Did you think putting up an Internet Cafe was difficult? Well, here are my personal tips on doing so.
Firstly, Location. It is imperative that you decide on a strategic location for your Internet Cafe. I recommend an area where a sizable crowd pass by on a regular basis; close to a school or a heavily populated residential area is best. As a pro gamer, I would like to find my preferred cafe close to a school exit so finding it will be easy. Placing it close to some eateries or “carinderia" is helpful (discard this if you plan to serve “real" food to your clients, see bottom for further details). Most pro gamers would want to eat at a place just outside or near their Internet Cafe.
Next, make up your mind as to how many computers you want. My guess would be around 15-20 for beginners. You might also want to put in fewer weighing in your cafe's space and starting capital. More personal computers may translate to higher income; which can be assured if are the only café owner in a residential/commercial area for a few blocks.
Computer Specifications. Being a gamer myself, I would like to play without the annoyances of lag or slow start up. Every second matters when you play MMORPG's, especially during guild wars or other vital regular events. I would recommend on going for the most recent specs, to give you an advantage on other internet cafes. High-quality specifications allow you a bit of breathing phase before you would need the next upgrade. Owning a technology receptive business means that in the succeeding months, a brand new hardware would be released to make yours the not-so-new in the line. So, investing on those well performing hardware are really a gain.
On the other hand, if you intend on renting your computers to a market made up of students who only want to type their projects, work on the internet, and the like, you can go for basic hardware.
Please remember that the key in this sort of business is decent service. You must have your clients keep returning for more. Maintain your computers by keeping them up to date with first-class computer specs. At present, having a dual core processor is ideal. Along with respectable RAM (1Gb to 2Gb is best), and a high performance video card of 256Mb-512Mb will make a good rentable computer. You could do without an optical drive and a floppy disc drive (which already appear to be outdated with the launching of USB mass storage devices). You can have a CD/DVD writer combo on the server so CD's can be regulated and monitored before they are used. In addition, you can also add cd/dvd-burning to your list of services.
Next in line are good cafe softwares. You can choose free cafe management software like HandyCafe. They permit the administrator to take control of the internet cafe via functions only available to the server. You can limit the rental time for each client and regulate the bandwidth when heavy downloading affects the entire network. Cafe management softwares often have billing functions that automatically calculate what you should charge your customers. This is a nice feature to use particularly if you want to manage the cafe by yourself.
Food. Most gamers spend less time eating whenever they go online. It is difficult to break the concentration of a playing pro gamer. However, they are people, and people do eat. Whenever they feel the urge to revitalize, you can offer them quick preparation food like instant noodles. But, if you wish to enhance your Internet Café's income scheme, you can offer “real" food to your customers. This would mean that they won't have to go look for a restaurant and leave your cafe, thus remain in it while on their favorite games.
Comfortable chairs. I, for one, spend most of my time in from of my laptop or PC. I want to feel snug and comfy in my seat. Long hours in an uncomfortable chair can be exhausting. Consequently, I believe it vital that next to good service, customer comfort ought to be taken into account.
Games and Wordprocessors. After you have everything ready, you can ask your technician, or if you are capable yourself, install all the games and word processing applications on the computers. You opt for OpenOffice applications in place of Microsoft Office if you have a strict budget. Purchasing the licenses for these applications can be very pricey, particularly their operating systems.
I hope you find my guide to putting up your own Internet Cafe useful.
Please check out my blog, http://www.mobileexpressions.blogspot.com for more information on the subject.