So I’ve been wanting to start my first business for a while, while I’m working on my associates in college. I’ve done a bunch of research here and there about general business stuff, but I’ve never actually filed for LLC because I haven’t gotten around to it, and pick business strategies that are very difficult, and I don’t think I want my first business to be hard to keep it surviving (I wanted to start an Internet Service Provider at one point).
Anyways, I want to sell a convenience service for Mail-in-a-Box. Note that I said “convenience”. I’m not selling the actual thing itself, just convenience of setting it up. I know that Mail-in-a-box is easy as-is, but I think we could really expand the number of people that use MIAB if we could make the setup process even easier. Most people don’t know what a server is, a VPS is, how to SSH into a Ubuntu box, buy a domain and hook it up to the box, that we system administrators take for granted. If I were to convince your grandmothers to switch from doing business from yahoo.com to their own box to become firstname.lastname@example.org, they would not be able to follow the instructions, pick a VPS, pick a domain registrar, SSH into a box, install MIAB, and hook up the records.
So I want to create a service that takes credit card information, a username, password, and a domain, takes a convenience fee ($2.00?), pays a VPS (DigitalOcean?), pays a registrar (Namecheap?), SSH into the server, installs it, hooks up the domain to the server, and HANDS IT BACK TO THE CUSTOMER. The big problem I am having is figuring out how I can set stuff up, and hand everything back to the customer, so that they maintain full control over their server (which gives them privacy). So that means the payments are between the VPS, the registrar, and the customer, and I don’t have to worry about it at all. They would also have the control console of the server and domain with whatever company I try to get my customers to go with. I would also send them the SSH key, mail-in-a-box instructions, usernames, passwords, etc. to their admin mailbox before handing it back to the customer.
But I can’t seem to find a VPS/registrar that would allow me to hand it back to the customer, so that I am not and cannot be involved with the customer after I hand it back after the install.
I was also thinking about selling support for MIAB, but this is my first business ever. I think I need baby steps. If this business starts at a loss or very low profit, that’s fine. It’s the business experience I am looking for.