With the ever-rising demand for cyber services globally, we are seeing a resurgence of internet cafes, or as they are called in developing countries, cyber cafes. This is mind, it is, therefore, normal for a few individuals like you to show interest in getting into the cyber cafe business. After all, if there is a ready market, why not?
Today I am going to leverage my experience in the cyber field to show you all the requirements to open a cyber cafe anywhere. For this post, I am going to use an example of a setup in a medium-sized room with 5 computers total. You will also need two printers, a laminator, and a binder.
So, What do you need to open a cyber cafe?
- Scout for a good location
When it comes to the cyber cafe business, location matters a lot. Ideally, you want to rent out a space somewhere there is human traffic as usual, but that isn’t enough. To really be successfull, you need the right kind of traffic.
Examples of places that will be ideal for opening a cyber cafe
- Near educational institutions such as colleges and universities – this is the crown jewel, hands down.
- Near law courts – there is usually a lot of paperwork around this industry.
- Near government offices that process services such as immigration, registration of births, citizenship, recruitments, health insurance, and passport control.
- Near national transport and safety headquarters.
- Near car bazaars and dealerships.
- At busy terminus frequented by students and other relevant people that might need cyber services on the go.
- Outside busy residential estates that have people living with their families – this is a bit niche but opens the door for repeat customers once you become their go-to solution for all services offered by a cyber cafe.
- Begin building the cabinets, tables, and chairs for your cyber cafe
It is often a good idea to outsource this service to someone who knows what they are doing. Depending on location, these people will charge anywhere between the equivalent of US $ 50 to $ 100 for labor.
To put together these cabinets and furniture, You will need several MDF boards, a lot of 3X3 timber, and a few kilos of nails and screws as standard. Kindly note that this is highly dependent on the intended size of your internet cafe, and the equipment it will have. Your builder should be able to come up with the exact quote covering the bill of quantities as per your requirements.
Items like chairs, for example, you can purchase for cheap at your local furniture store, though for durability, I would advise you to purchase standard office chairs.
As the construction is underway, move on to these next steps.
- Purchase all the required equipment for your internet cafe
Here, we will again let our desired quantity determine how many computers or printers we need.
Using our example cyber cafe above, we can see that we need four computers for clients, and one for the internet cafe attendant.
What computers should you buy for cyber cafe business?
I’ll let you in on a secret that will save you a lot of money. You don’t have to break the bank with brand new computers with blazing specs for your new business. Use your common sense and offer your clients something that will serve their needs just efficiently.
Think of it this way, a random customer who just wants to read his/her emails or print some stuff from a website doesn’t really care what specs the PC has. All they care about is that it works well, and is fast in executing commands.
My point is this; buy refurbished Ex UK or ex-Japan PCs at literally half the price of new ones. These desktops and monitors from the golden era of computer manufacturing were hardy, rarely break down, and support all modern operating systems but Windows 11. That’s more than you require.
- Networking equipment
Next up are the internet cables and an ethernet port/switch for routing the internet across your local network of PCs. The computers can then share the internet connection from your cable provider’s router.
If you are receiving a signal through a point-to-point receiver, you will need to invest in an internet router to provide wireless and cable internet to all your devices. Again, don’t pay through your nose to prove a moot point here. Just grab any affordable 4-in-1 wireless router that offers these:
If you are looking for suggestions, I recommend the TP-Link 300Mbps Wireless N router. It is my favorite router for internet cafe business.
- Printing equipment
A successful cyber cafe needs to have some vital services in order, and one of them is printing. If your budget allows, I recommend you purchase two printers for your internet cafe. One for bulk printing, and one for specialized types of print jobs. I’ll explain.
- The printer for bulk printing will be used for normal black and white printouts and photocopying of exams, documents, etc. You need a laserjet printer for such tasks. These types of printers are fast, efficient, and require less maintenance. The only caveat is that the profit margin is really tight, so every printout has to count. In other words, there is no room for error.
Best laserjet printers for cyber cafe printing
- Kyocera Ecosys series of products, such as the Kyocera Ecosys M3540idn – Are affordable and reliable.
- HP Laserjet MFP 137fnw – Affordable and reliable
- Kyocera Ecosys FS 2020D – value for money – Starts at just over US $100.
- HP Laserjet Pro M428fdw – Quite pricey.
- Other cyber services such as printing passport photos, colored documents, proformas, and programme leaflets work well with inkjet printers. Kindly note that this is for a maximum of A3 size documents. For more extensive format printing, we are now approaching the territories of plotters, which are totally unnecessary for a cyber cafe setting.
What inkjet printer should you purchase for specialized color printing in cyber cafes?
There are a lot of options, but only a few make sense. Inkjet printers, specifically those that use single-use cartridges are useless. I like how some people have finally come out to openly call out the single-use cartridge industry as one of the biggest scams in the printing industry.
Avoid those. Instead, the market is now awash with reliable inkjet printers with permanent printheads and a technology called continuous ink supply system/Ink tank system. These are the real deal for color printing.
Best inkjet printers with CISS for cyber cafe printing
- Epson L382, L3111,L3210 – if you are on a tight budget, these are the ones to go for.
- Canon Pixma G2411.
- Epson L3150
- Epson L850 – If you print a lot of colored graphical elements such as photos, these are good options.
- Scanning equipment
Seriously, who needs scanning equipment when all the printers mentioned above have print, COPY, and SCAN? Save yourself some money on a scanner by using the inbuilt scanning feature on the inkjet printers. In other words, in this day and age, you don’t need to buy a scanner for your cyber cafe business.
- Binding equipment
If you are going to be working near colleges and universities, students will always need a place to bind their projects and proposals. Don’t let such a profitable service pass you. All you need to purchase is a binder, which goes for roughly US $ 50 more or less. Don’t forget to buy the supporting stationery for binding such as spirals and duct tape.
- Lamination equipment
Depending on the location, this might be a really useful device to have. Just like the binding business, it is also very profitable. A good A3 laminator will set you back at just over US$ 50 across all markets.
Don’t forget to purchase two types of laminating pouch films – One that is A4 in size, and the smaller ones for laminating cards such as IDs.
- Additional tools and equipment to acquire for your internet cafe
- Headphones for clients who want to stream videos or listen to podcasts.
- USB 2.0 and Type C cables for easy transfer of client data from their phone to PC.
- Flash disks to transfer files.
- A bluetooth dongle – in case your PCs dont have inbuilt support.
- A heavy-duty paper cutter for custom design services.
- A pair of scissors, stapler + pins, a paper punch, pens, and office glue.
- Papers – Normal A4 printing papers, matte papers for special printouts, colored papers for exams, and embossed papers for proformas, custom cards, etc. You will also need to purchase photo papers to print passport photos and full-sized A4 photographs.
- A ream or more of foolscaps – this will be useful for drafts when writing official letters or filing documents, both online and offline.
Now you are somewhere, but is this enough to start the business?
First of all, this post has only covered the hardware part. I have given you all the physical items you need to open a cyber cafe business. However, without the software to run these machines and make them communicate with one another, you are still not ready. Thankfully, I had this in mind earlier on and showed you the software to use for a successful cyber cafe business. It is quite insightful, therefore I highly suggest you give it a read.
If you have read both posts, you are now both knowledgeable and ready to start a cyber cafe business and make it profitable. Make sure to also read on how to use WhatsApp business on PC and if you want to come back to this post at a later date, click here to bookmark it, or more conveniently, share it on Facebook and Twitter.