Internet Cafe Business Guide

You may come across an internet cafe by many names: as a Cybercafe, Web cafe, PC cafe, or a Net cafe. They all have one thing in common — they offer an internet connection from their computers to their customers.

In addition to the basic Web connection, many cafes offer much more. Some offer the latest network computer games, others the best office software, and you may even find high-end graphics stations at some internet cafes.

The most important thing is to learn from the existing cybercafes and those that failed before you open your own internet cafe. The name of the game is planning ahead. To organize your thoughts on how to approach opening a cybercafe, you should make a business plan. Generalized, the items in the internet cafe business plan include:

  • Starting your business goals
  • Strategies you’ll use to meet your business goals
  • Potential problems that may confront your internet cafe and ways to solve them
  • The organizational structure of your cafe
  • The amount of financial capital required until the business becomes self-financing/profitable

Another factor that you have to consider is the location. Start your research broadly, and look for the best region which to locate yourself. Then narrow down your search to a specific location.

Knowing your competition, what they are offering, and their pricing strategy are very important to your success. You don’t have to the cheapest, but achieve to be the best.

Provide additional products and services you can offer your customers. Secondary products and services you can offer include:

  • vending machines
  • softdrinks, snacks and meals
  • printing
  • wireless internet access
  • games
  • CD/DVD burning
  • sell computer parts, disks, etc.
  • scanning, photocopying services

When it comes to the computer systems internet connection aspect, remember that users will want and expect what they are used to using at home or in the office.

Your internet connection speed will depend on the number of workstations you’re setting up. The more the terminals accessing the internet, the slower it becomes. Choose a good provider and a good network infrastructure so that regardless of the number of PCs you have, the quality and speed of your internet connection will be stable and will not suffer.

Pay close attention to the warranty. A manufacturer’s warranty is worth far more than a third party or retail warranty extension. An on-site warranty means that a qualified technician will come to your premises and repair your machine on-site. The result is less down-time and far less fuss than a back-to-base warranty that requires you to physically return the PC to the manufacturer before they repair it, and collect it afterwards.

Promote your cafe. The first thing to get is prominent signage outside your premises. The most effective signage is usually also the simplest — nice, clear, high-contrast text that immediately identifies your products and services at a first glance.

Create flyers, posters, and since you’re already in the internet business, create your own website containing the services you’re offering, hours of operations, your rates, your equipments, your connection speed, your location, and others. It would be great if you can accompany your descriptions with pictures.

At the end of the day, systems useability will determine the long term success or failure of your business. And you get what you pay for. Hardwork is the best formula for success.

source: Techinnovations magazine, photo from tipidpc.com

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