How to Start a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria
Let us discuss the potentials in cyber cafe business in Nigeria, cost of setting up a cyber cafe and the equipment needed to start an internet cafe business. Starting a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria is one of the easiest things to do, especially if you know what you’re after.
If you really want to start a cyber cafe business, then What are you after?
Starting a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria is quite easy and straightforward to set up plus it doesn’t require much time. However, if you’ll like to make much profit from it, which I believe you’re much after, you’ll need to apply a few key ideas and tweaks to stand out.
Let’s face it; the cyber café business is no longer as profitable as it used to be in Nigeria. Sure over 40 million Nigerians use the internet daily but truth be told, not every one of us does so from a desktop computer or more so from a Cyber Cafe. For most Nigerians, (and probably yourself,) the smartphone is their gateway to the internet and unless they have much more complex work which the smartphone could not cover, they will otherwise not visit a public place like the Cyber Cafe, just to chat with friends on social media or check emails.
The truth is cyber café is no longer as profitable as it used to be. Before now, the cyber café is the only gateway to the internet for the average Nigerian and you’ll see many who couldn’t afford data or a personal computer then visiting the Cafe just for messaging with friends on Facebook. All that has changed a long time ago. I mean who still visits a Cyber Cafe now that data is inexpensive and smartphones are everywhere?
Now let’s get something straight here; I’m not saying Cyber Cafe Business is a dead-end thing. No; far from that. If it is, this article becomes obsolete. Plus I’ve seen many shops popping up which makes me believe there’s still something lucrative in the business.
However, to make much from your Cyber café business in Nigeria, you’ll need to apply more efforts, learn the calendars, add a few new ideas and tweaks to make you stand out and help your business succeed.
I’ve outlined a few of these ideas towards the end of this post to help you make the most out of your investment, however before you get there, let’s look at the reason why you visited this blog: how to set up a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria. I’ll start off with factors you need to consider before starting a Cyber Cafe Business.
Important factors to consider before starting a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria
For any start-up, no matter how small it is, you’ll need a certain amount of money to start up and keep it running. For this reason, you’ll need to set aside a certain amount of money in two separate accounts.
The one amount to set up your business and the other to keep it running.
The capital is the lifeline of your business, after initial setup, you’ll need to keep a certain cash around to keep your business running.
As we move on, I’ll give you a brief overview of what you need and how to estimate your capital needs. However, note that your capital will continue to increase as the size of start-up increases.
Location is very important. Especially in a business like the cyber café which is dependent on population for profits.
First off, your business location MUST be in a place with good “traffic” – a place where lots of people are present. Most times, a Cyber Cafe Business will thrive along the road, at intersections and bus stations. Because lots of people are bound to see your business and what you’re offering.
Places with multitudes, however, are not always the determinant of profit in this business. For instance, setting up a Cyber Cafe Business in around foodstuffs markets will probably end up a disaster. Sure, there will be lots of people there but most won’t be requiring your services.
Sometimes, it’s way better to set up your business in a small neighborhood with a small customer base. For instance, I’ve seen many people set up their cafe right beside the FRSC. Though this area will have low multitude, both is quite profitable as most people do go there for Paper works.
Internet service providers
The internet service provider is your gateway to the internet. As a business, you’ll need a reliable provider, this way your business won’t run the risk of becoming inefficient because the chosen service provider is unreliable.
Fortunately, there are lots of options for you when it comes to choice of internet service providers in Nigeria for your Cyber Cafe Business. You have various networks like MTN, GLO, Airtel, and Etisalat just to meet your needs.
Or you can even go for the more recent ntel, Swiftlinks, Spectranet and others which provide unlimited data for a small token.
Do you need an Employee
Do you need employees? Most times you won’t need one especially if your startup is on a small scale.
However, if you’re planning to start big like being in a two or three rooms shops or even having up to 20 computers, you might want to look for a reliable employee.
Also if you’re planning to start a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria as a second or third source of income, you should definitely go for an employee who can help you manage the place efficiently.
Cost of setting up a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria
The initial cost of setting up a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria is often hard to estimate, however, I’ll try to do just that here and give you an estimated value within a good range. But don’t forget, it’s still an estimate and will be close to the actual market price but would surely differ maybe higher or lower than the real margin.
Cost Of Renting A Shop And Furnishing It
It’s quite appropriate to begin with the cost of your shop. If you already have a shop or a room in your home where you can carry out your business, good for you, you can strike this out of your to-do list and move ahead.
However, for those who will need to look for a place for their business, you’ll need to include this very important step in your budget.
On average across the country, list shops rents at N4000-N8000 per month. This does vary, of course, you can find ones lower or higher than the stated price.
The prices of shops do vary depending on its location and sometimes the season of the year. If you’re around urban cities like Lagos, Abuja, Kano and so on, you should expect slightly higher prices than the ones stated here.
So from the above, you know you’ll need a budget of around N4-N8k for your shop rent. You may want to hold more than that anyway as most shop owners will want you to pay for a half or whole during the first payment, also you’ll need to pay agent fees – whatever that is!
Cost of internet services
I’ve seen most Cyber Cafe make this simple but costly mistakes by not investing properly in an internet service provider.
Some erroneously buy small amounts of data every day and sometimes twice a day or each time they have a client who wants to use the internet.
This sort of idea does not only make your business unprofessional but also costs more in the long run. If you must succeed in your Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria, you should invest in a good internet package from an internet service provider.
