An Internet café is a place where people, who do not have proper computer setups, visit to have access to a private computer for an allotted time. Every computer has an Internet connection, and the users have to pay charges to the café manager for the time spent on the computer. The size of an Internet café can vary from a small room having 10 computers to a huge room with a hundred computers.
We are living in a time when the Internet is the most powerful medium. Therefore, starting an Internet café is naturally one of the most lucrative businesses. Here are some basic tips if you are planning to start an Internet café business:
#1. Budget – The first thing to consider while setting up an Internet café is the budget. Even a small café with 10 computers, Internet connection, routers, and other basic accessories is heavy for a single wallet. It is advisable to take a loan from a bank or borrow money from friends.
#2. Location – The location can decide the success rate of your café. Therefore, you need to find an ideal place to set it up. School and college students are most frequent to Internet cafés. So, you should consider building the café near a school or a college. If that is not possible, then make sure the area has high foot traffic and less competitors around you.
#3. Style and Comfort – Buy comfortable chairs for the café room. Get some stylish items and use them to decorate the walls. You also need to make the lounge look attractive and inviting with stylish carpets and couches.
#4. Hardware – You should offer better facilities compared to your competitors. You should focus more on getting the best processors, Hard Disks, RAM cards and graphics cards. Do not waste too much money on headphones and other accessories.
#5. Software – You need to install necessary software in every computer for the customer registration and log-in. Ask the customers to carry their IDs every time they visit your café. Block the pages that have a risk of a virus attack. Buy good and reliable anti-virus software. Make sure to clear cookies and history at least once every day.
#6. Connection – You should always remember that a fast Internet connection is the USP of any Internet café. So, you should spare no expense in getting the fastest connection. Set up a Wi-Fi network, and check whether the router is working properly or not.
#7. Promotion – You need to create accounts for your café on popular social networking sites. Ask your customers to become followers. You can use these accounts to connect with your customers and let them know about upcoming events or offers. You can also organize a “game night” once a week. These activities will boost your popularity very quickly.
#8. Food – You can have a food counter inside your café. Include small and popular finger foods. Do not go for anything heavy. Add favorite items to your menu that are not available in other Internet cafés. You can also offer complementary coffees to regular customers. This will make your café famous and more preferable.
#9. Membership – Your customers must have the choice to become “elite” members. Provide them with membership benefits and discounts. In the long run, these memberships will give you a loyal customer base.
#10. Other services – Provide your customers with faxing, scanning and printing facilities. You can even sell blank CDs, DVDs and USB drives, as Internet users frequently need these accessories.