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USMC-Retired

So you want an internet cafe

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USMC-Retired

I typed up a little how to. This is what you need to do to set it up.

 

So you want to start an internet cafe...

 

First it is about location.

 

You first need a location that has street access. It must be visible for everyone to see. People are lazy so close to the road is ideal. Having a sign letting people know you are there is important. Find a location that will support your cafe remember people are lazy so it needs to be near a community. Also passing jeepny's trikes and other vehicles is important.

 

Second

 

So you now have the location. Lets look at the set up. You need 30" X 4' of space per computer. So calculate in how many computers you can filter into the space. Remember you want people to stay on the computer for a period of time. Do not skimp on the chairs. They are what provide comfort for the computers. Also you customers do not want someone right behind them and keep banging their chair. so consider all of that when designing the space. Carpet or Hard floors. I say go with hard floors. Reason people are messy and the dust from the vacuum will cause a problem. Also get your CPU up off the floor.

 

Third

 

Target the market. Are you going for the gamers or chatters. You can not have it both ways. For the gamers you need to ensure you have what the public wants. Go to the internet cafes and see what games are on the machines in the area. Ensure you have tournament for the gamers. I do this once a week. It is vital to your success. Give free hour to the winners. They like it and will come back to practice. If you go with the chatting idea then you need to have headsets and webcams. I recommend headsets for both.

 

Forth

 

You will also need to have quality printing. Lazer printers are cheap and you save in the long run. Toner is cheaper then ink. If you have color printing then get a continuous ink feed printer for the printing. This is a conversion for the printers.

 

Fifth

 

Computers well this can very with opinion. However here is what I use. For the chatters I have 1.6 celeron computers with 1 gig of memory. No graphic cards. For the gamers I have 2.8 P4 with a 256 graphics card 1 meg of memory. That all seems to do the trick. hard Drive as long as it all fits.

Monitors LCD is the only way to fly. CRT is hot and burns lots of electric. So go LCD.

 

Sixth

 

Hardware, You will need to have a router. The 4 port variety will do. Then you will need to switch out from there. Do not get cheap here buy a good router. Lynksys is a cisco system and netgear makes good routers. Switches you can get a little cheap here.

 

Seven

 

Software. Ok so you need to ensure you get licensed software. Philippine Anti Piracy board is hot and heavy here. The fine is high. They are funded by microsoft so they look mainly at that. So operating system needs to be microsoft and that is what people like. Word processor we use open office. Then we have skype, yahoo, firefox, Msn, Few other chat programs. As for a server client we use another free program called handy cafe. Also deep freeze your computers. This will prevent viruses and other attacks on your computers. Nice to have a fresh start every time you turn it on. The rate you need to charge has to be no less then 15 pesos an hour or you will lose money. Your computers are using 4 pesos an hour so keep that in mind.

 

Eight

 

Internet. So many people cheat on this. However do not. You need 1 meg of dedicated speed for every 10 computers. Do not get that home connection get a regular business line. Little more money however service is better. Go with PLDT if you can just better service with PLDT.

 

Nine

 

You are open and you have no customers. Several things you can do. People love free. We opened in two locations and the first day was free. No charge come in check it out. Then we handed out to everyone that came in a coupon for free half hour with an hour purchased. We do alot of promotions. We had a cell phone give away. One coupon per 2 hours straight of internet usage. Free 10 hours of usage raffle one coupon per every 90 min of usage. Then we have the some other creative things. Wednesday is our slow day. So we had a free hot dog night. Drove our sales out of the roof. People love free and do not be afraid to give back. We had the PacMan Fight live. No charge found it online streaming and just put it on the computers. So be creative.

 

Ten

 

Be prepared the first 3 months you will just break even. So do not worry it may not be you. It is easy to see this as a money pit however it will pick up if you continue to promote your idea. Continue to build a dedicated client list. Tournaments and promotions. Always keep your promotions so they expire.

 

Eleven

 

Employee. Family is always best. I go in and audit the records alot. I make sure that people see me calculating the money in the drawer what is said in Handy Cafe. I have found errors and I point them out. I may not do anything however I show them how I look for these errors. They can not get into the screen I am in so they do not know this till the first time I look at it. It keeps them honest. Also I find it best to pay weekly. They seem to have more money through the week and less chance of theft. However it is hard to cheat when the server knows you turned on the computer and records the charges and time. They will try though so you have to stay on top of it.

 

Twelve

You need to registrar your name with DTI. Then you have to go to BIR to registrar to pay taxes. Then you need a mayors permit. If you are in Cebu proper you have to pay association dues. Also you need a fire permit. This will cost about 8,000 and is included below in misc costs.

 

 

Last but not how much does it cost.

 

For a

10 computer set up and server

11 computers that 175,000

Licenses Microsoft 22,000

Chairs 7,000

Refurbish building 13,000

Routers switch wires 9,000

printer X2 9,000

Web cam Headset 9,000

Misc 12,000

 

 

The projections for return on investment is about 18 months. That is charging 15 pesos an hour and 6 hours of usage per computer per day. The net profit for the same would be around 13,000 pesos a month. Granted your Electric is 2K Employee 2K and internet 4K rent is 6k. Your location is going to be the most important decision you make. So scope out many many places.

 

Hope this helps any that have interest in doing what I did.

