Internet Cafe Business Guides
You may come across an internet cafe by many names: as a Cybercafe, Web cafe, PC cafe, or a Net cafe. They all have one thing in common — they offer an internet connection from their computers to their customers.
With the growth of the online gaming industry and the influence of the internet in our daily lives, a lot of people are in need to be “connected”. Unfortunately, not everyone here in the Philippines has access to good hardware and a decent connection. But all of that is changing now, especially with the frenetic rise of internet Cafes in our country.
For the local MMORPG industry, roughly 80% of our business comes from the cafes. So it’s important to have a good relationship with our “partners”.
Meanwhile, I’m certain that a lot of individuals or friends (mostly thru gaming) are considering opening up their own shop. Mind you, it’s no joke. A business is always serious.
I thought I’d share with you some practical tips on how to start (and maintain) your own Internet Cafe.
HOW TO START YOUR OWN INTERNET CAFE BUSINESS
Budget - An internet cafe with around 20 seats will push you back P700 to P1M in capital Of course, the more seats, the more money you will need. If you don’t have the cash, you can find partners to pool in money. I believe that the optimum number of partners for this project will be 4.
Expect an ROI (Return of Investment) of 1 to 2 years. Also, I would suggest against forming a
business with your close friends.
The chances of ruining your friendship is high. Just note that.
Location - Aside from the moolah, location is one of the KEY FACTORS FOR SUCCESS. Keywords to look for when scouting; near a school, heavy foot traffic, not to many competitors in the area. You should try to look for a place that’s easy to spot (from the customers perspective, ok?).
A good monthly rental is P15,000 to P25,000 a month, more than that and you’ll have to work double time for the return.
Hardware - Try to budget P25,000 to P35,000 per PC. Remember, I always tell potential entrepreneurs to “invest for the future”. Do not scrimp out on memory, processing power or video cards. The logic here is that a) okay, so you save a few bucks but your computers will be trash in less than a year and b) you should have a faster PC than your competitors - it’s your “edge”. And hey, if you can get LCD monitors for all computers, do so! The cost savings on electricity will more than pay for itself.
Software - if you plan to start small, you don’t have to pay to install MMORPGs. The installers are free. For office applications, openoffice is free and mimics Micro$oft. For a good, free billing solution, try handycafe
Connection - again, a faster and decent connection in your cafe will be a key selling point. Don’t worry too much about marketing, if you have the best computers and the fastest connection in your area, sheer WORD-OF-MOUTH will drive customers through YOUR door. It’s a fact. So try to get the best kbps packages that you can afford. Also, if you have the money, you can always get another as back-up in case your primary connection goes down.
Set-Up - if you’re a techie, you can probably do the wiring and the setup of the routers and switches yourself. But if you can’t, there are professionals who can do it for you. If you can’t find one in your province or city, grab a copy of Buy&Sell or discreetly ask the tech guy at the PC shop where you bought your hardware if he can do a little moonlighting for your new shop.
Staff - If you’ve formed a partnership, take turns with your partners manning the shop. Just make a schedule. If you’re going to hire someone, hire someone you can trust. You have to set “check and balance” systems (such as an advance billing system) to avoid fraud and theft. It may be tempting to hire an avid gamer to staff your shop but if he has friends and he let’s them play for free… you know what that will bring you. Speaking of free play, tell your all your friends that you can’t allow them to play for free. It IS a business after all. But tell them you can give them a discount. If they really are your friends, they’ll understand.
Other services - Food is always a good extra source of income.
Other good sources of supplementary revenue.
Provide additional products and services you can offer your customers.
Secondary products and services you can offer include:
* vending machines
* softdrinks, snacks and meals
* wireless internet access
* CD/DVD burning
* sell computer parts, disks, etc.
* scanning, photocopying services
So there you have it…
Best of luck in your business.
Ultimate Internet Cafe
Having been to several cafes - from those simple 10-seaters without aircons to the fully decked out set-ups like E.G.G. (with rigs to totally die for), a lot of the cafes here in our country average around 20-30 seats or so. We’ve had events across the nation in all sorts of cafes too.
What does it take to be an ultimate cafe?
Here’s the list:
1. Open 24 hours
2. PCs with at least 1G Ram and kick-ass video cards
3. comfy seats (car seats are the best)
4. strong aircon
5. a female (sexy) cafe manager (who’s a gamer too!)
6. a smoking area (separate from the non-smoking)
7. fast (and I mean FAST) internet connection
8. NO disconnections
9. accepts credit (hehe)
10. free drinks (non-alchoholic of course)
11. Loyalty rewards
12. A bunk area (for me to take a quick nap and then play again!)
13. a bulletin board to display your stuff for sale
14. dim lights
15. a private place for video conferencing *snicker* (some really do)
16. a locker room
17. serves Gamer Food
18. NO keyloggers
19. Allows USB drives
20. Has a download or torrent station
21. separate bandwith for youtubers and friendster customers
22. has a body-odor detector in the front door
23. each members gets an INDIVIDUAL earphone
24. a virtual locker for your screenshots and torrent files
25. regular tournaments for boys and men to prove that they are better
26. shower area in the comfort room
27. free deodorant in the comfort room
28. money-back guarantee
29. lots of Level Up game cards
30. Wi-Fi area
31. Filesharing area (where I can share stuff with my friends)
32. Comfy lounge
33. A well-armed (and alert) security guard
34. Parking (lit)
35. No slippers allowed
Add some list:
1) Special sections for Level Up! games like a Ragna section, Flyff section, RF section, etc.
2) Vendo machines for LU! cards
3) Water-proof keyboards and mice (for accidental spills)
4) Sexy female attendants in cosplay offering massage service while playing
5) Jingle bags in every terminal (for continuous uninterrupted gaming experience) OR… catheter nalang kaya?
6) Cellphone charger or iPod dock in every terminal
7) Libre kulot or hotoil while playing
8) Mom/wife/girlfriend/school principal/boss alert or alarm at the cafe entrance
9) A punching bag (or piñata) with the face of the pulpul city/town councilor who insists on making local ordinances against internet cafes.
10) and a special room with a kick-ass PC for LU GMs and sales executives.