Robert Lederhilger is the founder and CEO of Enterprise Service Level that offers website design and hosting services for small businesses. The company’s white-label website design and hosting are suitable for agencies, marketers, salespeople, designers, entrepreneurs, and publishers who are looking forward to market their services through their website. Unlike ordinary web design and hosting services that could cost up to $2500-$3500 per website, Enterprise Service Level offers affordable services so that the small businesses could also make their online presence.
In this exclusive interview, Robert Lederhilger talks about their innovative “Website Reseller Program” that enables anyone, regardless of their technical knowledge to establish their own website design and hosting business.
Interviewer: Give us a brief about your background.
Robert Lederhilger: I was involved with a startup in July 2000 and was tasked with building out the entire e-commerce website. At first, I had no idea what I was doing, but managed to learn some basics around building websites. In those early years of the Internet, web hosting companies weren’t very reliable so my focus, after building out the site and after we hired some developers to maintain it, became keeping the site up. Every web hosting outage was literally thousands of dollars of lost sales. Eventually, I decided we would build out our own datacenter and maintain the infrastructure in-house. The company went out of business as a result of the “Great Recession”, but I went on to work with Mars/Wrigley and the Better Business Bureau.
Interviewer: What inspired you to start your company Enterprise Service Level?
Robert Lederhilger: While working at Mars/Wrigley I observed how the efficiency of standards and processes in web development can drive down costs while speeding up delivery. In other words: I realized that smaller main street type businesses were spending way too much money, wasting too much time, and not getting what they really wanted out of a typical freelance web developer. I knew that I could provide small businesses with the type of web presence that larger enterprises enjoyed, but at a cost that is less than typical freelance design. That’s where the name “Enterprise Service Level” came from.
Interviewer: What are the services provided by Enterprise Service Level?
Robert Lederhilger: We intentionally have a very limited menu of services which consists of building out a professional website and providing fast, reliable web hosting. We offer enterprise-grade web hosting as a standalone service as well, which has been our most popular offering to date. By focusing on our core competencies, we can deliver the very best experience possible.
Interviewer: How important do you think is having a website for small businesses?
Robert Lederhilger: It’s obvious to me why EVERY business needs a website, but I think there’s a misconception out there that because of social media you can have a web presence without your own site. I think this is a huge mistake that many small businesses make because you do not actually own the social media sites and you’re subject to their whims. Why wouldn’t you want to control your own space where you get to portray your business the way you want? To make the very best impression and get new customers you need to have both your own website and corresponding social media profiles. Another thing I believe is that having a terrible website is almost worse than having no website at all. It’s all about how prospective customers perceive your business.
Interviewer: Tell us about your Website Reseller Program and who can benefit from it?
Robert Lederhilger: When Enterprise Service Level first started, I invested quite a bit into testing various marketing strategies with marketing agencies and contractors. Some efforts failed and others worked to varying degrees, so I documented the ROI and conversion metrics of everything. Eventually business was going well, but I was bogged down with the administrative side of sales and marketing and really wanted to stay focused on the technical side of things.
I didn’t have the budget to hire sales and marketing resources so I formulated a solution that would allow a sales-oriented entrepreneur to operate a technology business without any technical background. I created exclusive geographical territories and offered them for sale to anyone who was interested. By providing exclusive territories, leads, a tested marketing system, a website complete with a backend billing system and all the technological order fulfillment, this was a complete business in a box. It took a while before the Reseller Program gained some traction because many of my first prospects were understandably skeptical, but once I had my first few Resellers it was much easier to showcase how others in the program were doing. Our Reseller Program pivoted us from a retail to a wholesale model, which allowed us to focus more on the technological side of things.
Interviewer: How can one enroll in the above program?
Robert Lederhilger: Currently, we’re all sold out of territories, but we do maintain a waiting list in the event we have a current Reseller who may want to exit their business. More information can be found by going to EnterpriseServiceLevel.com/Resellers or you can just drop us a line through our contact form.
Interviewer: What is the income potential in this program?
Robert Lederhilger: We have a strict policy of never making any claims or guarantee how much money any Resellers will make, and it really depends on several factors. The amount a Reseller invests in marketing seems to make the biggest impact. We did have one former Reseller that exited a few years ago because they didn’t control their expenses. It’s critical for Resellers to maintain and run their businesses efficiently. Some of our current Resellers make a few thousand a month while others earn tens of thousands per month. It all boils down to how they operate their business. You can provide someone with blueprints, hammers, and nails, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can build a house.
More information about the company can be found on their official website enterpriseservicelevel.com.