Internet Cafe business has been globally recognized as one of the best business initiated by individuals. It is popularly known as Cyber Cafe both in Nigeria and Kenya. According to Google, over 45million Nigerians currently have access to the internet.
People are always afraid of opening a business. Always thinking or habituating ideas concerning failures. Think Positively and what you need is:
The Cyber Cafe Internet business is one powerful and profitable Large scale or Small scale business that can be opened by either Individual or by Partnership. It all have to do with the capital. It is either a Joint or Personal business.
And also note that an internet café can present a unique set of problems and things to consider though that you might not experience in running other types of businesses. As a business entrepreneur, one quality, you need is to be social. If you don’t socialized, your business will be forced to a shape, you may never expect.
So today, if you have made up your mind to know more about Cyber Cafe business or to launch a Cyber Cafe Business both in Nigeria and Kenya, then you are the right place, here, we would list out all the necessary things you need to know about it including the;
– What is Internet Cyber Cafe
– Costs and equipment needed to start an cyber cafe / internet cafe
– Challenges you may face
What is Internet Cafe or Cyber Cafe
Everyone knows that in a layman knowledge, Cyber Cafe or Internet Cafe is a large or small building where one can go to for internet services like browsing, googling, printing, photo-copying, laminating, designing, documentation and also to gain more knowledge about internet, who are registered as applicant or apprentice for a course of 6months.
Many people see the cyber cafe as one of the most lucrative jobs ever, you don’t stress yourself that much but you stress your brain way too much, looking for any loopholes to make more cash. Sincerely, its main aim is to make some cash but also to relax.
Costs of Cyber Cafe Setup Requirements
And this is area, where everything seems to round – up. As said earlier, you can start a Small/Large scale internet cafe business which is the Mini / Big cyber cafe. Unlike the 2000s where opening a cyber cafe center is much more expensive, with at least N300k or a minimum budget of Ksh100,000 app, (depending on your shop view, busy area, big shop) you can begin a Mini Cyber Cafe and higher the shop, computers, generator, the higher the prices in Nigeria and Kenya
With the shop rents, computers, buying of Cyber Cafe Software, getting reliable huge infrastructure like V-Sat, do computer networking, and server administration, buying bandwidth etc. You need lesser money.
It is worthy to note that, you can begin this MINI business with at least 5 computers, you can start with the MINICOMPUTERS, it is a computer of medium power, more than a microcomputer but less than a mainframe.
Cyber Cafe Setup Requirements
Now below are full requirements or equipment needed to open this business. But first, How many computers do you plan to eventually have? The normal amount of computers is to have is within the range of 10 above, but starting a Mini business, we are looking at 5 computers for MINI start-up.
Requirements includes the following printers, scanners, photocopier machine, routers, switches, staplers, paper cutters, paper punch, rulers, flash disks, DVD/CD ROMor WR among others.
Renting a Shop
Unlike tailoring that can be done in your house, Cyber Internet cafe isn’t like that. People would be trolling in and out of your shop, trust me, you wouldn’t love your house to be like that.
As it is associated with MINI business, you have to look for a small affordable shop within where you live or anywhere you can find it, let it be possibly in a busy place and remember busy area requires more money. Presumably, you can look for a area around hospitals, schools or your own church.
Remember that a cyber cafe should be placed where there are many people who will need your services. In Eldoret town, Kenya, you can get a room going for Kshs. 20,000 per month exclusive of the goodwill and the deposit fee you are charged when entering that room space.
So it shouldn’t be necessarily very busy place. The average rate for a shop is N1,500 – N6,000 per month. In some parts of Lagos, the price could be as high as N9,000 to N12,000 per month. It is advisable to budget around N30,000 to N100,000 for the shop, you may not spend all. Excluding other modest fees, you might be charged.
Get a License
In kenya, this is very important. While Nigerians knows how to sort theirs out. So in both country, it is very important, you apply for a license from the relevant authority in the area you want to set up your business. That can obtained from county offices. This are important authoritites from getting one in Kenya;
(1)County Council Single Business Permit
All 47 counties in Kenya require you to pay for this license before you open your business. The cost may vary from county to county with Kajiado averaging at Ksh5,000 – Ksh15,000 per year and Nairobi at Ksh20,000 – Ksh35,000.
