You should look into the BC Partner program. Being a BC Partner lets you have one centralized place for all your client sites and you can create free trial sites to start developing for free during development so your client can see something before you publish the site on a custom domain (which is paid hosting).
There are 3 levels of Partner accounts -- FREE which gives you access to the Partner Portal to manage your clients, PAID and PREMIUM. PAID and PREMIUM Partner accounts let you do more things with BC like generating affiliate earnings for your client sites and any other partners you refer. You can also rebrand the whole BC solution with your company's information including the Admin area and any associated emails that are sent to clients.
Read more about the Partner program: http://www.businesscatalyst.com/partners
You should at least start with the free partner account and consider upgrading in the future if your client base grows.
Thanks for the answer, but to be honest I don't think that my clients will be willing to pay $12 PM for hosting on BC, since the sites will need more robust php programming than just forms, although BC looks promising but for a freelance designer its difficult to get a client to pay $12 / m when other alternatives are available,
If you utilize InContext editing so your client can make edits themselves or integrate an Email Campaign solution where your customer can create newsletters or announcements or even take advantage of the Customer Service Ticketing and CRM features it's not such a tough sell.
The cheapest hosting solution (webBasics) doesn't include email campaigns or CRM but you can use InContext Editing and comes in at around $7/month which is a pretty fair price.
If your client does, however, need custom PHP programming then yes, BC may not be a good fit. I also like to tell my clients I sell on BC that since it's Adobe and integrated into the Adobe Creative Suite that any web designer with experience using the Adobe Suite will be able to edit or update the website in the future.
It's not a hard sell for me but I have to be sure that BC fits my client's needs before I try to sell them. If they have a robust content strategy sometimes BC can fall a little short as the Blogging engine for ~$19/month still doesn't let you incorporate a featured image for blog posts among a few other shortcomings, which is a shame because the Email Campaign solution is a nice offering that lets you incorporate BC modules like blog post lists into your email campaigns could let you create a full content strategy if the blog features were more on par with Wordpress or other popular blogging platforms.
Honestly, the sell for me is that I don't have to take time to install Wordpress and do custom plugins or custom content types on BC. I can start a project off from scratch in my partner portal or replicate an existing client's site and work from there with a lot of features already in place. I have a base template that I start most of my sites from and it severely cuts down on development time on my end.
" Honestly, the sell for me is that I don't have to take time to install Wordpress and do custom plugins or custom content types on BC. I can start a project off from scratch in my partner portal or replicate an existing client's site and work from there with a lot of features already in place. I have a base template that I start most of my sites from and it severely cuts down on development time on my end. "
Thats what appealed to me about BC, you can start straight away without wasting any time or thinking about hooks or codes or plugin integration. But I guess I cannot use BC for every client as you have mentioned there are several plus points of using BC and there are several drawbacks too. Thanks for your help.