How to Start an Internet Cafe

The internet cafe business is relatively new and can be traced back to about 14 years following the launch of the internet. Initially, people used to queue up outside internet cafes to surf the net. However, diminishing broadband charges have lead to people preferring to access the internet from home. The real challenge of a cyber cafe these days is to keep the customer hooked enough to keep coming back for more. How to accomplish this is the main question.

Business Models If you’re pondering over how to start an internet cafe, the most crucial decision you have to make is which business model to adopt. There are numerous choices. The first one is the most conservative model wherein you provide only internet access. Another option is to serve tea, coffee and snacks along with internet connectivity. You could also add computer repairs and maintenance services and even sell computers and computer parts. Many people buy franchises of prevailing internet cafe businesses. When you buy a franchise you get the advantage of a time-tested business model and the know-how behind it, but you’ll have to pay for that edge.

Planning Before starting a cyber cafe, always chalk up a solid business plan. A good business plan should lay down your business goals, ways to achieve them, the obstacles that you may encounter, how to surpass them and financial planning and analysis. If at all possible, talk to at least three different cafe owners about what you plan to do. Try to contact cafe owners from out of town, so there won’t be any competition conflicts, and, if possible, show these experienced owners your business plan. The advice they give could save you thousands of dollars, so don’t hesitate to offer them a really nice dinner or lunch for their time.

Start Up Costs Finance is the driving force in any kind of business. So make sure that you acquire adequate funding before starting your business. How much is enough? It depends on your business model and the services you intend to offer. If you’re planning to provide exclusive services like gaming, social interaction or a remote office, your capital requirement can run into thousands of dollars. There are computers to purchase, broadband connections to book, furniture to be bought and a place to be leased or acquired outright. Include these things in your budget. Also conduct an analysis of monthly expenses, projected future incomes and profits. You can raise finance through private investors, banks and financial institutions that specialize in granting small business loans.

Changing Trends The success of a cyber cafe depends on how you keep up with the latest cutting edge technologies. Trends keep changing and technology keeps improving. Webcams, video conferencing and innovations like VOIP were unheard of before but are widely used these days. So the survival and prosperity of an internet cafe depends on how well you adapt to the changing trends in computers and related technologies.

Advertising Advertise as much as possible to draw attention to your cafe. Distribute your business cards whenever you get the opportunity. You can also sell memberships in terms of internet hours. Put in an ad in your local newspaper and on community websites. Get a listing in the yellow pages.

Last but not the least; apply for a business license to run any cafe. Evaluate all the risks, conduct your market research and adapt to changing technological trends. If you’re serving food, this will mean in inspection by the health department. Health department inspectors regularly refuse licenses until major repairs or improvements are completed. Your business plan needs to be ready for an unexpected $5,000 expense.

Tips on Finding the Best Internet Cafes

The internet is fast becoming a commodity in the real world and if one needs to be kept updated on the latest happenings even in real time, all one needs to do is just search over the net and the information they are searching can be found right there and then with just a simple click of the button. And because of this ease of access, it is really easy to see the wealth of information that can be found over the world wide web which is just astounding and spectacular of how such volume of information can be found and shared in the internet and that all one really needs is a computer and a steady internet connection to access them. But what if one is always on the go and then is always in constant need to connect to the net to check on e-mails and other stuff online? This is where internet shops and cafe’s come into play. And with a lot of internet shops sprouting around these days especially in the metropolis, it is hard to tell which ones are giving the usual user the decent kind of service he or she needs. As for me who’ve been a constant customer of these shops in days passed, came up with my own set of criteria to help internet users like me who would like to get the most of their internet usage in their internet cafe of choice.

The list goes as follows:

1. Decent or High Speed Internet Access (High Download and Upload Speeds) – An internet shop or cafe with a high or decent internet connection is A-1 in my list and would definitely pay to use the computer in a shop with the highest download and upload speeds. This is because in the fast paced world of the computer super highway, people require a steady, stable and quick way to exchange information without interruption and a faster connection answers this.

2. Not too crowded and have just the right number of PC’s or Personal Computers – Let us remember that the more crowded a shop is, the more noise it will cause that will assuringly disturb the customers and drive them off.

3. Accessibility to Places Usually Visited By The Internet Cafe Users Themselves – Let’s face it, people who generally use the internet are people on the go who need to connect to the net so it is always helpful that an internet cafe is situated near the place a customer needs to go before or after his/her time is up.

4. Complete Line of Services Suited to Cater to All the Needs of the Customers – Services of a shop should be complete so that the customers don’t have to go from one shop to one other shops to the next to look for services not present on one but then are present on the others. Services such as burning, printing, scanning and downloading are these such services.