(2)County Council Outdoor Advertising and Signage Permit
Some county governments (like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu) require you to pay a permit for outdoor marketing if you’re going to put a sign-board to attract customers to your business.
(3)Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) License
If you will be playing music in your cafe, then this license is a must-have. Otherwise, you can desist from playing any kind of music to save on cost (the trade-off being you may not attract many young customers).
Designing and Polishing
This part seems to be more expensive but as it is a MINI business, try polishing your newly owned shop with few furniture equipment. Remember to avoid some uncalled-for expenses e.g buying executives chairs and tables or going for a high end equipment, which isn’t necessary for a MINI start-up.
– Painting; Of course, the first step is to Paint your shop. Choose your colors, ensure it looks very nice, branding is everything in business as that will help you attract more customers and stay ahead of your competitors. Also paint the tables.
– Tables and Chairs; This is very important, as it can keep your customers comfortable. Unless, you have the cash, but don’t go for all this executive chairs and table, it can costs a fortune.
– Electrician: You need a good electrician that will install all the necessary wires on each angle of your shop. Putting one time socket and extensions. Get the Knife Changer to switch between NEPA and GEN. Also get the Thunder indicator stopper and the low and high voltage indicator.
– TV, AC or Fan; Can you afford AC? if not, just buy ceiling fans or standing fans for N4,000. Buying one fan is a way to start. If you can afford TVs, do not hesitate to put it in your shop too, for your customers entertainment.
– Power Supply; Very important, hello, my people, don’t go for “I pass my neighbor generator” it might get one of your computer damage.
Bigger generator is a must, unless, if your part of country either Nigeria or Kenya power supply is good. Get a good grade generator for about 8402KSH or N30,000 or higher, when purchasing, go with a good mechanic, who knows the generator business and don’t forget a stabilizer.
Computers and Hardware
Seriously, no one could talk you out of this. This is just like building a school without employing teachers. So, you need Desktop Computers. In Nigeria, you can get them in any quantity you want at The Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos. Get Flat screen monitors with good image display, they aren’t more than N10,000 each and your customers will definitely like it.
And also go for fairly used CPU with higher memories and processing speed. Remember that the computer must come with 512MB and above RAM,with speed of 1GHz or higher and a storage of 40GB or more. You can also purchase these with a TFT flat screen in Nairobi, you can get a set from Kshs. 8,000. So for at least 5 computers you’ll need Kshs. 40,000 in Kenya.
You can go for A thin client which is a stateless, fanless desktop terminal that has no hard drive. All features typically found on the desktop PC, including applications, sensitive data, memory, etc., are stored back in the data center when using a thin client.
You should focus more on getting the best processors, Hard Disks, RAM cards and graphics cards. Do not waste too much money on headphones and other accessories. For early starts, it isn’t advisable.
Securing the computers
This is also important, out there, are profitable Cyber Cafe Software’s that track the amount of money to be paid by a customer according to the amount of time spent by the customer.
It is very important to install this software into your computers when starting the business to get 100 per cent benefit in your work. The software ensures that one administrator which is you,always opens the computer for it to be used.
You need to install necessary software in every computer for the customer registration and log-in. And always ask the customers to carry their IDs every time they visit your café. And then, block the pages that have a risk of a virus attack. Buy good and reliable anti-virus software. Make sure to clear cookies and history at least once every day.
And don’t also forget the Internet Management system. You MUST purchase a reliable internet management system i.e the timer software. Don’t always go with the free or trial version as those have limitation.
By now, lets assume, you have your Networks connectivity devices which includes cable, switch, router, printer, scanner etc. You should always remember that a fast Internet connection is the idea/USP of any Internet café. Set up a Wi-Fi network, and remember to check whether the router is working properly or not.
Am aware of a friend, who connect his Blackberry via either Bluetooth to his computer and keep it online. So, you can also starts with that. With Etisalat and Starcomms Izap, you’ll enjoy unlimited downloads and faster services which is exactly what cyber cafe business is all about, and you can connect to a maximum of 5 computers to come up with a mini cyber cafe.
