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.
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.
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.