How to start a server hosting business

Starting a small business allows you to become your own boss and take control of your income. Plus, with the growing digital age, small businesses that deal with the internet are in high demand. 

If you’re considering opening a server hosting business, businesses are always looking for these services to store and manage their data. But, you may be wondering how to get started to set your business up for success. 

This guide will discuss how to start a server hosting business, including: 

  • What you’ll need to get your server hosting business started 
  • How to set up your server hosting business
  • How to organise your server hosting business for success
  • How to market your server hosting business to find customers  

What you’ll need to get your server hosting business started

If you want to know how to start a server hosting business, you’ll need a few things to prepare for the business. 

Knowledge of the industry 

To set up your business, you’ll want to know the industry and research the market. A good understanding of your target audience and how to reach that audience will help you grow your business. As you learn more about the industry, you can consider what you’ll offer with your small business. 

Server hosting offers platforms for businesses to store, maintain, and share data with remote access to servers. Small businesses can use your services to save money on data storage and increase their data accessibility. 

You can provide shared hosting, such as website hosting or cloud hosting, which helps users store information safely and securely. Today, more than 83% of small businesses in the UK have websites. That’s not even including the 600 million blogs that exist on the internet. 

So, you could offer a hosting platform for people in need of websites, host small business online stores, or target more general IT hosting services for small businesses. 

Server hosting skills

Aside from understanding the industry, knowing how to start a server hosting business means having the skills to run it. You’ll need general IT skills and knowledge of how to offer these services to customers.

To gain more information and experience, you can look into courses on server hosting to keep updated on trends and tips of the industry. You can also look for courses and training in digital and IT topics to make yourself more marketable to clients. A strong grasp of the skills necessary for this business will help you appear more professional and credible. 

Tools and equipment 

On top of the necessary knowledge, part of knowing how to start a server hosting business is having the right tools. You’ll need hosting software and cloud that you can offer to clients. This will also require a good computer to use and build this software. 

A good workspace is important to smooth business operations. Since server hosting offers digital services, you can run your business from home. But make sure you have a designated office or workspace where you can take calls with clients and help with IT troubleshooting. A space where you can fully focus on your work will help you offer the best services. 

You’ll also likely want to work with a dedicated server. Something like CloudLinux or CentOS to improve sustainability, security, and isolate customers. If you focus on website hosting, you will also likely need a hosting panel such as cPanel / WHM. You’ll need to consider these things in your startup costs.

Marketing skills

To succeed in your server hosting business, you’ll need to find clients. This means strong marketing skills can help you start earning money from your business. To know how to market your business properly, aim to understand your target customer and how you can reach them. 

If you want to offer your services to small businesses, it’ll be important to know how to locate these people to offer your services. Overall, knowing how to grow your audience and make your business appealing will help you earn money. 

How to set up your server hosting business

Once you know how to start a server hosting business and have everything you need, you can set it up. 

Write a business plan

Before you get started, put together a business plan for your server hosting business. This plan can outline everything you’ll need and help you establish a budget for your business. You can also use your plan to outline your business services as well as your long-term and short-term goals. 

You can learn more about what to include in your business plan here

Register your business 

You’ll need to register your server hosting business as either a sole trader or a limited company. This decision depends on how you see your business growing. It’s easier to register as a sole trader, but you remain personally liable for your business. Meanwhile, limited companies are separate legal entities from the owners. 

You can also register a company name to make your business memorable and professional. 

Understand taxes

You’ll also need to consider your small business taxes. These will depend on how much money you bring into your business. If you register as a limited company, you’ll need to pay corporation tax. Plus, if you expect to earn more than £85,000 annually, you’ll need to register for VAT

Seek insurance 

You may also want to find insurance to protect your small business. Consider looking into forms of IT insurance or server hosting liability insurance. This can help protect your business and its assets if there is a problem with your services.

Price list

To start earning money for your business, think about how much you’ll charge your customers. Once you determine which services you’ll offer, do some research to see what these services will cost you. Then, research what other businesses typically charge. 

With this information, you can decide how much you’ll charge clients. You can also offer monthly, bi-annual, or annual payments depending on your customers needs. 

How to organise your server hosting business 

Another part of how to start a server hosting business is knowing how to organise your business with intention. A strong business organisation will help you appear professional and satisfy your customers. 

Business management 

If you use a platform to organise your business operations and clients, you can keep on top of your daily tasks. For example, platforms like Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 can help you keep your documents, contacts, and calendars in one place. These integrated platforms can even let you send calendar invitations or documents over email. 

As a server hosting business, you may have clients that need help with or have questions about your services. You can use the video calling functions on these platforms to communicate with and help clients. Plus, you can offer meetings with new clients to explain your services and sell your business. 

Financial organisation 

You will also need to organise your business finances. If you open a limited company, you’ll need to open a business current account. Still, even as a sole trader, a business current account can help you separate your business finances from your personal ones. Putting the finances of your server hosting business in one place can help you manage your cash flow

Managing your payments will help you translate your services into earnings. So, you may want to look into creating invoices for your business. 

The Countingup business account and app let you easily organise your business account. It automatically categorises business expenses and offers cash flow insights. Plus, you can create and process invoices from anywhere.

How to market your server hosting business to find customers

Once you know how to start your server hosting business, you’ll need to market that business to find customers. 

Brand yourself 

The first step in small business marketing is establishing a brand. Your brand is a design and tone that represents your business. It will help you be memorable and consistent with your marketing. For example, you can pick a consistent colour palette to use so people will recognise your business. 

When considering your server hosting brand, try to make it reflect what you offer. When branding, you’ll need to consider your target customer and how you can target them. 

You could design a logo for your business that reflects the internet and IT theme. Plus, you could create business cards and fliers that use your logo. You can even put your logo on your invoices to enforce uniformity. Tools like Canva can help you learn more about branding and design and create your own marketing materials based on your brand. 

Use digital marketing methods 

Digital marketing is a great way of how to start promoting your server hosting business. Since this business is primarily digital, it can help you reach clients. You can design a website for your small business. This can help potential clients access your business information, so make sure you add your services and contact information. 

You can design a website yourself using helpful platforms like Squarespace or WordPress

Aside from creating a good website for your business, you can market your small business on social media. First, consider which platforms might reach your target customers best. For example, you could use Facebook to target small businesses by finding and joining Facebook groups. 

You can also create regular content on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to increase your business awareness and credibility. When creating these accounts, put together a list of content ideas. Then, set yourself a goal of how often you will post to each platform. 

Consider altering your posts to fit the platform better. For example, you could post server hosting tips on LinkedIn and Twitter. Twitter is a short-form platform, whereas LinkedIn can reach more people with longer posts. Hashtags can be useful on many social platforms, so you can research which hashtags might grow your audience. 

Advertise your business 

Advertising is another great way to reach your audience and find customers. As a server hosting business, you’ll likely want to advertise your services where your target customer will come across those advertisements. 

You can look into advertising with small business magazines or posting about your services in groups for business owners or new businesses. 

Plus, consider looking into partnering with businesses that target a similar market. If you host websites, you can work with graphic designers or website builders to become their recommended server host. 

Customer service 

As a small server hosting business, consider what you can offer that larger platforms cannot. You could target customers that may need more IT assistance and offer an easy to understand and easy to use service. Plus, you could remind potential customers that you can offer personalised services. 

Work to build personal relationships with your customers so they can trust you with their data and feel comfortable coming to you with questions. By offering quality customer service, you can for lasting customer relationships and begin to grow your business. 

Organise your finances easily with a simple app

Once you get your server hosting business started and find your first customers, you’ll need to manage your finances for success. But, financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.