Spare no expense in getting the fastest connection. Anyways, you go with the Starcomm or Etisalat package unlimited download with its high speed connectivity, you are good to go. You can go for a considerable package and hardware type that suits you most.
You have to set up a LAN Network. With the help of a technician , a cisco certified net-worker should always handle such task for your local area connection setup and internet connection.
Promoting your Business
Every business needs promotion, you can either go for a free or paid promotion on Facebook, Twitter, Google and also organize a “game night” once a week or month on social media platform.
Physical promotion banners can be placed at your country’s expressed area. Others are advertising, distributing hand bills.
Don’t forget the mouth-mouth promotion too, tell your prospective friends mainly adults, schools, churches, hospitals, pharmacist. Offering much discount in this mouth-mouth promotions is kind of weird. So be careful.
Do you need more people in your business, this is important tho. But at first, you really don’t need one. Unless, it is a Partnership business, where your partner can also stay with you.
At the beginning of opening a MINI Cyber Cafe, I’d prefer no employees but after some few weeks/month and you start getting more customers, then you can opt in for one or two, depending on your budgets.
Keeping your Customers
Keeping a customers is one the major cases, CEO faces. Even, Apple, Samsung, Nokia, HTC and many others are all looking for newer innovation to keep their customers coming back once they need such assistance.
So, you will need some few ideas. Be creative. Think of what, you might offer. They are many things, which you offer. A good suggestion is for you to give discount to your customer as well as create a loyalty system plan and employ a good public relation.
– Offering fun and simple games like internet and Flash-based games will keep them in there clicking around for hours and interacting with each other. These types of games are often free and very simple to install.
– Offering food and drinks can be a great way not only to turn an extra profit but also to keep your customers in your internet café longer. Without having to go out of your café to buy food and drinks some customers will easily spend the entire day there.
NOTE: You will need to take certain precautions though to ensure that food or drink is not spilled on the machines. If this happens, you will be spending more money than ever. Others includes:
*. Mobile money agency outlet (M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Equity,KCB and Cooperative Bank agencies don’t disappoint).
*. Phone flashing
*. Typing and proof-reading services
*. Instant passport photo taking and printing services
*. Printing images from clients mobile phones and memory cards
*. Photocopy services
*. Computer repair and maintenance
*. Graphic design and printing of promotional materials
*. IT services
*. Computer training services (particularly in the rural areas)
And one other way is Membership! Make them proud and special by providing them with membership benefits and discounts. Making them become “elite” members.
Challenges of Opening a Cyber Cafe
There are a lot of challenges, but don’t try to fail in chasing your dreams of becoming a CEO and also a wealthy one for that.
*. Capital – The cost of starting a business is always on the high side.
*. Staying Connected: Connection matters and fast one also.
*. Socializing: The failure of you as the CEO or your employee not being social to customers will keep them very far from you.
*. Location: Not getting a suitable site for your business is a huge challenge. Don’t rent a shop on a non-busy area, it may disturb you drastically.
*. Profit Loss: Listen here, don’t ever hope to make huge profit in the first 3months – 5months, as of this time, people aren’t familiar with you. Unless, you are near a school, hospitals, church.
*. Hope: Loosing hope in yourself and business and not always punctual to your words and work time, may lead to huge failure. E.g, don’t say I’II will be there by 8am and by 9am, you aren’t. You are unknowingly chasing customer aware.
With your furniture’s in order, computers nicely placed on each counter with chairs attached to each computers along with mouse, there is one last thing remaining, you can connect your GSM Internet connection to the maximum of five devices.
How Much to Charge; You can charge your customers N100 or Ksh 28 per hour, then calculate it per day, then per month, you will be making much money!
When you own and operate cyber cafe, you should always stay updated with new technology like installing the latest application software on your computers system, antivirus update etc.
Do you want to Open a Cyber Cafe? This Simple Guideline Would help you in a long run! Giving you more chances of becoming more successful!