The cyber cafe business is one of the booming businesses in Nigeria. In a time like this, the services of cyber cafes are needed in society. With a nice location, business plan, and capital, it is a great way to start making money.
One of the best ways to succeed in the cyber cafe business is to identify a good location where you can reach your target audience. For example, you can set up a cyber cafe close to the school environment. This is because they are mostly the right customers to patronize your services.
With the rapid changes in technology, a cyber cafe may be a great opportunity for you to make money profitably. However, the services rendered by cyber cafes include checking emails, chatting, browsing, playing online games, and many other services.
As you are harboring ideas on how to start a cyber cafe in Nigeria, also consider learning more and having experience with how it works.
How To Start A Cyber Cafe In Nigeria
This is how you can start a cyber cafe/internet cafe business in Nigeria:
1. Come Up With A Business Plan
A plan mostly is a guide away from failure. A business plan guides you through the journey of knowing and identifying relevant, irrelevant and excesses. After all, growing a business is a process, it is never an immediate achievement. Therefore, a good plan from the start gives you clear visions, confidence and Focus.
There are two methods of writing your business plan, the traditional business plan method and lean business plan.
The traditional business plan: This is mostly used or needed by a detailed business owner or investor, this is mostly the best option as it is detailed. The traditional business plan contains:
√ Business name
√ Your mission statement
√ Your services
√ Your business leadership team
√ Your employees
√ Where your business is located.
√ Your Target market
√ Your Market Analysis
√ Your SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Oppositions Threats) Analysis
√ Your Organisation and management structure with a chart if possible
√ Marketing and sales strategy
√ Funding requirements and duration
√ Business yielding Potentials
√ Credit Histories
√ Permits that would be required
√ Licences that would be required
The Lean Business Plan method: This is basically a direct to the point type of business plan, it contains:
√ Mission Statement
√ Major Partnerships
√ Resources that would be used to create services
√ SWOT (Strength Weaknesses Oppositions Threats) Analysis
√ Sales and Marketing Strategy
√ Target Market
√ Revenue Streams
2. Conduct A Market Research
It is important you understand the system of your market because you will definitely be needing it. First and foremost, understanding your market gives you a great insight on what the value you are providing is worth, it’s target and the competitions.
Additionally, you can conduct a market research on the strength and weaknesses of other cyber cafes, what you are going to do different or what you are going to improve on to provide a better service. What you need to make the difference or improvements. What it will cost you to startup. During your market analysis, you take SWOT analysis of your business.
3. Improve Your Business Plan
With the knowledge from your market analysis, you improve your business plan, let go of the excesses and add to the plan the necessities to be the shift in the market. This stage in starting your cyber cafe business can be regarded as the final plan stage.
At this point, a clearer picture of your business and a modification of your mission statement is done. So as you go about putting things in order, you have a clear perception of what you are doing.
4. Raise Capital For Your Business
As there are several means of raising capital, alot of negative informations are out there about taking loan. Taking a loan basically depends on the business plan and structure, if you are confident enough about the potentials of your business, a loan is no bad idea.
LOAN: Loan is certain amount of money lent to you by the bank over a period of years and interest rate and monthly payments are fixed in terms.
Other ways to raise capital include:
√ Personal Savings: The money you have put aside for the purpose of starting a business. This is not gotten from anyone else but you.
√ Selling stock of your business: This refers to liquidating your asset for money. Your investor buys the share and gives you cash, most times it is advisable you keep over 50% of your stock as the investor has exclusive right to re-sell his share and that might affect your ownership of your business. Definitely, the highest shareholder is the owner of the business. These are the things to consider when starting a business.
√ Partnership: You partner with someone or organisation of like minds. Where the other party who contributes to the capital is given a percentage. In partnership, they share in the profit as well as the loss which would mostly be aligned to their contribution to the capital and overall growth of the business.
√ Sponsorship: You can write a business proposal to individuals, organisations or companies. If validated and approved, these individuals, organisation and companies will raise the capital. In this case, they may not be interested in any percentage of the profit but might be requiring a steady report on growth process. In the other hand, they may require a given percentage (most times a little percentage. Example, Non-governmental organisation) but will not take part in the loss of the business.
