Entrepreneurs

Published on September 30th, 2020 | by David Jackson

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How to Set Up an Internet Café: All you Need to Know

You may have noticed a lot of Internet cafes while out and about, as more and more people use such places as a workstation, mainly due to the low hourly rate and the high bandwidth, and if you are thinking about setting up an Internet café, here are a few tips to help ensure the project is a success.

  • Broadband Internet – If you want people to use your services, you need to provide lighting online speeds, and with 25-30 computers, you will need a decent package from a local ISP. Reliability is most certainly an issue, so choose an established Internet service provider that offers commercial Internet packages that are suitable for Internet cafes.
  • Hiring a Manager – Unless you plan on managing the business yourself, you will need to hire someone to manage the premises, which involves, opening and closing, logging customers in and out and providing essential support when required. Most such businesses offer laser printing and photocopying services, as many customers are looking to print material, which can be very profitable.
  • Start-Up Costs – You will need considerable capital to acquire the computers, the furniture and you are advised to use a good quality gaming chair, which will ensure your customers can happily play for hours on end without feeling uncomfortable. Crunch the numbers, allowing for décor, furniture, PC hardware, climate control and the cost of setting up a local area network that will enable you to manage multiple users without a problem.
  • Internet Café Software – Once installed on the master computer, this software is designed specifically for the Internet café, and from the central console, you can see all users, as well as knowing how long they have been logged in and when a user’s time is about to expire. The software keeps records and is easily integrated into other software, enabling you to do your accounts effortlessly. You should have a website, and here are a few web design tips to ensure that your digital platform looks professional.
  • Licenses – You happy wheels demo will need to apply to the local authority to obtain a licence to open an Internet café, and a local lawyer can help arrange this. The premises will be inspected and must fully comply with fire safety and other regulations involved when customers occupy the premises, plus your licence needs to be visible at all times. Here is some information about setting up a business in Thailand, which is a must-read if you are planning to open an Internet café.
  • Refreshments – You have a captive market, therefore you should offer at least sandwiches and soft drinks, depending on what your customers prefer, plus there must be restrooms, of course. You will need to work out the hourly rate that you can charge to turn a profit, while also bearing in mind your competitors’ rates, as you must be competitive. This will enable you to find your break-even point, the number of hours per week or month that pays for all your outgoings, and to make money, you must not fall below that figure.

Of course, the location is also critical, and the closer you can be to a college or university, the better for your business, as university students will make up a large portion of your customers.

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