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Cyber Cafe Check List

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Are you planning to own a cyber cafe? Do you want to know how to start a cyber cafe business? Do you want to improve the quality of service that your customers experience? If your answer is yes, then you are in the right page.

This document will provide information for people aspiring to own cyber cafes in the future with information on what they would require to invest in, so as to deliver what we believe is an acceptable quality of service to their customers. This document will also provide valuable information for existing internet cafe owners.

Some of the factors to consider are:


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  • Data transfer speed per computer
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Hardware requirement
  • Computer speed
  • Employees
  • Software applications
  • Maintenance procedure
  • Discipline procedure
  • Quality of Service

Data Transfer Speed

The speed of a cyber cafe network is the most important factor to consider as this can make or mar a Cyber cafe business. Some Cyber cafe owners buy bandwidth even before determining the number of computers to install on the network.

However, it is the other way round; the amount of bandwidth you can afford for your cyber cafe should determine the number of computers to be installed. By the way, bandwidth is the amount of data a network can upload or download in a second (measured in kbps or Mbps).

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The best point to start is to determine the speed at which each computer in your cyber cafe should operate. Then determine how many computers you want to install, multiply the two and you have your bandwidth.

We recommend a bandwidth at least 500 kilobits/second (kbps) per PC minimum. Anything higher than this is great for your Cyber cafe. If you must compromise, do not go below 256kbps.

Remember a slow network can lead to loss of valuable customers for your Cyber cafe. If your cyber cafe is known as a slow cyber cafe, people will always leave when they find a better Cyber cafe.

One way of knowing a good internet cafe, is that customers keep coming back, even when there are many options. If you are a cyber cafe owner and every day, you see new faces (few loyal customers) than you have to turn a new leaf.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Once you are done with bandwidth capacity that is good enough for your Cyber cafe, the next step is to talk to an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

You should look for an ISP that is capable of offering the minimum quality of service that you intend to offer your customers. Remember the success of your cyber cafe business depend largely on the support you get from your ISP.

If your ISP cannot respond promptly to your problems then you need a new ISP. Visit a successful cyber cafe and find out the ISP they are hooked up to. The key to the success of your cafe business is to find an ISP that will offer you your contract network speed 99.99% of the time.

You need an ISP that will value the success of your cyber cafe business, an ISP that knows that your success is very important to their survival.

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Hardware Requirement

In order to meet the needs of a modern internet user there are some hardware you need to install in your cyber cafe. This include

  • Client PCs
  • Server PC
  • Switch or Hub
  • Modem and Router
  • Printer (colour printer recommended)
  • Scanner
  • Web cam
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Multimedia speakers/head phones
  • Air conditioner
  • Electric generator (standby)
  • UPS/AVR
  • Wireless Hotspot (Optional, but Recommended)
  • Power Inverter System (optional)

Client PCs

Your client personal computers (PCs) are computers your customers will be using to access the internet. In order to provide a reasonable quality of service to your customers this is our recommended minimum hardware requirement

  • Processor Quad-core Pentium, Celeron Processors (Minimum), dual-core Core i3, Core i5, Core i7
  • 320GB Hard Drive (minimum)
  • Monitor 15-inch and above
  • 2GB RAM (minimum)
  • USB 2.0
  • 100Mbps Network card (minimum)
  • CD ROM (minimum)
  • Standard English Keyboard
  • Mouse

Have you visited a cyber cafe with a French or German Keyboard where you have to guess which key is which? Ensure that all hardware you require for a successful Cyber cafe business is in place.

Branded computers from Omatek, Zinox or any of the foreign brands (HP, Dell, etc.) are more reliable than unbranded (cloned or assembled) computers.

However, they are more expensive. If you decide to buy a cloned computers for your internet cafe ensure that they contain similar hardware. This will reduce the burden of maintenance.

Server PC should have similar hardware as client PCs. USB 2.0 port should be easily accessible to your cyber cafe customers so ensure that USB port is in front of the computer instead of the back.

You may also install a USB cable for each PC, to make things easier for customers.

Computer Speed

Computer speed is closely related to hardware requirement. If you do not put enough RAM in your computer or your processor is slow then computers in your cyber cafe will tend to be slow.

A slow computer will frustrate your customers. Imagine some one typing something and waiting for up to 2 seconds before the screen is updated, it could be quite irritating. This is one reason why you should invest in the right hardware.

Employees

The number of computers in your cyber cafe will determine whether you need employees or not. If your cyber cafe is small with 5 to 10 computers then you can handle it all alone (if you will commit full time).

However, if you have more computers say 10 or more, you will certainly need one or more helping hands. You will need to train your employees on basic computer management.

Do not allow your employees to learn on the job. Train them properly before they start work in your cyber cafes.

You should also ensure that they are paid properly. This will no doubt make them more committed to their job. This will also enable you to retain your staffs for longer period.

Experienced staff are assets to any business cyber cafe or not. You can reduce employee theft and account tampering by simply paying them well.

You must have a strong and effective governance structure. All your employees must know this structure. It should be included as part of the training of employees. For example, procedure for service payment, the role of each employee must be known by all your employees.