√ Friends and Family: This is contributions from close relatives and friends. it could be a place to start, it could be facilities but mostly cash. They business owes no obligations to these persons.
5. Choose A Business Structure
In starting a cyber cafe business, having done the fore analysis, the next consideration is the structure of your business if it will be sole proprietorship, partnership or a limited liability company. While choosing a business structure, you must consider the following:
• The tax and legal standing: Tax is a mandatory contributions, levied on business owners by the government. It could be at a national level or state level. It can also be on both levels.
• Cost of start up: From your market analysis, having explored the possible ways of raising an income and the potential of your business, you would know the right business structure to erect.
• Profit sharing: It is just in sole proprietorship that you do not share the profit and loss of the business. In every other business structure, profit and loss is shared based on agreement of both parties.
6. Choose A Business Name
Your business name is like your gateway to investors and customers. So in picking a name you should know and consider that:
1. It is almost like the full essence of your business in one word or two, so keep it simple and intentional.
2. It is your business identity, it should therefore be in alignment with your services provided or the satisfaction intended.
3. Business name should not take alot of energy to pronounce or needs special attention to memorize. It should ring a bell such that even a layman can relate with and relate to the name.
4. Trade mark issues should be put into consideration while choosing a business name.
5. In as much as it should be simple, make your business name unique. If possible, a name not found in the dictionary.
7. Register Your Business
Registered business gives you a legal standing. Your registration is your proof of authenticity. A registered business is recognised as a separate entity on it’s own, separate from the owner. It has its own rights, values and identity recognised.
Reasons To Register Your Cyber Cafe Business:
√ Protection from Legal Authorities: When your business is registered, your business name is protected and cannot be used by any other business. The authorities protect and preserve your business name and slogan.
√ Business Account: Having a business account is very important for every business. Apparently, a business that is not registered cannot get a corporate account and this is not good for possible investments and business transactions. Hence, using a personal account in running your business limits the potentials of your business.
√ Business Trips and Conferences Outside Your Country: A registered business makes it possible for you to travel outside the shores of your country for business deals and business transactions. Only registered businesses can gain international recognition thus you can only leave the country for business purposes when your business is registered.
√ Hiring Employees: There are rules and regulations guiding every business. When a business is registered, it makes the rules more valid, this applies also to the hiring, paying and, maintaining of employees. It is easier for a registered business to hire employees as the individuals know that they will be properly protected and are operating under a controlled management. This breeds the best from both the employees and the employer.
√ Continuity: A registered business name assures you of a lasting legacy. Even after the Business owner is no more, the business can still run on its own. it does not die with the owner. Therefore, registering your business is as good a solid foundation as Posterity.
√ Getting Loans: Banks and other corporate bodies give loan to Registered businesses. When your business is not registered and loan is applied, there will be an alarm for investigation of fraud. This makes the process longer than necessary as you would have to proof beyond doubt that you are genuine and most times not get the loan until you are registered.
√ Reputation:: A registered business is trusted by your customers. Your registered business entails permanence and shows effective management. This builds confidence in your investors and patronizers alike.
√ Incorporation: When your business is registered it will now be recognised by the corporate bodies (The body responsible for registration of businesses). This recognition gives your business a legal stand in your business and is an advantage against other cyber cafes who are not registered.
√ Legal protection from risks: Your Registered business is an entity of its own. So if your business runs into debt or liability of any sort with the bank, so far you did not guarantee such debt on a personal basis, nothing related to you would be affected. it is outrightly that of the business to deal with.
√ Financing: Most investors will not put their money in a business that is not registered. A non-registered business has so many disadvantages in this regard as it can not be regarded as a separate entity. Therefore many investors will not accept it as having a legal and working structure that can be accountable for their money. So, a registered business keeps you open to opportunities of investment and growth.
8. Find A Good Location
Location is paramount. Cyber cafes has it’s own customers. However, you can be offering the right services but with the wrong people, and this is mostly an effect of bad location and all efforts on the plan and structure will be a waste.
In choosing location, your target market is majorly considered. You do not run a cyber cafe in an area where it is not needed but in an environment where it can be access. The economic policy of the environment too should be considered.
