“How do I run a successful reseller business?” This is a question our team hears a lot, especially from people new to the program. In fact, it was one of the primary “wishes” we identified when creating our user personas. To help answer this question, I asked one of our top resellers, Michiel Kikkert, owner of FXDomains, to tell us about his business and share some pro tips for turning your reseller business into the next big thing.
Michiel Kikkert is one of the top resellers in the GoDaddy community, with over 10 years of experience and 20,000 customers across the globe. In addition to managing a wildly successful reseller business, Michiel works as a freelance web developer, specializing in front-end development and end-to-end performance optimization. Michiel currently lives in the Netherlands.
Reseller Team: How did you begin reselling?
Michiel: Early on, I owned a small portfolio of domain names and had a technical interest in the domain name system, hosting and so on. I was heavily involved in web development and an early adopter of white hat SEO. I started FXDomains to put my theoretical knowledge into practice and find out if I could start a business from the ground up. I tried a few domain/hosting reseller offerings that were available at that time but I settled on the GoDaddy reseller offering as it was the most mature program around.
Reseller Team: Is this your full time job?
Michiel: I also work as a freelance web developer, specializing in front-end development and end-to-end performance optimization. I have been doing this successfully for about eight years now. I run FXDomains in addition to my freelancing business. This is possible because the Reseller program handles support and most of the time consuming stuff that usually comes with running a domain registration/web hosting business.
Reseller Team: How many customers does FXDomains have?
Michiel: FXDomains currently has over 20,000 customers.
Reseller Team: Who are your customers?
Michiel: I have a very diverse customer base. My customers come from all over the globe, most of them are small business owners. Another fairly large bulk of my customers are so called ‘domainers’ that own large portfolios of domain names. They choose FXDomains.com due to the low pricing combined with excellent domain management tools.
Reseller Team: What has been your greatest success story with fxdomains?
Michiel: After a few years of dedicated work, I managed to rank in Google in position 1 for a few very competitive keywords. Those rankings have been steady for years now.
Reseller Team: What is the biggest challenge facing fxdomains?
Michiel: Keeping up with the competition and being in a position to offer the best prices to my customers for the years to come. The registries are raising costs and we always aim to stay the cheapest domain registrar on the net, even if that means our margins are getting even thinner.
Reseller Team: What’s the most important thing I can do as a new reseller to be successful?
Michiel: Be dedicated and become knowledgable. You have to realize that you are building a real business. This means you have to find your niche audience and commit time and effort to connect to those target customers. If you do this, the reseller program can really be profitable.
Reseller Team: What’s the most important thing I can do as a new reseller to be get my first customer?
Michiel: Identify who that first customer should or can be. Find that customer by using interest groups and social media to get your company name out there. Interact with the community and be helpful; don’t try to push your product too hard.
Reseller Team: What’s the most important thing I can do as a new reseller to get repeat business?
Michiel: Offer great support. Pricing is less important for new resellers as there is a lot of competition. Provide a value added product or service to differentiate and keep them coming back (website design, marketing, etc). Know your customers and their needs and you’ll get the repeat business by offering products that fit their needs.
Reseller Team: Any other advice?
Michiel: Keep at it. It might take a bit of time and effort to get off the ground, but nothing beats the feeling of success when you receive that first commission check!
How did you get started as a reseller? Do you have any tips for success? Feel free to share in the comments!