How to Start a Cyber Café Business In Kenya
Kenya is making big paces in the right direction. The masses are hungry for information, but resource centers are inadequate. Here is where you can come in. Opening a cyber café is among the brightest business ideas you can think of in 2017. Nowadays, information can be accessed through a Smartphone. In fact, Kenya leads with mobile penetration. Almost all adults in Kenya have phones with around 40% owning a Smartphone. What does this tell you? There is an appetite for information which produces an opportunity that you can tap in.
Opening up a cyber café can cost between Kes 100,000 – 200,000 depending on your plan and budget. You can start a cyber café with as little as five computers and grow to 20 computers, or even another branch. If you have a strategic (by strategic I mean a good place with less or no competition at all) place for the cyber, you can make as little as Kes 2,000 on a bad day and as much as 5,000 – 10,000 on a good day. Apart from offering internet access, you will also be offering other services like photocopy, lamination, binding, photography, printing, typesetting, and movies.
Your business will be running on a recurring budget of 30% – 40% of the total income. Below is a list of things that will be featuring on your monthly budget:
What You Need To Start a Cyber Café In Kenya
Budget is the limit that determines the size of a cyber café to start. If you have around Kes 150,000 in savings, then you are in the safe zone. Some people seek financing from money lending institutions while others approach friends to help out in raising enough cash for the start-up. Whichever manner you come up with your financing, it comes down to 2 questions:
- Will the venture you are investing in yield back returns?
- And how long will it take to get back the money you invested in the venture?
If you have a doubt about the answers to the above questions, then do not dare take a loan to start this business.
Once you have your finances in order, it is time to start the project. Below is a list of essentials necessary to starting a cyber café.
Before anything else, you should identify a location for the intended business. 2 types of places do well for this kind of business:
- A large residential area with no such services available
- A busy business area
Do not try and set up a cyber café if your location doesn’t meet the above or you will be risking ROI* (Return on investment). Make sure that the location has minimal electricity blackouts since 98% of your business will be operating on electricity. The rent should be fair too. Judge space by the number of computers you intend to install in the room. If you are not sure about space, get a carpenter to make measurements. Do not plan on squeezing your clients together. People will shun away if your cyber is not well spaced, lacks good ventilation, or has continuous problems e.g. power-outs or slow internet. Accessibility should not be much of an issue since clients will always find you for your services but if you land yourself a location next to the road, the better.
- Computers and Printers
A Piece of advice: Second-hand computers paint a negative picture from appearance rather than performance. Many people will assume that they are slow, outdated, or unpleasant using.
If you can, purchase brand new computers but if you can’t, get refurbished ones. If you have to get used ones, at least, ensure that they have a nice look, and please buy new Mouse and Keyboards. Avoid monitors with a hatchback for they consume electricity like hell.
I recommend HP computers for their durability and performance. They are ideal for running for long hours without developing any problems, and I guarantee you they will last long. Buy a blower o keep them clean.
The best Printer to use for any cyber café is the Epson PX660. It is a heavy duty machine, though looks small, but will serve you well. Apart from printing, the machine can also photocopy and scan.
You can buy a Ricoh photocopier.
Price range for the above
What makes a cyber café a magnet is its internet speed. Clients hate a dragging internet connection, and they find it unfair that your café’s internet is a snail, and you have a timer ticking on the screens. You need to be very careful about the kind of internet service provider you go for. Here is a list of reliable internet providers in Kenya:
- Kenya Data Network
This is in accordance with your budget. You can consult with the carpenter you plan to give the job on the price.
Obtaining a business permit for your online business costs Kshs 10,000 – 12,000 per year. A license can be obtained at the City Hall or online for those in counties that have an online application.
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How much to charge?
You need to be careful not to overcharge or overcharge as well. Here is what to charge for your services. Visit a cyber cafe closest to the area you plan to start yours and observe charges of their services.
Apart from all things that need financing, you need to invest in yourself or the person who will be in charge of managing the business. Attitude, communication, and good customer relation skills are essential to running a successful cyber cafe business.
About the author: I am an Tech-preneur and an undergraduate Computer Science & Mathematics Student with several years of experience in E-Commerce, Research Writing , Business Development, Freelancing, Marketing & Data Analysis, I am very passionate about the youth and making them realize their potential in entrepreneurship to align them to the Global Consumer trends and purchase patterns especially by use of internet among other media.- Dennis Wanjohi