9. Open A Business Account
We do not mix pleasure with business as much as we do not mix personal affairs with business. A business account is vital, and different from your personal account.
Most business accounts require multiple signatures thus relieving the business owner of the stress of every aspect of management, business accounts also generate income as interest.
Having business account makes it easy for you to prepare tax and also makes it easy to keep a proper book record of your expenses and your income.
A business account presents the management as organised and effective to investors. This can offer you credibility.
10. Obtain Necessary Licenses And Permits
Registering your business is not the only guarantee you need to kick off. As a result, cyber cafes have it own license or permit of some sort and this is dependent on your location. Business permits regulate the structure and safety of the business community.
11. Apply For Business Insurance
For unforeseen loss and risk management, you will be needing a business insurance. Business insurance protects from theft, fire, medical expenses, compensation towards workers, etc. Find a good licensed insurance agency and they would help you articulate the best insurance policy for your business.
12. Get All The Needed Equipments, Tools And Facilities Ready
Starting a cyber cafe business with borrowed facilities can work perfectly fine till you get yours, depending on your budget. Getting all the facilities at once might not work and should not stop you from starting if you can borrow.
You will purchase the following equipment: laptops/computers, printers, network cables, crimping tools, routers, generators, tables, chairs, etc.
After buying all the necessary tools and equipment, the next agenda is to get a reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP). Meet up with the requirements, and get connected immediately.
13. Employ Staff
A general saying “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go with someone”. A very important aspect of a business is employing staff. A properly trained one who have the knowledge of cyber cafe services will do greater good. Also, a good training to a newbie will promise loyalty to your business.
You can not raise your business structure and do all the work and produce a high efficiency, even if you do, it will take a longer time. Time that would have accomplished one or two more tasks. So, no department or aspect of your business suffers, a staff is a must. If it is a small scale business, basically two or three for a start is enough.
14. Promote And Market Your Business
We are a most fortunate generation with the internet, where almost everything is possible including Promoting and marketing you business. Key effective ways are:
Make Videos: The selling means of advertising your services is video making. The video first should be short but detailed. If you cannot deal with the creative, you hire the services of a content creator an accurate one at that.
Make Reviews: You can render your service to some persons for free or a little token, get honest reviews from them. They would spread the word for you.
Social Media Ads: Run a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter Ads. For this, you would be needing a good copywriter. This would bring your business to the lime light, people from all works of life would see it and a good percentage of these people will click on it.
Have A Website: A website properly developed with a very good user interface and an articulated blog post, where potential customers can come and know everything about your service is necessary, so when you run this Ads, it takes your potential customers to your website and expose them really to your services.
Create Business Social Media Handles: Create business social media handles separate from your personal handle, post your services on a daily basis, have a social media manager who has great skill in copy writing or content creation. You ask for honest reviews from consumers and re-post on your social media handles. This will encourage and boost the confidence of other potential customers.
Collaborations: When bigger industries are hosting events and call for sponsorship or partnership, this is a good strategy to sell your services as you will be featured either as a partner or as a sponsor, as much as this might bring about financial responsibilities, it can also be as free and simple as volunteering, it can also be donating assets that can be gotten back after the event.
Offline Advertisement: You can promote your business offline through word of mouth, sharing your business card, billboards and through flyers. Offline advertisment is one of the best ways to promote your business & reach your potential customers (target market).
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Cyber Cafe In Nigeria
The cost of starting a cyber cafe business depends on the location and the size of your business. If you are starting a cyber cafe business on a small scale, the startup cost will be less than ₦900,000. Then on a large scale, you will need around ₦7,500,000 to start a cyber cafe in Nigeria.
Summary On How To Start A Cyber Cafe Business In Nigeria
A cyber cafe is also known as an internet cafe. And starting a cyber cafe in Nigeria is a lucrative venture. It is a good business one can start in urban areas. With good locations close to colleges and universities you will make huge profits from cyber cafes.
Finally, one of the ways to reach your customers is through social media platforms. You can advertise your business with paid Ads while targeting people in your locality. By doing this, people will start reaching out to you to inquire about your services.