Business is booming at nearly all internet cafes, thanks to the increasing popularity of computers, the internet, and games. Individuals like travelers who are not carrying their laptops will stop by internet cafes enjoy some researching time while gamers will unite as teams to play matches in gaming lounges and take part in tournaments.
Are you interested in opening an internet cafe? Wish to earn some money by opening a successful business?
If yes, read our guide on how to start an internet cafe to be properly acquainted with everything you need to know; follow the steps and wait for your business to flourish like none other!
What is a Cyber Cafe?
Internet cafes are commonly known as cybercafes where customers are provided with peripherals like computers, printers, scanners, headphones, microphones, gaming consoles, etc.
Towards the beginning, cyber cafes were utilized by individuals to get printing jobs or projects done. However, nowadays, as most homes have their own PCs and printers, customers visit internet cafes for a very different reason.
Anyone aware of recent trends can clarify without a doubt that the gaming industry has blown up massively. As of 2020, there are estimated to be around 2.7 billion gamers present in the world, and the market itself is worth 160 billion – a figure that is only expected to rise. Hence, cafe owners have drastically changed their setup to accommodate gamers who can now sit together and partake in tournaments and group wars.
Internet Cafe Equipment – Necessary and Additional
As you could have guessed from the name, an absolute necessity for an internet cafe is the internet connection itself. First, contact a reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) to establish a secure and fast connection; your ISP will likely help you set up the cables.
Once the internet connection has been set up, you should consider buying computers through which your users can access the internet. Models that newly arrive in the market tend to be expensive, but upon usage, they wear and tear as most models do. So instead, opt to buy something that is not too old or new; it should be able to provide the necessary facilities.
You should also consider purchasing a server computer that functions amazingly and lets you command all others as the network moderator when buying a computer. You can choose to invest a little more on this than on other printers as it will most likely be used 24/7.
Afterward, purchase all the networking hardware like a router, switch, networking cables, boosters, etc. Once this is done, buy other peripherals like gaming consoles, printers, scanners, microphones, and headphones that your customers would like to use.
Lastly, invest in lighting setups,tables for your computers, and ergonomic chairs; bean bags are also preferred by a lot of gamers.
Cyber Cafe Business plan
Planning a business can be stressful, but tackling things one at a time will help you go through everything without getting anxiety-ridden. Hence, go through everything on our list step by step.
Researching about your targeted markets will help you acknowledge all the demands that need to be met. You need to check up on local businesses that offer similar facilities and through them identify what your customers will like and dislike. You can also check their reviews to see what factors they lack and improve on those while working on your cafe.
When asked why customers will choose your café, you can use this as an advertisement factor.
Find A Good Location
All businesses need to be started by deciding on a location. Locations have the power to shut down an internet cafe or have them buzzing with customers; hence, you have to choose wisely.
It is best to situate the cafe next to schools, colleges, or universities as they are likely to be filled with the target audience – students. You should also look into whether there are strong competitors in the area or not.
While it is best to steer away from other similar businesses, many have managed to thrive by bringing in strong sides that counter the weak points of other businesses.
Besides all this, you should consider choosing a place that is safe and thus, will keep your equipment protected.
Choosing A Name
A short yet catchy name that stays on the minds of advertisement viewers is the best way to go. Try using a word that will become an identifier for your café in the town, and to avoid getting sued, make sure the name of your business doesn’t match that of any other.
Get The Required Licenses And Permits
In order to start a business, the business owner needs to acquire the necessary permits. Therefore, it is best to always have these documentations for stable operation as otherwise, you might be fined.
You should start by getting a cyber cafe license from your state so that your cafe can start functioning and hiring. Without a license, you will not be able to make or receive payments, get revenue, or make deals with partners.
Permits need to be obtained to serve food, snacks, beverages, etc., and also to include the fire service system. Anyone wishing to sell alcohol should grab a permit for that too.
As cyber cafes can be considered as eSports betting zones, business owners also have to get a gaming license and share gambling addiction-related information when asked.
Setting Up The Hardware And Software
All the hardware and software mentioned in the beginning need to be purchased. Then, designate a space for them and get an interior set up fixed in your mind; discuss all arrangements with a professional designer to make sure all safety measures are met. A designer will also help in offering a style for your play that will seem appealing to all customers.
Once the designing layout is complete, hire electricians to drill in sockets and install wires. Next, put the tables in their assigned location and connect your peripherals one by one. It would be best if you also formed a network that is headed by the server computer.
Next, install all the necessary software and connect the computers to the internet. Finally, do not forget to get an application that will diligently shield your computer from viruses.
Interview And Hire Employees
Once all the necessary permits and licenses have been grabbed, and everything is installed, the time has come to hire employees. Start by deciding on open hours and calculating how many staff might be needed and for what work. Next, decide on hourly wages and make sure you are not offering anything below the minimum wage.
If your staffing plan has been made, you can start posting ads and taking interviews for hiring. Appoint people depending on their skill and make sure not to discriminate; you can ask for CV and identification documents.
With all your assets bought and employees hired, you can now decide on a pricing policy that helps in generating profit. Remember not to make anything too expensive as otherwise, you might end up incurring a major loss.
Set a price for gaming per hour and printing, scanning, and copying per page; you can also charge a small sum upon entry. For this, it is best to look at prices used in other cafes to get a fair understanding.
Offer Special Services And Discounts
Initially offer benefits to the customers so that they have a reason to choose your internet cafe over any other. Set discounts based on the number of visits and offer free edibles or printables that customers might appreciate.
Promote Your Business
Lastly, focus on advertising your cyber café; send out fliers, put up ads on social media, ask your friends and family to spread the word.
On promotional ads, specifically, highlight any convenience that customers will face when visiting your café. Competitive marketing is also a good idea although, at times, it might backfire causing customers to find the pros and cons each has to offer.
Starting a business can be exhausting. To make sure your frustration doesn’t end up creating mistakes in your business plan, follow our guide on how to start an internet café.
Get a plan ready, invest money in equipment, decide on a location, spend on renovation, install necessary hardware and software, and hire employees. Once done, be ready to invite customers and earn some money. We hope that your business is one of the biggest hits in the town!