What is my best option?
Ok here's the situation:
I'm not bothered about making money, I just don't want to lose money in the long term.
Basically my bank account is having a bit of a cash injection soon.. roughly $5000 will be there for me to play with.
I want to gain some solid experience in the server industry.. most likely by purchasing and colo'ing.. but I'm in need of an idea of something that'd result in the closest to breaking even as I could without it taking over my life (starting uni in October).
I'd probably sell my kit on afterwards, to regain some of the costs.
So I need ideas on :
- What sort of service to provide
- Main source of income
- Buy used, new or rent servers
- Where to Colo
- Should I consider maintenance charges from DC
- How to ensure I'm not losing money
- Where/how to sell on afterwards
I'm from the UK, but considering buying and colo'ing servers in the US, providing I can find a US contact to assist. This will be due to attempting to keep costs down.
Absolutely ANY thoughts are appreciated, please don't hold back on telling me that I'm stupid, because chances are you guys will know a whole lot more than me, seeing as this is my first real delve into things.
If this is a longterm venture, colo might be a good option. That still depends on several factors, though. If it's a short term venture, just rent. You'll gain plenty of experience with renting.
Sounds like a pump & dump summer hosting operation? Just so you know, those go down around here like a lead balloon.
Considering in 2 months you won't be able to dedicate as much time to it, I recommend NOT starting a hosting business and instead look at another service instead. Are you decent at coding in any languages? Do you have an idea of a service that there is either none or very few of? $5000 is a lot of money so I recommend using it wisely to get the best benefit, don't treat it like it's there to "play" with, plan everything out before you spend a dime and you'll be better off.
As for the colo/rent debate. If you plan on getting out in 2-3 months then renting is your best option, if you plan on sticking with it and just reducing your time then colo might be the better option in the long run.
Alternatively, you can take your money and invest into a company that has the ideas and the knowledge, but not the financing to get it off the ground. This way, when you go to uni somebody will still be around to run the company and you can still remain involved as time permits.
Definitely not a summer hosting operation.
I'm talking at least 12 months worth, and if things are turning out well, then might as well continue for at least my second year through uni.
Any thoughts on Shared vs VPS? Game servers?
Already hosted one or two Minecraft servers, but I do not want to deal with this in a business sense.
@KuJoe I hadn't considered investing.. but that's a very promising idea. Obviously I'd just need to be certain that the people who I'm trusting with the money know what they are doing.
I'm hardly a genius at coding. I consider myself a beginner.. I've just finished a 2 year "Software Development" course, but out of 18 units, there was one C++ unit, one PHP unit, some very basic HTML, CSS and JS, and VB (lolwut?). I've played with PHP and MySQL, but I'm very far off being anywhere near advanced.
I don't think this industry needs many more hobbyists personally. Paying clients expect the host to be in it for the money (particularly long term). They don't want to have any reason to think you are already planning an end date before beginning.
The great thing about being the investor is you decide who you want to invest with. If you don't trust them 100% just walk away, it's their job to inform you and earn your trust. There are investment sites out there for start-ups to pitch ideas (don't know any of them off the top of my head) but I also know there are some threads on WHT for start-up companies (usually hosting) that are looking for investors.
I would recommend you to wait at least a semester and see how much workload uni puts on you before starting any business.
Also i'd say the market for hosting is saturated. Unless you can offer something very special (location, technology or price) its not worth the hassle.
Honestly, the best option is to save that money for Uni!!!
@Nick_A I'm coming here for ideas, I haven't actually decided that I want to be in "this industry".. and in all honesty, I know that it would just be ridiculous to attempt to compete in the LEB market with my kind of experience.
I'm not talking strictly about small VPS servers.. I'm talking about anything you can do with servers in general.
E.g. Sell on VPN's, as @jhadley is doing
@KuJoe yeah, definitely something I'm going to keep in mind.
Does anybody have any idea on good ways to find companies looking for investment? I doubt posting a thread on LET with the title of "Looking to invest in LEB startup" would do anything positive for me really, so just wondering if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions on this?
In the long shot, Google Glasses would probably be the best investment. But it might also flop.
I don't think you should invest into startups, leave that to the big boys.
I think you can join some experienced host here and do some work like answer tickets, answer presale questions, monitor network, get to know the business from the inside.
You will give out time for training and i think it is a good deal.
I wasn't assuming you were. But you shouldn't sell anything from a business front unless you're in it for business's sake (or at least some longterm motivating factor). In other words, don't just do it as a hobby or for experience. If you want experience @Maounique has the right idea for you.
Thanks for the input guys.. still, any more ideas, suggestions, advice is welcome
@liamwithers Invest your monies with this guy!
I'm going to be blunt and say it doesn't really sound like you have a clear direction, and until you do that money's best in the bank. If you really must do something hosting-related with it then grab me on Skype and we can talk
@jhadley cheers, and being blunt is the only way to get a message across so ty.
what's your Skype btw ?