How to start a internet cafe [detailed guide]
Hey! My name is Daniel. And I would like to take you through the steps on how to start a internet cafe or cyber cafe business.
Actually after reading this article you’ll be able to start this business and make money any where in the world. Be it Africa, Asia, Europe etc
NOTE: Internet cafe and or cyber cafe means the same thing.
With this guide, you will be able to start a internet cafe or cyber cafe business from home if you want to lol.
I believe it’s worth mentioning that I have been in the cyber cafe business for 8 years as at when am giving out this information.
So I would like you to take every tip seriously. They are all based on my experience so far in this business.
What to expect or look out for…
Primarily, my guide on how to start a internet cafe business will be based on the following…
- Resources [Equipments needed to start a internet cafe]
Here, I will be discussing the proposed capital and materials needed start a internet Cafe business.
- Ability [Skills]
Having the necessary abilities is key in this business. So this section will entail necessary, primary abilities or skills one should have in other to strive in the cafe business.
- Motivation and Determination.
Aiming success in a cyber cafe business? If yes, then you need motivation and determination. You’ve got to be highly motivated and determined to see that it succeeds.
Here, I will be letting you know the required commitment and attitude for cyber cafe business.
This section is very important. All of the above mentioned points are important. But this is one section to look out for. You won’t find it else where.
- How to make extra income running a Internet cafe.
Here, I will be letting you know of simple ways you can make extra / additional income when you start a internet Cafe .
That’s it on what to look out for in this article. But you should also look out for other details I will providing like challenges and benefits the business.
Before I proceed to the main purpose of this article, I would like to share a thing or two.
1. Meaning of a internet cafe
2. Reasons why I chose the cyber cafe business.
What is a cyber cafe or internet cafe?
Cyber:- according to long man dictionary means – connected with computers, especially with the sending of messages on the internet.
Cafe:- (from the same source) means a place with or on a computer network.
Therefore, an internet or cyber cafe is a place where the internet can be accessible to interested clients for a particular fee.
REASONS WHY I OPENED A INTERNET CAFE.
There must be a reason or reasons for doing something or going into something. You just can’t engage in something for no reason. It’s unheard of.
For example, why are you reading this? Well, I can guess confidently.
The reason is because you want to know how to start a internet cafe or cyber cafe business of your own someday or just for education purpose. Perhaps I guessed wrong. But just like i had reasons for starting a internet cafe business (which I will share soon), there’s a reading you’re reading this.
Now to the reasons…
- My first reason for opening this business was because I was, and still am, a lover of the internet. I love everything that has to do with the internet. Surfing the web is simply something I hardly do without. Lucky for me, I noticed a lot people wanted to surf the internet but just don’t have the materials for one reason or the other. Due to poor connections, lack of power, lack of computers and internet accessible mobile phones; I noticed many individuals around me are in the dark concerning the internet. They are hungry for internet access but just couldn’t get it.
- I was, and I’m still good with computers. I’ve got great familiarity with software installation, computer upgrading, formatting etc. These things were as easy like eating cakes for me. And I also noticed the same were difficult for a large amount of people around me. They wanted the knowledge but just didn’t know how to get it .
- The above reasons coupled with the fact that I wanted to add to the development of my community and also create job opportunities are the reasons why I started my cyber cafe business.
There are many other reasons why individuals go into the cafe business. But the above mentioned reasons are some of the important things you should lookout for before you start a internet cafe.
Yes the cafe business is lucrative, very lucrative. And that’s another reason you should start it. But the hungry crowd waiting to be fed or the high demand for the services is something you should prioritize.
Now to the business of the day…
How to start a internet Cafe business [Cyber cafe]
Step 1: Work at an internet cafe [Get trained]
This is often neglected by a lot people.
You can’t be successful in any business if you don’t really know it’s secrets or how it works. Because not until you know how the cyber cafe business works, you’ll still be lagging behind.
However, I know you’ll be expecting my first point to be get a good location (which is also important). But sorry to disappoint you, you guessed wrong.
Now let’s say you intend to start a cafe business for someone else to manage it right now.
Who would you choose to help you manage the cyber cafe business? A computer literate with 1 year experience at an internet cafe or a computer literate with zero experience? Everyone will go for the former. Because there’s a chance of being successful working with an experienced employee.
Therefore since you can’t actually place your business in the hands of an inexperienced person to manage. why would you that is also inexperienced start it up yourself?
My dear, you don’t have two heads. Ignorance is not an excuse to failure.
My first advice on how to start a internet cafe is to spend a few months working at one. Just to get the much needed or required experience. Probably 3 to 6 months.