Edited by USMC-Retired
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Steve

Great info, Thanks!

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Ken57

I am printing this and bringing it with me in April. My g/f there has found a possible location so who knows!

 

Thank you for the information, I appreciate the time and effort.

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canadianguy

what exactly is a continuous ink feed printer? can you buy this anywhere? Thanks for the tips!

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canadianguy

What is a server client? and what does this allow me to do? Also I bought my pc's in canada and shipped them with legal xp home addition licenses. Is this ok to use for the cafe in the phil? or do I need a special business version of xp?

Edited by canadianguy

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USMC-Retired
What is a server client? and what does this allow me to do? Also I bought my pc's in canada and shipped them with legal xp home addition licenses. Is this ok to use for the cafe in the phil? or do I need a special business version of xp?

 

 

The client is the user PC. The server is the cash registrar. The Server will control all aspects of the client PC from turning it on to tracking what they do while they are on. It also totals the usage and monies while it is being used. It automatically turns the PC off when the time has expired. I use XP home version it works like a champ.

 

Also Open Office is free and it will open all versions of Microsoft Office.

 

A continous ink feed printer. This is a printer that has been modified so that it has tanks on the outside of the printer. These tanks are then refilled with ink. We have a Epson C59 that has been modified to have these tanks. The cost of the modification is 1800 pesos. Now we just buy ink pour it in the tanks and never buy cartridges.

Edited by USMC-Retired

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gugma_09
Also I bought my pc's in canada and shipped them with legal xp home addition licenses. Is this ok to use for the cafe in the phil? or do I need a special business version of xp?

 

Xp home edition is ok as long as it is a geniune one.

 

what exactly is a continuous ink feed printer? can you buy this anywhere? Thanks for the tips!

 

Yes, you can buy this to any stores that sell printer and ink but not those from Department Stores or Malls. Epson is the most common for CISS (Continuous Ink Supply Sytem).

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Cebuned

USMC,

 

Quick question please. If one had a big enough place, couldn't you set up your place with half being chatter friendly and the other for game'ers?

 

Also, I was toying with the idea, how about half set up for computer chatters and the other half set up with gameing systems like xBox and WI ? How do you think that might fare?.

 

Thanks,

Ned

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retireyoung

Excellent post. It's going to help anyone who wants to start this kind of biz.

If one had a big enough place, couldn't you set up your place with half being chatter friendly and the other for game'ers?

 

The most important thing would be to block off the noise from the gamers. Best would be to have two shops or a sound proof wall dividing the two areas.

 

Nothing worse than trying to have a conversation with someone over the noise of computer games.

 

And regarding the Window's license, you might need to read the fine print. If you buy the product in Canada, the license might only be valid in that country.

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Bob Ward
And regarding the Window's license, you might need to read the fine print. If you buy the product in Canada, the license might only be valid in that country.

 

Not so, but you may want to read up on the export laws.

 

12. EXPORT RESTRICTIONS. You acknowledge that the Software is subject to U.S. export jurisdiction. You agree to comply with all applicable international and national laws that apply to the Software, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, as well as end-user, end-use, and destination restrictions issued by U.S. and other governments. For additional information see http://www.microsoft.com/exporting/.

 

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/eula/home.mspx

 

I worked for Microsoft and I don't see any real problems. But if you ship them in and don't pay duty, technically they could shake you down later I think.

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USMC-Retired
USMC,

 

Quick question please. If one had a big enough place, couldn't you set up your place with half being chatter friendly and the other for game'ers?

 

Also, I was toying with the idea, how about half set up for computer chatters and the other half set up with gameing systems like xBox and WI ? How do you think that might fare?.

 

Thanks,

Ned

 

 

Just keep in mind games are teen age boys. Loud and screaming. Chatters and students are quiet and concentrating. So you really need to think it through. I have playstations. More work and cost then worth. Computers are much better and cheaper.

 

Something I forgot was our prices for printing. 5 pesos a page black and white. 8 pesos a page color. 40 pesos a sheet for pictures. We do about 3K a month in printing. I have not bought ink or toner in over 3 months. When I do it costs about 4k to fill both. So good quality printing can be a money maker. Also we do color and black and white copies. So that is nice and the same rate as printing. But if you bring a picture of Grandma in I can copy it and put on some glossy paper for you. Really nice...

Edited by USMC-Retired

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Markham

Tim,

 

Can you please explain what you mean by "deep freeze" - is this the same as running Virtual Machines so that the user can't actually access XP?

 

 

 

Mark

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Bob Ward
Tim,

 

Can you please explain what you mean by "deep freeze" - is this the same as running Virtual Machines so that the user can't actually access XP?

 

 

 

Mark

 

http://deep-freeze.en.softonic.com/

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Bet_Busta
rent is 6k.

 

What was the size of the area, sq. m.?

 

BTW, very informative post. Thanks.

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USMC-Retired
What was the size of the area, sq. m.?

 

BTW, very informative post. Thanks.

 

We have two shops. One is 27 sqm and 12 computers. The others is 25 Sqm and 9 computers. However there is alot of room in the shops.

 

Here is another creative Idea we did. It is alot of fun and the customers love it.

 

http://profiles.friendster.com/91209125

 

(I just lifted private profile so check back if still set to private)

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