We are living in a digital age where access to the internet and social media are no longer a luxury. That is why the internet café business is a lucrative business to start today. An internet café is a shop designed to primarily provide fast, reliable, and safe internet access to customers and other related services like printing. Internet cafes can also be called cyber cafes. The importance of internet cafes is apparent. There are many people who do not have what it takes to set up internet connectivity at their homes. Such people get to participate in the digital economy via the use of internet café services.
Operating an internet cafe business is a lucrative and profitable venture. The internet cafe has become the go-to place for people who wish to do their surfing and administrative work without having to go home. For some corporate types, it is a lunchtime pastime where they can surf without facing the scrutiny of their employers. The internet cafe offers a very good gateway for people with limited capital and an ambition to do business in technology. All the positive things about an internet cafe business do not diminish its demands and specifications. You have to be on point in terms of your customer care. Good understanding of the business is a must, otherwise you will be swallowed up by the competition. This article will outline how to start the internet cafe business, and the internet cafe business plan – PDF, Word & Excel.
Conducting a market research for your internet café business is imperative. You will get to study your intended target market to see if there is need for an internet café. You will have to check to see if there are any already existing internet cafes. If there are, these will be invaluable case studies from which to draw essential insights. Taking time to visit them and use their services will give you a feel of the market. Your market research can also involve looking through current statistics and trends regarding internet access. You have to take this market research seriously because if you do not, you might regret later.
Location And Premises
You should select locations that are well within the vicinity of your potential clients. For example, you may locate your internet cafe business in shopping centers & malls, near offices, schools, universities and airports. This is where the clientele is likely to come from so you are in the best position to gain access to them. Test the internet quality because nobody is going to pay for anything less than full-time high speed services. Good internet is both fast and reliable. It is never a good idea to congregate with other internet cafes. That essentially means that you are inviting competitors to take away your potential customers. You need a good power source and a backup generator. In the age of green technology, try to make use of energy savings when operating your internet cafe business. For example, the use of solar power in hot climates is ideal.
The internet cafe space can be leased or bought. The advantage of leasing is that you are not saddled with a mortgage. If you want to move your internet cafe business for any reason, it is merely a case of giving notice at the end of the month. Moreover, not having a mortgage reduces your initial capital requirements. The money that would have been spent on purchasing an office space could be distributed between leasing and other essential business expenses. Meanwhile the companies that let out office space tend to provide a number of important peripheral services. These include a post office box, administrative support, toilets and a cafeteria. That means that you can give your customers a very rich experience and convenience without spending too much money on it. The costs of purchasing or leasing the premises should be included in the internet cafe business plan.
Permits/Licenses, Insurance & Business Bank Account
Company Registration And Relevant Licenses
To be a recognized internet café business you must register it first. This refers to your basic business or company registration. Then you are usually obligated to get an operating license for your internet café shop. Maybe you could be renting it, buying it, or building it; an operating license will be needed. Depending on the nature of your internet café services, there might software licenses you must get. It is common practice for people to use bootlegged software. However, it would be wise to use only properly licensed software in your internet café.
Insurance & Business Bank Account
The internet café business is usually characterized by costly infrastructure, furniture, and gadgets. The value of these items necessitates the importance of getting insurance cover. There are many possible incidents that can occur so getting insured is prudent. Your internet café operations must have their own business bank account. This makes financial management easier. Plus you protect yourself from being personally liable if things go south. That separation protects your personal finances and assets.
Equipment, Products & Services
You need computers and internet routers for your internet cafe business. An internet cafe can have anywhere between two and an large number of computers. The number of computers to buy depend on the size of the premises, your budget, and your target market. You might consider including some peripheral items such as a scanner, printer, photocopier, binder and facsimile. These are services that might be of benefit to the people that come to your internet cafe. In effect you are enriching their experiences at your establishment without requiring them to travel somewhere else. The primary service for an internet cafe is internet surfing & browsing. The other services that you can offer in your internet cafe include printing, photocopying, binding, typing, lamination, selling computer accessories, snacks and beverages. If you are selling drinks & refreshments that means you will require a refrigerator. It’s also wise to offer gaming in your internet cafe as that attracts a lot of young customers. Your internet should be fast and reliable – so take your time when selecting an internet service provider. This is key to the success of an internet cafe business. The cyber cafe business plan should include the costs of purchasing the equipment that you require.
Depending on the level of activity, you may want to have an electronic ticketing and point of sale system. This ensures that there are no long queues for service with people complaining that they have been overlooked. Some cyber cafes even use a bar-code scanner. This way, they can audit every single product that is sold. The normal unit of measurement for internet services is the amount of time that the user spends. You can use other methods such as a token system. Do not forget to install some air-conditioning. The equipment is bound to heat up considerably in such a confined space, with such heavy-duty usage. Inevitably you may have to hire a technician to configure and maintain the different computers. It is likely that there will be issues from time to time which require professional attention.