This is something I didn’t know that made me mismanaged my cyber cafe business. I was lucky enough to get it right overtime though. But some would never get it at all. That’s a fact.
To avoid hitting the rocks, get a decent amount of training.
They are many benefits of a good training, some of which are…
• It helps in getting the needed experience
• It help you manage the business well
• Familiarity with obstacles
• Trusted solutions to solve problems
• Familiarity with all the necessary services rendered in an internet cafe.
Some services rendered in an internet cafe you should know.
- Spiral bindings
- System upgrading
- System formatting,
- Software installation, typing etc.
Step 2: Rent a shop
Make sure you rent a shop very close to your potential customers.
Unlike when looking for a shop for a barbershop (barbing salon) business, your internet cafe shop exposure isn’t 100% important. (Am not saying you should get a shop in a hole like area please)
Just make sure you get a decent well spaced shop for your cyber cafe business.
Being sited at a place populated by higher institution or college students is one of the best things that can happen to your business in a country like Nigeria.
Because students do patronize internet cafe’s everyday. You will surely start making decent sales in due time.
One way to attract students to your cafe business shop in Nigeria is to make it obvious they (students) are free to come charge at your place. At their own risk but at no cost. This trick works like magic and it’s one freebie you can offer as a cyber cafe business owner. Another is nice ambiance with background music.
In no time, you’ll be attracting loads of individuals who will start patronizing you. You’ll wish there’s 28hrs a day because you’ll have a lot to do.
Things to consider while choosing a cyber cafe business location (shop)
- Numbers and nature of internet cafes.
Make sure they are no or very few numbers of Internet café’s available in the area or neighbourhood you intend to get shop. (This is can be ignored for those sited or who want to get a shop in / around higher learning institutions)
- Prices and speed
Consider the prices set by other cafe owners (competitors) in the neighborhood.
The prices should be same or yours should be lesser as you’re just starting out. Overall, make sure the prices are competitive.
Consider the population of individuals living in that area or neighbourhood before settling your cyber cafe business there.
The more populated an area or neighbourhood is, the more you’re likely to get hungry people wanting to be fed (more customers).
This is an advantage of being located around learning institutions in Nigeria. The population is there already.
You won’t have to worry over lack of customers. All you have to do is lure them to your cafe or make them notice you as you’re just starting out.
- Profile of individuals living or working in the area.
It’s advisable to settle or sited at a place with more low to middle income earners (individuals).
Not so rich as to be able to afford their own personal computers and internet connection, but not so poor as not to be able to afford the services. (This is another point that can be ignored for those sited or who want to get a shop in / around higher learning institutions)
Step 3: Get a business name.
A business name is that in which client or customers will use to recognize and distinguish your cyber cafe business from others. Your business name is literally what you’ll be called.
Choose a business name that is meaningful, simple and memorizable. Example: Unique cyber cafe.
Step 4: Register your business.
You need to be registered to peacefully run a cafe business.
To be registered, all you have to do is locate and contact your union. Businesses like the internet cafe doesn’t need a license in a country like Nigeria.
Ask around for the union and if not found, don’t worry. Just start your internet cafe business and as time goes on, the union will locate and register your business.
How to start a internet cafe [detailed guide]
Now you’re well trained (very experienced), your shop is place with your business registered.
The next step having solved or having worked on the above 3 tips is to set up your internet cafe.
Setting up your shop is inevitable. It’s something you must do.
HOW TO SET UP AN INTERNET CAFE
Step 5: Inspect your shop.
Make sure your shop is very intact or in good condition.
You can do this by checking for holes and leaking areas. And if found, make sure to have them blocked or fixed very well. Your ceiling or roof top shouldn’t leak to avoid rain entering your shop and damaging your computer and other equipments.
Step 6: Paint your shop
Satisfied with the condition of the shop? The next step is to paint it.
Painting is a way of beautifying.
Make sure you get the painting if your shop done using a very nice colour paint.
I’ll advise not to go for a plain white or black colour paint. You can always do better.
According to my boss, blue is always a good choice. If you’re confused and you’ve got the cash, you can get an interior decorator to do the job.
Step 7: Furnish your shop.
Your experience having worked at cafe comes in handy here. All you have to do is follow similar or better settings like that of the shop you gained your internet café experience.
Make sure you furnish your shop with required Furnitures (chairs, tables / desks) and all other necessary equipments.
Equipments needed to start a internet Cafe business.
- Wireless Internet connection or broadband
- Furnitures (Shelves, Desk and Chairs)
Air conditioners or Fans
- Photocopy machine.
- Laminating machine.
- Entertainment gadgets (T.V, Radio, Decoder, Speakers) etc.
- sign board / banner.
Recommendations in choosing desktop computers.
