompanying services such as maintenance, billed for on a regular basis – sometimes quarterly or monthly.
A Web Designer as a Web Hosting Consultant – and Provider
There are opportunities too for web designers to provide more than just a website. In many cases, customers also want advice on the right server on which to run their new web site, or what kind of web hosting platform to use. Web designers are often in a better position to estimate resource requirements by comparing with projects they’ve already done. From there, it’s just one more step to also providing the customer with the web hosting resources themselves.
You Don’t Have to Reinvent the Web Hosting Wheel
Many web hosting or cloud resource companies offer reseller possibilities for business partners to sell their services to an end-user. Some go further by also making it possible for the reseller to put its own logo or ‘look and feel’ on the webhosting services it resells. So the smarter solution may be to identify the web hosting functionality and reseller agreement that suits you best as a web designer and to sell that to your website design customers; rather than trying to create a whole new web hosting service from scratch.
Keeping Your Place in Your Customer’s Address Book and Mind
Providing a monthly webhosting service helps to keep the contact between the website designer and the customer, after the initial website design project. That makes it more likely that the customer will also naturally turn to the website designer for any later website updates or redesigns. It is also possible that a satisfied customer will recommend the designer to another customer on the strength of the web hosting, opening the door to possible web design discussions too. So web designers can gain a number of potential business advantages. They create recurring revenue instead of having to rely on one-off projects alone, they create stronger customer satisfaction through a more complete web design/webhosting solution and they open the door wider to repeat web design projects from existing customers and additional projects from new customers – all with little or no investment required from the web designer when reselling webhosting services from a provider with an appropriate reseller program.