Charging Customers For Internet Access
The internet café business model is simple straightforward. Customers come to pay to access the internet. This is often based on charges per 30 minutes or an hour. There can be discounted rates when someone pays for a substantial number of hours. There is also an approach where a client opens up an account which they can load up with credit. That way they can come in several times to access the internet. Once the credit is used up they can load more and so forth. Another different approach is that a client pays for data instead of a time slot. This means they get to purchase a certain amount of data e.g. 15 gigabytes. The data can have an expiration time or date or it can be carried over to the next time they log in. This shows you that there are many ways to use in revenue generation pertaining to internet access.
Adding On Monetizable Related Products Or Services
When running an internet café you can also make lots more money from other products or services. For instance, you can include computer repairs and sale of parts or accessories. You can also venture into mobile device and accessory sales and repairs. You can include a gaming arcade for all sorts of games. You can include vending machines or general sales of refreshments. You could provide on-demand services such as typing, printing, and photocopying, amongst others. Another revenue generator can be providing a co-working space. Depending on the size of your location you can rent work space, work desks, or rooms. These are just some of the many ways to make money running an internet café. It is unwise to solely just focus on providing internet access services.
Rules and Regulations For Internet Cafe Business
You will need to set out the terms of service which are publicly available. For example, some internet cafes do not allow the consumption of food and drinks. Others place restrictions on the content that can be searched, processed and downloaded. The state will also take an interest in internet activity and you may therefore be asked to maintain records. These rules may temporarily inconvenience some of your customers. However, they are essential in order to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly and that you do not get into trouble with the regulators.
Some cyber cafe business owners take preventative measures by warning their prospective clients about the rules. They also install a monitoring system that will tell them when things are going wrong. Beware that there are some clients that will want to take advantage of a weak system. For example, they may do all their office downloads in the cafe whilst restricting the payments that they make. This means that your bandwidth is facing pressure and yet you are not getting paid for it.
Staff and Management
The number of employees required depends on the size of your internet cafe. This is not a labour intensive business. At the minimum you need internet cafe assistants. Their job include:
- Welcoming customers, serving them and collecting payments
- Help customers with the use of computer software or any challenges they might face
- Maintaining cleanliness in the internet cafe
- Provide services such as printing, photocopying, scanning etc.
- Monitor use of computers to ensure compliance with internet café policies and applicable laws and regulation
Other staff positions include manager, IT Technician, finance & accounting staff, sales & marketing staff, though most of those can be done by one person for a small internet cafe business. The cyber cafe business plan should cater for the salaries of all your employees.
An internet café business has two broad set of potential customers. There are people who are unfamiliar with using the internet. Then there are people who are substantially familiar with the internet. Your marketing efforts seek to lure both sets of prospects. Breaking it down further you will be targeting students, business people, entrepreneurs, and random people. Create and spread out your digital footprint by putting up a website and social media accounts. Propagate promotional material in print and other electronic media. Good examples of these are radio, television, podcasts, skits, and newspapers. You can also participate in or contribute to strategic events where your target pools will be there. Put up posters and banners inside and outside the internet café.
The market for internet services is huge world-wide. More and more people are using the internet daily. Potential customers for an internet cafe include students, gamers, job seekers, business people, freelancers and professionals from various fields. It’s essential that you offer fast internet so as to attract more customers. Your employees should be knowledgeable and friendly. A proper marketing strategy should be included in your internet cafe business plan. This is one of the least capital intensive businesses. The internet cafe business is a huge income earner for individual entrepreneurs. It also employs countless numbers of people in the developing world. The internet cafe business is particularly lucrative in the developing world. This is because many people have some knowledge of the internet but are not rich enough to purchase their own personal computer for home use.
Keys To Profitability
Offer discounts for heavy internet users. Provide an account-based internet access for repeat customers. These two elements put together build customer loyalty. This is the kind of loyalty that promotes word of mouth and results in referrals. Ensure your computers or gadgets in general, are up to standard all the time. Ensuring the internet speed is fast and reliable is pertinent. Couple that with fast processing and reliable gadgets as well. That will keep customers coming back to your internet café. Diversify your revenue by offering as many services as you can. This is the most important key in increasing your profits. You internet café must go beyond by offering additional products and services. That is how you get to start a profitable internet café business. It is worth reiterating that market research must be thorough here. This also implies that your choice of location will be paramount. The internet café business can be quite lucrative. You just have to ensure you have a sustainable market for it.
Pre-Written Internet Cafe Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the internet cafe business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive internet cafe business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the internet cafe business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the business, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global internet cafe business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your internet cafe business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. This is a complete business plan for an internet cafe business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the internet cafe business.
Uses of the Internet Cafe Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The cyber cafe business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your internet cafe business
- As an internet cafe business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the internet cafe business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Internet Cafe Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The business plan for an internet cafe includes, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- Risk Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the internet cafe business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your internet cafe business
The internet cafe business plan package consists of 4 files
- Internet Cafe Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 74 Pages)
- Internet Cafe Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 74 Pages)
- Internet Cafe Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 41 pages)
- Internet Cafe Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the costs, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Internet Cafe Business Plan (PDF)
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