Iconic High Street Businesses: The Internet Café – how to start a Cybercafe?
Many may assume that running an internet café couldn’t be a success in a time when everyone has a home computer and smartphone with Wi-Fi and mobile internet.
But for many owning a computer remains a luxury and those without computers or students, travellers, those on vacation will increasingly need access to the internet and digital devices.
Consider what services the businesses in your area provide when arranging the various services your internet café will provide to offer competitive and in-demand options.
Internet cafes vary in size from small rooms with five computers to large spaces with hundreds of high-quality PCs. So, there are a few things to consider before setting up an internet café.
In this article, you’ll find everything you need to build and run your internet café successfully.
What is an Internet Café?
The UK’s first internet café in London opened 17 years ago. Thousands of similar cafés exist across the country, with internet access available in even the most isolated locations.
The first internet cafés started as coffee shops where people could check their emails. Later, they turned into fully-fledged internet providers for customers offering printing, computer repair and various other IT services.
An internet café, also known as a cybercafé, is a company that provides internet access and related services to customers through dedicated computers and other devices.
It can also include food and beverages in addition to its principal services. It is foreseeable that internet café will continue to exist in future if businesses are creative, resourceful, and practical in their offerings.
How does an Internet Café make Money?
The majority of an internet cafe’s revenue comes from selling printouts, copies, scanning, and other services rather than from internet use.
An internet cafe’s average pricing for internet usage ranges from $6 to $11/hr depending on the region, plus whatever additional services the consumer purchases. Of course, you’ll have to consider supply and demand, and if you’re the only internet/Wi-Fi provider within a particular mile radius, you might be able to charge a little more. On the other hand, you may charge discounted prices at a crowded neighbourhood market to attract customers.
Customers can buy food from these enterprises, which generates additional revenue. A food area within an internet café provides an additional source of income when starting a business. Dishes, which can spill, smell, and generate a mess, should be avoided on the menu to protect the devices and equipment. Instead, serve small and healthy snacks that everyone will like.
If all you’re selling is drip coffee, bulk pastries, and internet connection against a basic café setting, you might not be able to charge premium prices. Nonetheless, if you’ve put a lot of money into forming the café, you may charge a little more for premiums, so carefully research the market in your local area.
How to open an Internet Café?
1. Research your existing Market Demand
It’s critical to ensure that your internet café will have sufficient local demand.
First, investigate potential competitors to see how many businesses in your neighbourhood have public internet access. Keep in mind that this could also include public libraries, universities, colleges, and other internet cafés.
Learn everything you can about how competing internet cafés work (if there are any in your area). For instance:
- What are their opening hours and speed of internet connection?
- What games and software are available for customer use?
- Are food and beverages sold and, if so, on what scale?
- What is the level of computing service they offer?
- How helpful and knowledgeable is their workforce?
- What other services do they offer?
You may discover that your neighbourhood is underdeveloped, with only a few or no internet cafés. If this is the situation, analyse why this is the case. Remember that a large portion of this consumer group will have internet access through a smartphone data plan. However, you may believe that your firm will prosper regardless of competition or changes in how people use the internet since it will provide unique services.
2. Find a suitable Location for your Café
You’ll want a location that will appeal to regular and occasional clients. If you’re near a school or college, you might be able to attract younger clients, or if you’re near other food cafés or small stores, you might be able to attract regulars. It may also be beneficial to open an internet café besides large hotels where many travellers stay.
3. Define your Services
Services are the most critical component of your company. Remember that your business will be new; therefore, if you want people to come into your internet cafe, you should provide them with something new or unusual. Internet cafes typically offer a wide range of services. You can, however, introduce some new elements. Here are some services to think about while adding your company:
- Offer food and beverages, but keep in mind your budget.
- Provide Wi-Fi and a hotspot for clients who bring their laptops
- Offer Several computers.
- Provide online gaming equipment and services.
- Provide different kinds of computer service
- Provide daily specials and discounts to your customers.
4. Find a reliable internet service provider (ISP)
It is one area where pricing should not be a key consideration. Because the primary aim of a cybercafé is to provide internet services, you must pick an ISP that offers market-leading speeds and is highly dependable. Customers desire regular, uninterrupted access; thus, reliability is exceptionally vital.
Spend some time investigating multiple internet service providers, requesting prices, and learning about the service guarantees each provides. Remember that this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, so do your research to find out which supplier would be best for your café. If your initial choice fails to meet your expectations, make sure you have a backup plan.
5. Determine how to price your Services
Most cybercafés charge per hour for internet access, so that’s what your customers will expect. That doesn’t mean you have to follow the traditional approach; however, if you do, make sure it makes sense to your customers.
If you sell food and beverages, consider whether you’ll charge separately for these services or combine them with your internet-related services. You can keep them separate or offer packages that incorporate both.
6. Market your Internet Café
Even if you discover the ideal location and your building is well-known, foot traffic alone will not be sufficient. You must use both digital and traditional means to promote and feature your business.
For example, you can utilise geo-targeting to advertise on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram in your local area. It is also possible to promote on Google and other search engines with a business listing.
Setting up a campus booth or event with local institutions and encouraging patron referrals are all options for offline promotion. For instance, customers who bring a friend can get a complimentary snack or coffee.
The methods outlined above can make starting an internet café much more accessible than working it out independently. Just make sure you provide a welcoming environment for your customers. This market is highly competitive, and internet connection is merely a commodity. As a result, your service must be unique and priced competitively. The Internet café industry is as profitable as any other. By following the guidelines and developing a solid strategy, you can make it even more lucrative.
WordPress website developer and content writer for online blogs. I also love to create content on YouTube and other popular platforms.