First of all, Happy New Year!!
Hope you missed me and Hope you are still keeping to the resolutions you made at the start of the year?
I’d start the year with a simple checklist which I believe everyone intending to go into the SMS Business should have to avoid in trouble later.
The Bulk SMS business is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria as of present. It’s presently a multi-million naira industry that promises huge return for innovative and hardworking players.
One of the easiest ways to break into the bulk SMS business is to become a bulk SMS reseller.
However, as easy as it is to make money being an SMS reseller in Nigeria, choosing the right service provider – or host – for the business is not negotiable. Most SMS companies in Nigeria will promise you heaven and earth, just to make sure you part with your money. But in the long run, you’ll discover they suck, and they may end up kicking you out of business.
If you are just starting out as bulk SMS reseller, or, as the case may be, you are considering a migration to a new host, here are the ten most important questions you must ask before plunging into the new partnership.
1. Is my website completely under my control?
Hey! It’s important you know if you will be provided access to your cpanel and database, so as to run your SMS portal in the manner most suitable for your business. If granted the access, you will be able to customize your portal and include necessary features to keep your customers hooked to you.
2. Are there any access fees, hidden charges, or setup fees I should be aware of?
Commonly, resellers complain they weren’t pre-informed of some subsequent charges they have to pay. Apart from the basic payment for SMS credits, you should beware of any hidden charges in your business.
3. Do you help set up resellers under me if they are required? If yes How is this done?
One of the fastest ways to make your first million in the Bulk SMS Business is to advertise and attract resellers who would link to your API and send SMS through you. A Good SMS provider should be competent enough to assist you in setting up those resellers so you only have to focus on marketing which is the pillar of profitability for every business.
4. Do you operate an instant-delivery service for SMS?
There are cases in which your service provider will pool up – or delay – messages before dispatching them to the recipients. Don’t take such – if it’s not instant delivery, it’s not in your interest.
5. Is your website API enabled?
If yes, this allows you to include features that will ease your services for the customers on the portal. Remember, your number one priority should be to satisfy your customer – or else, you’ll lose them to the teeming competitors you have.
6. Can I swap my API whenever I want?
Well, this is the feature that will ensure you are not a slave to any provider. If API SWAP is enabled, you can move your portal to any host any host if the present one starts fumbling.
7. Do you have a facility for accepting online payment on my portal? What’s the cost?
Just think of this yourself: If you are a customer to an SMS reseller who you pay by going to the bank back and forth, and you have a similar option from someone who allows you to sit in your comfort zone and make payment, which would you choose? I leave the rest to you.
8. Do you offer free start-up SMS credit to test your services?
Many credible SMS companies will give you between five to ten SMS credits to test their services when you first sign up.
9. How much do you sell per SMS?
I don’t think you are ready for business if you haven’t been asking this question. Don’t let anyone rip you off; there are so many options to choose from. Most companies offer their Gold resellers N1 per SMS, the Silver resellers pay N1.2, while those on bronze package pay N1.3. There may be slight variations, but don’t ever accept anything above N2 per SMS credit.
10. Do you have a 24/7 customer support?
Well, once in a while, you might run into issues that require urgent attention; make sure your SMS web host is available to get you going all the time.
By getting answers to these questions, you’d have taken care of almost everything you need to put in place for the smooth running of your bulk SMS business—just go on marketing.
You’ll have to ask the service provider some of these questions directly, but in other cases, all the information will be available on their website.
The most important thing is to ensure your customers are never disappointed, so guard against that jealously.