Read Me Before Starting Internet Cyber Cafe Business in Africa

Setting up an internet cyber
Now a days, there are many solutions to choose from when it comes to accessing the Internet. The use of Internet capable mobile phones has increase tremendously in the last decade. Again more African Internet users are using mobile phones to access the Internet. Also, competition in the telecoms sector has favored consumers such that they now own Internet keys, home modems and so on. I therefore think that even though the cyber cafe business is still a lucrative business, the entrepreneur should bare some things in mind before venturing at all.

How much profits can I make? 

If you want to succeed with a cyber cafe business in Africa these days, you will not have to depend on selling bandwidth only. You need to add value and offer other related services to the services of the cyber cafe. You could include a documentation, a note books retail service, offer computer classes. With a documentation, you will be able to retail A4 papers, do Photocopies, type and print documents. Also, while retailing books, you could sell pens, and other accessories used in academics.  

How much money should I charge my bandwidth? 

I advice you set your prices so that your customers get what they pay for. If you are not strategic with your prices, the proliferation of many Internet access terminals may give you a hard time getting customers. It becomes incumbent to turn the few visitors that come to your cyber into customers. Below are tips to turn your visitors into customers and as such the customer base would enable you to be flexible in your prices and still make profits.  

  1. Keep a good Internet connection. 

It is better to provide good connections at relatively higher prices than to provide poor connections at low prices. People are ready to pay higher for the good connection and get their jobs done rather than sit and watch how your browser keeps loading and ending up in service timeouts.   

  1.  Install default and common software 

It is recommended that you install globally recognized software. This will make your customers to feel at home in your cyber. Windows XP is better for the operating system if your computers' requirements do not suit those for Windows 7. You may even decide to go for open source operating systems. It all depends on your locality's computing skills.  

Use a cyber caffee management software.  

cyber caffe software
There are cyber caffee operators who still use books to do timing, billing, track account records, generate reports and all the like. The disadvantages in this method are enormous compared to using a tailor made software. After all what is the point in using books when there are many open source software that serve this purpose. The browser software should be one that is common among people in your locality.

For instance many more people use FireFox than Flock, so it would only be wise to go for FireFox. Install software for viewing PDF files, movies, word documents. You may say this would encourage unauthorized downloads, but if you notice that people download a lot at your cyber then that is another business opportunity; make provision for a terminal and dedicate it for downloads at a different price from the others.

Configure your browser to use one of Google, Yahoo, and Bing for Internet searches and it may default to Google. This is because with these major search engines, you avoid the headache of overcrowded toolbars and annoying pop-ups and unavoidable adverts; your searches are feedback with more resourceful results. You may decide to deactivate some software functionalities.

 Deactivating the task manager in windows would avoid the hassle from technically oriented users who enjoy being unscrupulous with public computers - the server is part of the network, a client can possibly mess it up. You may as well deactivate the functionality of clearing the browsing history. This way users would be served by search engines from cached pages and search history hence enabling shorter time between queries and results. it is also good practice to modify the downloads path and set it so that it points to the windows temporal directory/folder. As such downloads could be easily cleared by typing %temp% in the windows run dialog box (Win + R) and hitting enter. The contents of the directory that opens can be safely deleted.

 - Make the environment comfortable and orderly. 

Use comfortable seats arranged in a manner that eases movements of client in and out of the cyber. Use flat screen monitors and not cathode ray tubes. Use Infra Red mice to avoid the hassles from users who are not familiar with the ball mouse. The keys on the keyboard should be all legible and you could even indicate the position of the commercial at sign (i.e. @). Depending on your environmental temperature you may include one of air conditioners or fans. I should not be telling you to seep or mop the floor on regular bases.

How do I manage and maintain my machines? 

Concerning your computers' hardware, consider your processor speed, RAM memory size, and Hard Disk Drive capacity to be the most important pieces. Always make sure you do not go for the minimum specifications recommended by your software vendor. Even if the budget at hand is not enough, buy systems that allow for future upgrade of the RAM and Hard Disk Drive.

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