Cyber cafes are small outlets that have a number of computers and they allow people access to these computers and to the Internet for a small charge. In the current digital times where everything is done online, computers and access to the Internet are imperative, and cyber cafe business is, therefore, a great business idea worth considering and starting. The popularity of a cyber cafe is owing to several factors, such as, it provides access to a computer and to the internet for a very nominal charge which is calculated on an hourly basis and is quite reasonable and feasible, especially for those who cannot afford to buy a computer. Additionally, customers can even print documents, pictures, photographs and scan them too, which might not be possible on a home computer at all times. Also, cyber cafe computers have the latest software and hardware, thus providing customers the facility to use advanced and latest computer systems. Cyber cafes are also great places to learn and interact with others while at the same time get one’s work done. These are just some of the reasons for the popularity of the cyber cafe business.
The traditional cyber cafes, however, need to undergo a chance to beat the competition and to remain popular. The cyber cafe business can thus be combined with a cafe serving food or even have other features within the cyber cafe to attract customers.
Types Of Cyber Cafe
Gaming cyber cafe- cyber cafes are very popular hangout spots for computer game lovers, especially youngsters, who visit the cafe and get engrossed in different games. In a cyber cafe dedicated to gaming, a special section can be created for the game aficionados by providing a surround sound system and larger computer screens along with comfortable seating arrangements since the computer games go on for long. This setting can create a special atmosphere and experience for the game fans and bring in more customers too.
Food cyber cafes- cyber cafes can also offer food such as snacks and finger food along with beverages. The food offered must be easy to re-heat and serve in a cyber cafe such as sandwiches, patties, puff pastries, quiche, etc. Alternatively, the cafe can serve only desserts such as cookies, brownies, dry cakes, pastries, etc. While serving food in cyber cafe, care should be taken to keep it away from the computers and gadgets.
Another kind of cyber cafe that can be started is one where people can interact, and work, like in a co-working space, with free access to printers, scanners, video conferencing facilities, etc, thus allowing customers to accomplish a lot of paperwork or office work which they cannot carry out by only accessing a computer alone.
These are some of the additions and variations that can be introduced to the traditional cyber cafe business to stand out from the other entrepreneurs and to attract the customers.
For the business to be unique and for it to follow the concept imagined, whether a gaming cafe or a co-working space or a food cafe, it is essential to have a business plan in place. A business plan is a formal written document that contains the business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, the financial and marketing requirements of the business and methods of fulfilling it, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved along with the future vision for the business.
Essentials Of A Cyber Cafe Business Plan
A business plan is vital to the business and the business planning checklist will ensure that all the essential factors to be mentioned in the business plan are included in it. Some of the details a business plan must include are-
- Business Concept: this describes the cyber cafe business in detail with information regarding where the business will be located, whether the space for the cyber cafe will be on rent or ownership, the type of business entity the business will opt for from the various types such as sole-proprietorship, partnership, one-person company or a limited liability partnership, the type of cyber cafe, the layout of the cyber cafe space, the number of computers and the type of hardware and software to be installed, the list of equipment needed for the business, the furniture needed for the cyber cafe, etc. All of this is part of the business concept and must be included in the business plan.
- Market Research: the ‘market research’ information in the business plan describes the nature of the market and the market analysis conducted by the entrepreneurs before starting the business. Cyber cafe business has been around for quite some time and is not novel or unique, therefore entrepreneurs need to conduct market research while starting the otherwise profitable cyber cafe business. The research includes information regarding how many similar businesses are near the proposed site for the cyber cafe, what are these existing cafes offering, what are they charging the customers, why are the customers visiting these cafes, how are the cafes advertising about their business, etc. This analysis is essential and must be included in the business plan.
- Marketing Plan: the marketing plan describes the strategy decided to address the needs of the market, for instance, what kind of a cyber cafe people are looking for, what are their requirements and what factors within the cyber cafe fulfill the needs and requirements of the customers, etc. The marketing plan also outlines the methods with which the business will communicate with customers, and how entrepreneurs will advertise about the café. Cyber cafes can advertise in the newspapers and by circulating pamphlets and fliers. The strategies and ideas to advertise about the business will also be included in the marketing section of the business plan, such as offering happy hours when the charges to use the computers are low or discount for regular customers or those who visit repeatedly or free beverages for usage beyond an hour, etc.
- Operations Plan: this part of the business plan describes the operations of the cyber cafe on a day to day basis. For instance, it will elaborate on what charges the cafe will levy for every hour, along with information regarding the number of people to be employed at the cafe, the roles of the staff employed, who will look after the cafe on a daily basis, what will be the requirements of the cafe (especially if it will be serving food too) on a day to day basis, etc.
- Financial Plan: the business plan also outlines how to finance the business under the financial plan. The business can obtain a loan, either from banks or non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs), to finance itself or it borrow from friends and family or through self savings. In order to apply for loans, the cyber cafe business plan must have all the details of the expected costs for the business along with the long term investment and day to day expenditures calculated and included in the financial plan. The cyber cafe financial plan must include the cost of renting the place for the cafe (or cost of purchasing it), along with the cost of purchasing the computers, the software, equipment like printers, network cables, hardware, routers, etc, furniture like tables, chairs, partitions for separate kiosks or compartments for each customer to access the computer in privacy, crockery and cutlery (in case of a cafe that will be serving food too), the salaries of the employees and several other purchases for the business. The financial plan must also include details of the future plans for the business in terms of revenue and growth.
Additionally, the business plan can have information regarding the registrations. A cyber cafe will require certain mandatory registrations for operating the business such as a Shop Act License which is required for establishments that are within the municipal limits and is designed to regulate payment of wages, hours of work, leave, holidays, terms of service and other work conditions of people employed in the cyber cafe. The other registration required by the cyber cafe business is a GST registration which is mandatory in order to follow a tax filing structure and to follow a uniform taxation law across the country.
The business plan, including the financial requirements, business concept and how the goals of the business will be achieved, is one of the documents required while applying for a loan and the officials get information regarding the business objectives and operational details along with other information of the proposed business through the business plan. Therefore the financial plan along with all the other information in the business plan must be mentioned in detail, without missing out on any of the aspects of the business.
These subcategories within the business plan help to ensure that, the cyber cafe business plan is clear and understandable and the details of the business are explanatory, especially to those who do not understand the technical jargon involved in running a cyber cafe, else deAsra can provide assistance to make a comprehensive and easy to understand business plan.