Have you thought about becoming an internet services reseller? It's not a bad idea, the business has potential and requires minimal investment. Here's what you need to know to get started.
What does being a telecommunications reseller entail?
A reseller repackages the services offered by ISPs (internet service providers) and/or VSP’s (voice service providers) to become a smaller ISP/VSP. An ISP is a company that sells internet connectivity and services to customers. Delivery can be through LTE/5G, APN, Wireless, or Fibre based services.
Services offered by ISPs include:
- Internet connection
- Cloud- or Onsite Voice exchange (PBX)
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
- Email accounts
- Domain name registration
- Web hosting
The allure of being an internet reseller is that you become an internet service provider without having to buy or maintain capital - intensive equipment. A local or regional IT service provider can easily add these services to your product range by using a suitable wholesale set of services.
What is the ‘Internet Reseller’ business model?
An internet reseller buys services from an internet service provider (ISP) and then markets them to customers. It acts as an intermediary between the end-user and the ISP; the end-user could be an individual customer or a business.
The relationship is a lot like that of a wholesaler and retailer. The retailer (the internet reseller) buys in bulk from the wholesaler (the ISP) at a discount to sell to customers (the end-user). So if the internet reseller buys services from the ISP at a 20% discount, it’s in this 20% margin that the reseller covers their costs and gets their profit.
Why become a telecommunications reseller?
There are different kinds of resellers but generally, it works well for an entrepreneur or business that is already in ICT (in network support for example). It becomes an inexpensive way to expand their service offering and revenue. Since they are already in the ICT industry, rather than looking for new customers, they can simply upsell to their existing customer base. Customers also benefit because they can deal with a single provider for their ICT needs.
Therefore, to become an ISP you either invest in equipment, skills, and premises or find a specialist wholesale provider who can support you. It’s faster and more cost-efficient to partner with an ISP and become a reseller. Being a reseller also allows you to go to market with a superior, tested product.
Questions to ask when selecting an ISP partner
What services can your provider offer that complement your existing bouquet of services? Such as internet connectivity, web hosting, VoIP services etc.
Availability of infrastructure to set-up and bill your clients?
How competitive is the provider’s service pricing, functionality, and support?
What’s most important for your clients from the following:
How much freedom do you want in tailoring packages?
What service guarantees do you need?
- What is your current infrastructure like? Are you able to provide first-line support?
How to select your ISP partner
- Start by being clear on who will own the customer base that you create; this will determine whether you will be a white-label or non-white label reseller. As a white label reseller, your own brand name will be on the internet- or voice service, additionally, you will own and control your customer base. Non-white label resellers specialise in sales on behalf of the ISP wholesaler which then supports the customer from a technical perspective.
- Do some research on ISP wholesale companies online. Compare their products and services to determine which would be best for your needs.
- Ensure that your shortlisted wholesale partners own their platforms and that these are adequately flexible.
- Enquire from each company on the service they will provide to you and your customers.
- After analysing your options, choose a wholesale ISP partner who matches your needs and can add value to your business.
- Launch your marketing campaign to garner customers.
- Get feedback from customers to gauge their level of satisfaction with the service they receive from the wholesale ISP company.
Premitel owns an carrier grade ISP/VSP platform with an included white label solution that provides a platform for you to reliably and easily resell our services. We have a platform that can partition our services for the reseller. It is a structure already built for telecommunication services which may not be true of other ISP wholesale providers.. Additionally, we supply high - level support and expertise to help you succeed. The two main reasons for choosing Premitel would be service (great support) and profit margin (ability to set your own margins).
How to become a Premitel reseller. Three simple steps:
- Fill in a reseller application form / submit a proposal.
- If accepted, you will negotiate a contract with us. Before you can do this, you need a customer base or the ability to attract a customer base.
- We select customers to ensure that they succeed if they are approved. There is an onboarding process where we will work with you to set up products and systems. During onboarding, we offer three training sessions on products and systems. We even help onboard the first customer; we hold your hand all the way to maximise your chance of success.
Premitel has great reseller packages. With our packages you can become a VoIP, PABX, uncapped fibre, and internet service provider.
How to find customers
Considering that this could be your first foray in selling ISP services, it is recommended that you build slowly. Not being too ambitious at the initial stage allows you to allocate resources more wisely. To get the ball rolling, here is how you can get customers for your ISP services:
- Look through your current customer base for clients who you can upsell to.
- Social media is important for customer service and getting your name out there.
- Target a location and blitz it with door - to - door campaigns, flyers, billboards etc.
With the large capex infrastructure provided by your wholesale partner, an internet reseller can focus on marketing and servicing your clients. It also has huge growth potential: according to Stats SA, only 9.5% of South African households can access the internet from home and 15.8% can access the internet from work making it a market full of possibility for a savvy internet reseller.
Interested in partnering with Premitel as a reseller? Click the button below to apply to become a reseller.