As a freelance web developer, Sam Hachem didn’t have much startup capital when he decided to launch his Ontario-based business, Web Solutions, in September 2011. But he did have a knack for sales, and he managed to secure a few initial clients to begin making websites. He just needed an affordable and efficient way to get his customers online.
He purchased his first domain and hosting for a client through GoDaddy. At the time, he didn’t have much experience with the technical aspects of domain names and hosting. “I didn’t know a lot about DNS records and I wasn’t very familiar with everything,” says Sam, who discovered his passion for web development while training to be a computer programming analyst. “I just knew how to make basic websites and that’s really want I wanted to do — GoDaddy facilitated that greatly.”
Even without the specialized knowledge that comes with experience, Sam persevered. As his clients started asking for more services — such as email and domain forwarding — he would purchase the services through GoDaddy.
Sam credits GoDaddy with helping him feel like a more established business in the early days, even looking like a much larger company in the eyes of his clients. He says it created the spark he needed to get even more work, and to grow.
Working through growing pains
Sam continued to grow his business with a steady stream of new clients, eventually bringing on a partner, Emrah Ede, to help him run things. Emrah worked on the programming and technical aspects of the business, freeing Sam up to focus more on sales — but even then he found the number of clients he had was starting to become difficult to manage.
“As I worked with more clients, I found myself constantly having to log in to various accounts,” he says. “If my clients already had their own accounts with a provider, I had to log into theirs.” The steady log-in/log-out process of managing multiple accounts was costing Web Solutions a lot of valuable time. Plus, the process lent itself to human error with passwords saved across multiple browsers and applications. It became overwhelming to remember everything, and there was always the possibility he would not bill his clients on time.
“We can’t handle more growth if we can’t manage what we have.”
Sam recalls a conversation with his business partner where they considered building their own proprietary system to manage their clients and billings: “I turned to my partner and said, ‘We’re getting bigger now, we have a lot more clients, in some cases we’re billing our clients late because we’re not monitoring all the time, and we have different portals to check — we have to consolidate all the portals into one.’”
The path to a solution
Before building its own custom solution, Web Solutions began consolidating clients into a single account to make managing tasks like domain name and email service renewals easier. However, Sam was still looking for a tool that would enable him to keep his clients separate, give them access, and offer professional management. With clients of all skill levels, Web Solutions has some customers who prefer to do certain tasks on their own, while others want their websites and services totally managed.
That’s when the GoDaddy Pro program entered beta, and Sam received an invitation to begin evaluating the new service. He and Emrah set up the service the same day, and quickly realized that “GoDaddy Pro was literally the application we were describing,” Sam says.
GoDaddy Pro eases client management
After setting up their first client, the Web Solutions team instantly saw how GoDaddy Pro could solve their client management questions. Both the customer and the developer retain access to the account, so technical clients can manage information and make changes, while Hachem and his team can see the big picture. Now, instead of managing clients across dozens of accounts, there is only one portal.
“GoDaddy Pro is the reason we’ll be able to continue to grow.”
GoDaddy Pro lets Web Solutions manage its clients from one place without having to remember multiple passwords or which services need to be renewed. They can handle any task — from managing email accounts to updating DNS settings — from within the GoDaddy Pro dashboard.
Billing is also made easier. Web Solutions can buy services for clients from the dashboard and see, all at once, when it’s time to invoice customers. The service has made such a difference that Web Solutions has begun consolidating its clients on the new system.
“We encourage our clients to go with GoDaddy,” Sam says. “We need them to transfer the domain name and we need to have those services in one place for us to monitor — it’s our pitch to all our clients.”
Affordable hosting, amazing support
While the GoDaddy Pro dashboard has changed the way Web Solutions manages clients, Sam also credits GoDaddy with facilitating growth in other areas such as the development of large-scale web applications. “GoDaddy allows us to really eliminate a lot of our costs,” he says.
And when the team has had questions about the service, the support has consistently been at a high level. Sam mentions when he was starting Web Solutions, he felt he could rely on the GoDaddy team to help him where he needed support.
“I didn’t have to know everything. GoDaddy took care of all the hard parts — bridged all the gaps, and allowed me to succeed with my first customer. ... Here I am thinking I’m the little guy,” he says, “but I’m treated like a Fortune 500 company.”