Internet café business is as profitable as other industries. It is quite possible to make it even more efficient by following the rules and creating a good strategy. However, it is not easy to start this business from the beginning. Internet cafes are places people visit to gain access to the internet. The size of internet cafes range from little rooms with five computers to massive places with hundreds of high-quality equipment.
In these places, people can access multiple internet gambling games and other things they are interested in. An internet café can have anywhere between two and a large number of computers. The ideal according to industry standards is 25 modern computers.
You might consider including some peripheral items such as a scanner, printer, photocopier, binder, and facsimile. These are services that might be of benefit to the people that come to your internet café. Moreover, you are enriching their experiences at your cafe without requiring them to travel long distances.
If you plan to have anything fewer than 25 computers, then it is imperative that you use an intermediate launcher that includes an administrator facility on the front desk computer. There are some service providers that allow you to share the internet while others insist that you connect each computer individually.
However, depending on the level of activity, you may prefer to have an electronic ticketing and point of sale system. Note that this ensures that there are no long queues for service with people complaining that they have been overlooked.
Have it in mind that some advanced internet cafes even use a bar-code scanner. This way, they can audit every single product that is sold. The normal unit of measurement is the amount of time that the user spends.
Additionally, you can leverage other methods such as a token system. Do not forget to install some air-conditioning. The equipment is bound to heat up considerably in such a confined space and with such heavy-duty usage. Indeed, you may have to hire a technician to configure and maintain the different computers. It is likely that there will be issues from time to time that require professional attention.
It is true that internet cafés do still exist today, but their reputation has changed. While many people still find them useful when traveling—especially in developing countries where internet access in a hotel might be hard to come by—they are not so much seen as a part of our daily digital lives.
Unfortunately, they also have a bit of a reputation as being used for nefarious purposes like illegal downloading, piracy, fraud, and the internet phenomenon of “cat-fishing”.
Smart Ways Internet Cafes Make Money
Internet cafes are expected to have three essential things: price, a good strategy, and a bit of chance. In Internet cafes, business owners are selling time to their clients. In other words, these businesses make money by buying enormous and redundant connections to the Internet backbone. They then resell smaller connections to consumers and businesses.
Note that they more or less have a fixed price for a providing certain speed and bandwidth amount and they may also offer multiple pricing tiers depending on how fast a connection you want and how much bandwidth you plan to leverage at a particular time.
Some include “unlimited” usage, and some have usage caps where they will increase your speed or bill you for excess usage if you exceed what is in your plan. Have it in mind that the more people using your data, the more capacity you need to add to the network. There is no benefit to the ISP if people use more data unless they charge for that usage.
That is more reason why ISPs have to put usage caps on their highest users, or put in place usage-based pricing. Most times, ISPs tend to be overly generous with their usage caps and pricing, allowing most subscribers to fall in the base usage tier with no extra charges.
However, it is when a subscriber starts using much more than the average user that the usage quotas start to come into play. For instance, an individual that does average surfing and video watching would be unlikely to hit a usage quota (depending on the ISP), versus an individual that is streaming several HD-quality movies every day, kids streaming Disney channel shows, etc.
This is more like the water company or the power company that charges for usage. If you are the water company and want to keep the cost reasonable for most customers, you are going to charge less to the individual with normal water use, and more to the individual who waters the lawn for two hours every day, or another who does several loads of laundry a week, or even one who take 30-minute showers every morning.
Therefore, when the ISP starts charging for usage, it helps them control usage, recover the cost of providing additional bandwidth to customers, and it can provide an additional source of revenue from those customers who are using more of their service.
These businesses also generate revenue from selling snacks to customers. When opening an internet café, a food corner within the cafe serves as an extra means of making money. However, these businesses are advised to avoid having heavy foods on the menu, foods that can spill, smell, and cause a nuance. Instead, go for finger foods and light snacks that everyone can appreciate. Drinks are a no brainer, and if any does not serve light beverages and coffee, then it might not be doing it right.
The average price an internet cafe charges in North America is $6 – $11/hr, plus whatever drink or food items the customer purchases, as it is assumed they will do so at some point. Of course, you’ll need to factor in supply-and-demand, and perhaps you could charge a bit more if you’re the only internet/Wi-Fi provider in a certain mile radius. On the flip side, you could charge lower rates to entice customers in a saturated neighborhood market.
If you are simply offering drip coffee, bulk bought pastries, and access to the internet against a basic cafe background, you may not have the platform to charge premium prices. Nonetheless, if you’ve invested quite a bit in the business, you could charge a bit more for “premiums.”
The internet café business is a huge income earner for individual entrepreneurs. It also employs a countless number of people in the developing world. The internet café business is particularly lucrative in the developing world because many people have some knowledge of the internet but are not rich enough to purchase their own personal computer for home use.
However, there are still many answers to how Internet Cafe makes money, because each Internet café owner has his/her unique ways to make a profit, and a successful strategy. Therefore, if you want to start an Internet café business, you have to make your plan.
And of course, if you’re offering more than just the basics, then this could be reflected in price fluctuation. At the end of the day, it requires doing research into the specific market you will be opening your internet cafe and adjusting according to neighborhood and competition.