Good thing is, data packages are now very cheap unlike in the last few years when costs are ridiculously high. Now you can get almost unlimited access to the internet with just N3,000. I’ll advise you go for service providers like Spectranet, Swiftlinks or ntel if they are supported in your areas. Though they are more expensive, they will be more likely to meet your business needs.
Sure you can go with other networks like Glo, MTN, Airtel or Etisalat and you’d still be ready to make some good profits.
Equipment Needed To Start An Internet Business In Nigeria
You probably have a list of every machine you’ll need in your Cyber Cafe already if you don’t then go find out – visit a well-stocked Cyber Cafe, speak with the owner and take inventory of machines you’ll need, you don’t necessarily have to buy everything they have.
For starters, the desktop is a good beginning. You can go for new or used ones as your budget allows. However, if you’re going for a used model, you should check properly and ensure everything is working correctly.
For most, the flat screen desktop is the ideal choice, it’s easier to move about and does not consume much space, so if you’re worried about space, which you need lots of by the way, then don’t hesitate to go for the flat screen model.
Generally, for optimum performance, you should go for systems with average performance. For that ensure all your computer systems comes with the following specifications or higher:
● Processor Quad-core Pentium, Celeron Processors (Minimum), dual-core Core i3, Core i5, Core i7
● CD ROM (minimum)
● Standard English Keyboard
● 320GB Hard Drive (minimum)
● Monitor 15-inch and above
● 2GB RAM (minimum)
● USB 2.0
● 100Mbps Network card (minimum)
It’s almost impossible to operate a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria profitably without a printer. So you should consider getting one before you open your shop.
The printer is one of the major reasons why most people still visit the cyber café today. During exams, students can fill and submit their forms online individually from their PCs or smartphone, however, most do not have access to the printer, hence the mass flow of students to Cyber Cafe during exam periods.
There are lots of cheap printers out there. The HP LaserJet printer does not cost much but will cover a lot of your needs, like printing web copies in colored forms, scanning, and Photocopying of documents and you can get this for less than N20,000.
You’ll need a place to for your desktop, printer and other office equipment. Most times, you don’t want to go for the regular four-legged tables as they take in much space and are not flexible. Rather, you should get a carpenter to make a good long table with partitions. This way each client can make use of the computer with complete privacy and comfort.
The cost of this sort of tables varies depending on the wood, length, and of course the maker, so you should visit a carpenter and get an estimate for it.
Standing Fan or An Ac
You’ll definitely need a cooling system for personal gain and also to prevent the system from heating up quickly.
While an Air conditioner is highly recommended for this singular purpose, you should definitely go for a good standing fan if you are tight on a budget as the one is as good as the other so long as you keep your shop well ventilated.
If you are really tight on a budget, you can leave the Laminator out until you can save for it. I do advice you even keep this off your list during the initial start-up until you the demand for it increases.
But if your business is around a school especially a university, The Laminator can become very lucrative as most students will want to keep their results from the liquid by laminating them.
Don’t go for the small tiger head generator if you’re really serious about your cyber café business. Sure the cost of starting a Cyber Cafe Business in Nigeria can sometimes become overwhelming, but it’s no excuse to sacrifice a good power generating set to cut down costs. That will only affect your efficiency and profits negatively in the long run.
There are other peripheral equipment you’ll need if you want to start your internet business, but I’ll advise you keep them out for now and only include them later when you’re sure there’s a huge demand for such equipment.
How To Succeed In Cyber Café Business In Nigeria
Set a Goal for your business
Having a destination in mind makes any journey meaningful and rewarding.
Before starting your business, you should have some goals set aside, which you’ll want to achieve. It doesn’t matter the type of goals you want to achieve, what matters is that you have a definite direction and point which you’re running towards.
You’re most likely setting up your cyber café business to make some money, to do just that, you’ll need to have a clear and definite plan on how to take in profits from the business.
Keep your equipment functional
For most owners, their business is just a source of income and does not merit their attention. You should avoid such mistakes. Your business is not just there to serve your needs, it’s there also to meet the needs of your clients as such you ensure all your equipment are kept in good shape at all times to meet clients demands.
Learn the calendar
As stated earlier, the cyber café business in Nigeria is no longer as profitable as it used to be when almost everyone relies on them for access to the internet. Now almost everyone with a smartphone can access the internet from any part of the country.
Your business will probably not be very profitable if all you offer is a place for people to browse or check their online status.
You should definitely include other options like online registrations, online printing and so on. Once this is done, you need to start watching the calendar as it changes.
Students are probably going to be your largest client base and as such, you’ll want to be on the lookout for examination dates on which they’ll need your services. Also, you might want to keep track of various registrations especially those into government services like police, NYSC, army and so on as most people will depend on your services to complete their registration as well as print out various web copies.
Keep the place clean
It’s quite easy for a place as public as your Cafe to become dirty especially with papers and dust.
You don’t have to keep it sparkly clean like the banks, but you should make every effort to ensure the place is as neat as it could be. Keep a wastebasket beside the door or even close to each computer below the table. This will make the work easier for you.
Also, keep wires and cables out of the way. No one wants to work through a network of cables just to access the internet.
Learn to manage your subscriptions
It’s quite hard to lose track of your internet subscription and that can lead to recurrent loss of profits. For better management, you should put your wireless on password and also limit access to some websites like the YouTube.
This way your data won’t be used in just an hour by a client. Also, limit the size of files a client can download or better still do not allow download of files over your network except you’re using an unlimited plan.
Internet business in Nigeria is still a lucrative venture, especially for those who looking for an alternative source of income. You don’t have to worry about startup costs, you can start small and then expand as you gain more experience and capital.