5. Complete Line of Equipments to Address the Needs of the Clients – A Complete line of services to meet the needs of the client need to be complemented with a complete set of equipments. So number 4 and 5 go hand in hand.

6. Friendly and Approachable Staff – A staff who is always ready to assist the customer in times of his needs is always a welcome delight for one to maximize his stay on the shop.

7. A Pleasant Aura and Feel of the Internet Shop – A pleasant aura and feel of the environment sets the tone for an internet user upon entering the shop.

Now there it is my criteria for choosing an Internet Cafe to enter and access the internet when I am travelling or in the go. I hope this is helpful to some and is not only geared to help internet users but budding businesses in the internet cafe sector as well in that it goes into the mindset of customers which can then be used to prepare a budget to meet the needs of the clients before hand and can really help in the decision of putting more or less capital.

Budget Promotion For Your Cafe

Promoting your cafe can be a frustrating time for any business owner. Without spending a fortune on advertising and media, use these tips to help you with your shop. The best way to promote your cafe after it has just opened, is to simply offer free coffee.

Since your machines are getting run in, it is a good way to promote the coffee from your supplier, and also to give your machines a good run through the steps. Your new staff will also be under less pressure as your are yet to charge your customers, and will allow them to train properly to perfect your technique. Remember, the most important factor for your cafe, is obviously, the coffee. Without good coffee, no other feature can attract customers to your venue.

Send out fliers around the neighborhood. Word of mouth is very important. Customers who regularly visit cafes can be easily swayed to come to your cafe. Make sure the ambiance is correct, there is minimal noise so they can enjoy their book or have a chat without any disturbances. Offer a frequent flier discount card, not just for free coffee but also for other products which you may be promoting. Ask your suppliers and vendors if they have anything they can provide for free, for customers to try.

Other than offering free products, there is a sure easy way to get people into your cafe. Setup free wireless internet and you will always have free traffic in your shop. As potential customers pass by, they will see how busy it is your cafe, and they will be drawn inside your shop. No one likes to enter an empty shop, even if it is decorated with nice warm colors. Unlimited internet is cheap, and will keep the people in your cafe as a guaranteed traffic.

For days that are quiet, you can offer your cafe as a venue for societies that require a place, such as poetry nights or live music venues. It is a win situation for both parties, as they get a cheap place to hire, and you get more traffic. Think of other services that your customers may be using. Services such a dry cleaning, or other the grocery shop down the road. Create a link partnership with those business, as chances are their customers will also be looking for a good coffee.

Remember, it is always better to offer a free item, rather than reduce your prices. A reduction of price is seen as a cafe owner admitting their product is inferior. Where as a free item is seen by the customer as purely a promotion for a limited time. Do not get into a pricing war with your competitors. There are many ways as mentioned above to attract more consumers to your place.

The Fun in Internet Cafe Business

Surveys claim that depressed people are the people that use the internet often. The truth behind these surveys are somewhat alarming and yet, it could be the very reason why the internet rules! Not that having too many depressed people in the world should be a reason to celebrate – but then again, it could be a reason why you should start setting up your own internet business in your local area!

Depression is why people lose themselves online – for the internet is like an escape from reality. By staying online gives sad people some kind of a therapy to be in another world. When you set up an internet business, you must understand that internet does not cause depression at all – in fact it gives people something to cling to. And that should be motivation enough for you. Not only you will earn from it, but you get to give people hope and chance to “therapy” themselves and for them not to succumb to loneliness.

When you open an internet cafe in your area, those brokenhearted folks can get over their heartbreaks in no time and who knows – they would meet new prospects by going on a date on line.

The internet is a link to the other side of the world – the information it gives, the life it caters to are limitless…endless. And you can give that unlimited source of information on a silver platter you call your little internet cafe.

An internet cafe busy would be ideal to those who have the passion and the time to “Google” their day away. Not only that you will be closed to the very thing you worship (next to God, of course) the most: your computer, but also, you can make a profit out of that said passion of yours.
So how do you exactly start an internet cafe business?

First, identify the concept of how you would exactly want your internet cafe to be – what other services would you offer? And who would be your target market

Second, research about your area feasibility: Is there a demand for an internet cafe? Who are your competitors should you open one soon? How much capital do you need to start on this said business?

Third, a comprehensive case study must be done – how many computers would you need? How many people do you need to hire as staff?

Fourth, consider having a business partner or a bank that will loan you the capital you need.

Fifth, find that “spot” – internet cafes would do well near a school campus if students are one of your “targets” for your market. Or you can position your cafe near other cafes as well.

Sixth, check what permits you will need for your cafe – visit your local municipality or you can hire a legal adviser if you are naive when it comes to those applications.

Seventh, choose an internet service provider and choose well. Your internet is your milk and butter in this kind of business – get a good one that offers the best deal.

There you have it – better add more fun in your local area soon!