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Tips on How to Start a Cyber Café Business in Kenya

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Kenya

Starting a cyber café business is a profitable venture in Kenya. The demand for information has been on the rise with the rise in technology. This has necessitated the establishment of cyber cafes where people can browse the internet, type, print, and photocopy documents.  And just like any business idea, you need to have a business plan.

How to Start an Internet Cafe Business 

Here is what you need to start a cyber café business in Kenya.

Also Read: How to start a movie shop in Kenya

Requirements for Cyber Café Kenya

Starting an internet café business requires you to have a business plan with details about the services you will be offering. A good cyber café business plan should have startup costs, risks and strengths, market research findings and cash flow projections.

The size of the cyber café determines the amount of startup capital. However, the best way to go about it is to start small and grow your business with time. Opening a small cyber café will cost around Ksh 200,000. Look for ways to raise the startup capital. The following are some cyber café requirements and their prices.

  • 5 Computers            Ksh 75,000
  • Printer and scanner  Ksh 25,000
  • Photocopier              Ksh 60,000
  • Internet connectivity Ksh 3,000
  • Cabling                     Ksh 2,000
  • Furniture                   Ksh 15,000
  • Business permits      Ksh 15,000 
  • Rent                          Ksh 20,000
  • Electricity                  Ksh 1,000
  • Staff Salary               Ksh 15,000

Also Read: Best sources of business startup capital

Some of the computer brands that are best suited for a cyber cafe include HP and Dell. The best laptop for a cyber cafe is HP since it is durable and has most features necessary for a cyber business. 

The best printer for a cyber cafe is Epson brand. You can get a three in one printer for document printing, scanning and CD printing services. For photocopiers, look for Kyocera brand. 

Also read: How to start a butchery business in Kenya.  

Considerations when Starting a Cyber Café Business

Before you can set up a cyber café, there are things that you need to consider to ensure that you get the best out of your business.

1. Location

Make sure to set up your business in an area where there are institutions that need the services of a cyber café. For instance, you can establish your business at the entrance of a college, university, hospital or a banking hall. Such institutions will require people to use the internet or print documents. Also, you need to realize that cyber cafes work in towns and not in rural areas. It is because there is higher demand for information in urban areas, compared to rural areas. Therefore, make sure to set up your business in a business area. 

2. Licenses and Business Permits

To operate any business in Kenya, you need to get business permits and licenses from the appropriate authorities. It is easy to get business licenses. You can visit your county council offices and pay for business permits. The officials will visit your premises to inspect your business. It will cost you between Ksh 10,000 to Ksh 20,000 for licenses every year, depending on your location.

You will need county council single business permit, county council advertising and signage permit and music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) license.

Read more: Permits and licences you need to operate a business in Kenya

3. Partition Your Workstation

An excellent cyber café needs proper partitioning. You will also need some shelves where you can store your photocopy papers, envelopes and other stationery. Partitioning is very important and helps you save on space and ensure user privacy. You can buy desks that can accommodate four users. You also need a place where the cyber café attendant will be sitting and a place for the server computer, printer and photocopier. Make sure your cyber cafe furniture is comfortable for your customers.   

4. Internet Connectivity

You need to do thorough research on the most economical internet provider you will be using. There are many internet providers in Kenya like Safaricom and Airtel. One of the limitations that cyber café businesses face is the lack of reliable internet connectivity. You must choose the best internet service provider that can support your business location.   

5. Services to Offer in a Cyber Cafe Business 

The services you will be offering need to be listed in your business plan. Some of the services that you can offer in your cyber café include:

  • Typing and printing
  • Photocopying and scanning
  • Browsing internet
  • Selling stationery like envelopes  
  • Laminating documents

6.  Computers and other Equipment

You must decide whether you will buy new or second hand photocopier, computers and printers. If you choose to buy second-hand equipment, make sure that they are in good condition. Avoid buying equipment that will require repairs from time to time. It will make your cost of operation expensive.

Also Read: Business ideas for university students

7. Hiring Employees

You need to hire someone responsible, trustworthy and one aware of cyber cafe job description. Most cyber business owners face challenges by employing people who steal from them. You need to employ a person who can remit day to day earnings of your business. Also, he or she should know how to operate computers.

Finally, once you have launched your cyber café, you need to advertise it. You can use posters, business cards and customer referrals. Soon, you will start attracting many customers to your cyber café business. Make sure to expand your business as your customer base grows.

Is Cyber Café Business Profitable?  

Starting an internet café business in Kenya is profitable if your business is situated in a high foot traffic location. The profitability also depends with the cyber services you are offering.

For instance, if you are offering offering internet, printing, photocopying and scanning services, you will make more money than someone else offering internet services only. If you are offering all those services, you can make Ksh 1,500 in a bad day and Ksh 5,000 in a good day. It implies that cyber cafe business revenue is between Ksh 30,000 and Ksh 60,000 in a month. 

Final Thoughts 

To run a cyber business in Kenya, you need to know how to operate computers and have the technical ideas on how to run an internet cafe business. You can also hire a person to operate one for you but make sure you are there to collect money for services. 

Also Read: How to start a laundry business in Kenya.