To reduce account manipulations install good internet-cafe management software. This software will ensure that customers will log in before using your computers. Some will also enable you to monitor how each computer is being used.

They can also monitor what your employees are doing and report any foul play. Also, limit the access of this software by your employees. The key to success in cyber cafe business is to learn all aspect of the business.

Ensure you train your employee to be customer friendly. They must be told that the customer is king and must be treated as such, after-all their salaries are paid by your customers.

Recruiting the right employees is key to success of your cyber cafe business. Due diligence must be administered while recruiting employees as they can make or mar your cyber cafe business

Software

Your Computer should be packed with software that will enhance your customers’ experience. Server and the Client PCs have different software requirement. Here are some suggestions for your cyber cafe:

SERVER PC

  • Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • Office Software: MS Office or OpenOffice
  • Anti Virus: Avast and Kaspersky
  • Anti Malware: MalwareBytes Premium
  • Browser: Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
  • Flash reader
  • Yahoo messenger
  • Adobe Reader
  • Internet Cafe Management Software
  • WinZip
  • Computer games
  • QuickTime

CLIENT PCs

  • Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • Office Software: MS Office or OpenOffice
  • Anti Virus: Kaspersky or Avast
  • Anti Malware: MalwareBytes
  • Browser: Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
  • Flash reader
  • Yahoo messenger
  • Adobe Reader
  • Internet Cafe Management Software
  • WinZip
  • Computer games
  • QuickTime
  • Windows media player

Maintenance Procedure

To make it in the cyber cafe business you have to maintain your hardware and software. Have you ever been to a cyber cafe with 15 computers but only seven working?

That is the consequence of poor maintenance. Have you ever been to a cyber cafe with all the characters on the keyboard wiped out or some keys not functional? Have you been to a cyber cafe where you will have to use all your concentration to move the mouse?

A great maintenance procedure is to have spare computers. These spare computers are installed when any of the currently installed computers go down. You should also have spare keyboards and mouse to change faulty ones as soon as customers complain.

Ensure that customer complaints are logged. Any faulty computer or defaulting hardware must be logged with the fault. This will enable you handle maintenance properly. Every piece of hardware must be labeled so that they can be distinguished from other hardware. This will make logging easy.

If it does not make business sense to employ an in house hardware technician, you should outsource this service to a reliable firm that will respond promptly to all your business needs.

Remember that a good maintenance procedure will reduce your operational cost. It will also increase your revenue, as your cyber cafe down time will be greatly reduced.

Cyber Cafe Regulation

You should have some regulation that customers and employees should obey in order to increase the user experience. One common regulation is to ban smoking in your cyber cafe.

If you allow smoking in or around your cyber cafe, it will surely put off a lot of your customers. Smoking can also cause problems for your computers and air conditioners.

You should also consider banning the use of your cyber cafe by scam boys. Scam boys will definitely attract EFCC boys to your cyber cafe one day if you operate in Nigeria.

This may even lead to the closing down of your cyber cafe with the resultant loss of revenue. If your cyber cafe is known to allow scam boys, genuine customers will be avoiding your cyber cafe for fear of arrest by the police or EFCC.

Other regulations that you should consider include

  • No loud music, if you want it loud use earphone.
  • Conversation in low tone (no noise)
  • Do not shutdown the computer abnormally after use
  • Do not use the system by deactivating the management software.
  • Do not tamper with computer settings.
  • Add more

Quality of Service

To keep your cyber cafe users coming back for more, you have to offer a reasonable quality of service. Here are some of our suggestions.

  • Each computer should be operating at about 500 kilobits/second (minimum)
  • Install latest Anti virus and anti-malware software. Subscribe for an anti-virus software like Avast that will automatically download latest anti-virus definition files hence giving your cyber cafe users great virus protection
  • Sign up with an ISP that will respond promptly to your problems. You can also sign up to two ISPs to add some redundancy and increase efficiency.
  • Ensure all computers in your cyber cafe are operating with reasonable hardware.
  • Every computer (monitor & system unit) in your cyber cafe should be connected to a UPS. Your customers must not wait or lose all their information whenever there is a power failure.
  • The time it takes to start your standby generator must be reasonable (less than 2 minutes)
  • Every computer in your cyber cafe must be connected to the printer
  • Install more than one printer for increased reliability
  • ensure that cyber cafe is not be stuffy (well ventilated)
  • USB 2.0 port should be easily accessible by your cyber cafe users
  • Floppy and CD ROM drives should be available on every computer in your cyber cafe
  • All keyboards and mice installed in your cyber cafe must be working properly
  • Keyboards with characters invisible to the user or keyboards that have characters that are strange to your cyber cafe users should not be installed
  • All software in your computers should be regularly updated. Keep in touch with what your cyber cafe customers are doing and provide them with the software tools they require.
  • Do not allow loud music. Encourage the use of earphone
  • Conversation within the cyber cafe must be in low tone ( no noise)
  • Add more

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article Cyber Cafe Check List was written by Paschal Okafor. The article was last modified: July 29th, 2016

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