Without doubt, desktop computers are a must have to start a internet cafe.
First of, you need to go to a reliable store for your desktop computers. You can also take a very good computer engineer along to check and confirm the desktops. Just to be certain they are in good conditions.
Depending on your shop size and settings, 5-7 desktop computers isn’t bad for a start. All networked.
In choosing desktops always lookout for the speed (Ram), graphics and make sure it’s in good condition.
ABILITIES NEEDED TO START A INTERNET CAFE.
- Good Computing knowledge and skills.
This is no news really. But still it’s worth mentioning.
To be able to start a cyber cafe business, you need to have a very high familiarity with computers. You should also add this among other things to consider before hiring a worker.
- Able to install software and do routine maintenance and repair.
Customers will come for system upgrading, formatting, antivirus installation etc. The ability to carry out such tasks come in handy at that point in time. Because you will make money from it and it’s will keep you customers coming back.
Customers will always come back when satisfied with your services. If you don’t know how to perform those, you can simply check sources of hiring easily and fast to get someone who can do the job; while you focus on other things.
- Ability to teach/train clients in basic computing and internet browsing.
This is one solid way of generating income running a cyber cafe.
There are loads of individuals out there who intend to have a very good computing knowledge. Guess what, they are also ready to pay real good for it.
Having the ability to train / teach clients, you can organize classes for them to come and learn and for a particular fee, depending on the course.
Arrange or schedule your classes based on clients preferred courses.
The price charged for programming in Nigeria is around #25,000 – #30,000, graphics design #15,000 – #20,000 and Java is #35,000 – #40,000 for 3 months.
Now let’s say you’re running courses for programming and graphic designs only for 10 customers or students.
Let’s do some math for programming.
(the price to learn programming) #30,000 x 10 (students) that’s #300,000. That’s the amount you will realize for taking just 10 students the programming course.
NOTE: prices for the various course mentioned above differs based on location. Make sure your prices are fair and very affordable. Offer discounts when necessary. Your prices should tally with that of your competitors.
- Familiarity with internet search engines, computers and email.
The major point here is to be familiar with various search engines like google, bing, yahoo and others. Also various computer products like Dell, HP, Lenovo etc.
With this knowledge, you’ll be able to suggest to clients, the best to use to get the best result.
- Book keeping and basic organizations.
This is all about having the ability to records of accounts before and when you start running your cyber cafe.
Keeping records will help you determine know your income.
It will enable you determine the amount to set aside for other necessary things like equipments maintenance etc.
That’s it on how to start a internet cafe; based on ability needed.
Motivation and Determination
Motivation is having that eagerness and willingness to do something without needing to be told or forced to do it.
Determination is the ability to continue trying to achieve what you decide to do even when it’s difficult or stressful.
Personally, both motivation and determination work hand-in-hand.
It’s very important in any business. And the internet cafe isn’t an exemption.
Below are tips on motivation and determination you should have or work on.
- Ability to operate long hours
Being motivated and determined is key to operate or work long hours when running a cyber cafe business. At least 10-11hrs for 6-7 days a week.
Working 10-11hrs a day in this line of business is fair.
Depending on your location it could be more. When or if sited close to any higher institution, you can open by 7am and close by 8pm and still get complaints sometimes from customer you couldn’t attend to. Fact.
- Problem solver
Earlier I gave some reasons why I decided to start a internet cafe business. Those are what I call problem solving reason. I noticed people wanted to access the internet, they find it difficult to do printing out and photocopy documents etc.
I wanted to solve those problems and I did; by opening my own cyber cafe business. Simply because I was motivated and determined. You should posses same eagerness to solve similar problems around you.
• Having concern for efficiency
• Being innovative.
How to earn extra income running a internet cafe.
- Provision of soft drinks and snacks for sale.
- You can also put on display for sale computers, diskettes, CD-ROMs and other related products.
How to start a internet cafe [detailed guide]
Benefits of an internet cafe business.
• It’s very lucrative.
• Reduces unemployment rate.
• It can serve as an alternative source of income.
• Improves the development of the neighborhood or location of business
Challenge of a cyber cafe business
• Lack of power supply.
• Long hours of work.
• Expenses: money spent on fuel, oil, transportation, generator and other equipments maintenance.
• Lack of customers at the introductory Stage.
• Inability to satisfy customers
• Lack of competent workers.
As mentioned earlier, this is one ignored very lucrative business that if sited at the right location will generate massive income in little time. Do your research well and start it. Don’t forget to write down your business plan and take book keeping very seriously.
Help a friend by sharing this article.
Best of luck.
That is all on how to start a internet cafe popularly cyber cafe business in Nigeria from my end. Got questions? Ask them via the comment section.