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ALL ABOUT NIGERIA | HOW TO START A CYBER CAFE BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
by Shikenan Staff Writer: Abimbola Kuti   on Fri, August 19, 2011  - 3 COMMENTS
 
ALL ABOUT NIGERIA | HOW TO START A CYBER CAFE BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

Technological advancements in Nigeria have brought about a variety of positive changes. Many Nigerians are now proud owners of various technology-based businesses that are yielding nice returns. One of these businesses is a cyber café, where Nigerians can pay to use the Internet for a certain amount of time.

One thing to keep in mind regarding this business is that the industry is evolving fast. When cyber cafes first got started in Nigeria, the Internet was still a novelty and was very expensive to get into people’s homes. Nowadays in Nigeria, many people have laptops and have access to the Internet; however, there is still a majority that cannot afford Internet access at home, which is why a cyber cafe is still a profitable business in Nigeria.

But when opening one today, you will have to take all the changes into consideration. Which is why you cannot do what everyone else is doing, you have to add some kind of eatery to it, or some kind of social component to it. Make your decorations stand out from the rest, most importantly for the love of GOD, customer service. Take your customer service skills to the next level by going above and beyond for your customers. This is the #1 component that is missing in most Nigerian businesses, doing that alone, will set you miles apart from your competitor.

Another major expense to keep in mind when starting a cyber cafe or any business in Nigeria is the cost of electricity. There is currently no steady light in Nigeria so most people use generators which requires a lot of diesel to run. This is a major expense and should be taking into consideration when putting together your budget for a new business in Nigeria.

LOCATION

A cyber café allows people to come in and use the Internet, so when considering starting a cyber café you should try to find a popular location where many people will be able to find the business easily.             
                                                                                                            
A shop or store space should be rented. Big or small, it is all about how much the cyber cafe owner can start with.

An office building can also be used, as long as the building is accessible, and people can easily locate it.
The café should be separated into two areas: one for the main café and another for an inner office where people can buy tickets and where the computers will be located.

If the café is located in a store-type building, the cyber cafe owner should ensure that the staircase is somewhere customers can easily locate. You don’t want a situation in which customers will have to spend five minutes looking for the staircase. If the staircase is not easily located, the owner of the café can build a staircase directly in front of the office.

If the cyber café is located within a residential building, the owner should ensure that he separates and distinguishes his business area from the residential area. A well-designed and well-lit signpost should be erected so that people will know there is a cyber café there.

 

REGISTERING YOUR CYBER CAFÉ IN NIGERIA

Many cyber café owners in Nigeria do not realize that they need to do this. The National Communication Commission (NCC) is the body responsible for registering all forms of communication companies in Nigeria, and thus a cyber café falls under its umbrella. Recently, many cyber cafés in some parts of Nigeria were shut down because they did not register with the NCC. Of course, one can open a cyber café without registering, after all this is Nigeria.

Registering is simple and requires only N15, 000. One of the benefits of registering is that it enables the NCC, in conjunction with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to monitor any fraudsters using the café. So they say!


WHAT TO PURCHASE...

Equipment needed to start a Cyber Cafe in Nigeria:

A cyber café cannot function without computers. To start, one must have at least ten computers. This will allow the business owner to get a good return on his cyber café. Of course, an owner can buy more, but he should always buy at least ten to get started. Most café owners buy refurbished or fairly-used (tokunbo) systems, which greatly minimizes the cost of buying a new computer. Presently in Nigeria you might be able to get a new computer for about N80, 000 while one can buy a tokunbo computer for as low as N15, 000. Since the computer will be used by many people, it is highly recommended that you buy new computers.  

 OTHER COMPUTER ACCESSORIES                                                                                                                                     
A successful cyber café should have accessories that are computer and business-related and might be needed in a café. Scanners, printers, binding and laminating machines are some examples of good things to have in a cyber café.

FURNISHING THE CAFE
A café can also be made distinctive and beautiful through the way it is furnished.
Strong chairs and a table should be put in place. These can be either wooden or plastic.
Floor flex or rubber tiles should be put on the floor. In case of an electric surge, and because people will be coming into a café all the time, it is inadvisable to lay down rugs.

CONNECTION
A service provider should be contacted for subscription. The services and charges are varied.  A dish-like object which is called a VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) connection is mostly used. It connects to two different platforms, the KU-band and the C-Band. The KU-Band has stronger network strength and is the most expensive. A subscriber could also provide Internet services to other subscribers if he is using a KU-Band. All he will need to buy are the routers.              
                                                                  
An average installation and the first three months of payment for a VSAT connection in Nigeria is roughly N580,000 depending on the exchange rate. This price may depend on the location of the café. While purchasing a VSAT, a decoder and a router will also be provided. It should be noted that all the network connections must be supervised by qualified network engineers who could be supplied by the Internet Service Provider.


USING WIRELESS SERVICE PROVIDERS
This is a new trend in connectivity for cyber café operators.  The advantages of using wireless are limitless and inspiring. With a wireless subscription, you do not need so much wiring at the café.  All you have to do is purchase the wireless modem, and then install the wireless card on all the computer systems in the café.  A wireless service provider might sell the modem for about 36,000 to 38,000 Naira.

 

 

As mentioned above, due to the fast pace of changing technology, a lot of Nigerians have internet access in their homes. This has caused many people to think that the cyber café business in Nigeria is becoming extinct.

What they fail to realize is Nigeria is still a long way from steady electricity so many people will no have the light/electricity to use the internet in their house.

There are still so many people in Nigeria with no internet at home and they are still a long way from getting from one due to the cost.

Taking all this into consideration, a cyber café business in Nigeria is still very lucrative.

 
Wireless companies have different data plans. It is up the owner to choose the one that is cheapest yet very efficient. In Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Ibadan and other major cities in Nigeria, the wireless service provider that is very popular is ipNX Nigeria Limited. The ISP Company offers attractive data plans which starts from 6,500 naira monthly. In addition to the wireless services, they also offer telephone and fax services to their subscribers.
 

BECOMING A WIRELESS SERVICE PROVIDER
In addition to running the cyber café, you can also offer wireless services to people around you. You can do this by sharing your network with other users for a token. All you need to do is to buy a router that will relay your networks, and your subscribers can sit in the comfort of their homes and get the services they need.
 

USING GSM AND FIXED WIRELESS SERVICES
All of the GSM service providers and most of the fixed wireless networks now offer attractive and fast Internet services that are easy to use. All you need to do is buy modems and install them in your café, then relay the network. A disadvantage to this is that when there is too much traffic, it becomes slow.
 

RUNNING THE CAFE: WHAT TO DO
Perform all necessary networking and other electronic installations.

Employ trusted café attendants who will be diligent in performing their duties at all times.

Use credible timer software to prevent unauthorized log in.

Constantly remind your customers that EFCC is watching and make sure they know that any illegal transactions will be reported.

If your cybercafe is open at night, ensure that proper security measures have been taken to protect the lives and properties of your customers as well as your own.

If there is enough capital, you may want to set up a private browsing room designed to cater exclusively to those who are wealthier; this will generate additional income as these people will be assured of their privacy while browsing. This can be considered the VIP section.

Provide additional connection cables for people who are using laptops.

To earn additional income, a café owner should provide wireless services, Forex trading, website design and so on.

As mentioned above, due to the fast pace of changing technology, a lot of Nigerians have internet access in their homes. This has caused many people to think that the cyber café business in Nigeria is becoming extinct.

What they fail to realize is Nigeria is still a long way from steady electricity so many people will no have the light/electricity to use the internet in their house.

There are still so many people in Nigeria with no internet at home and they are still a long way from getting from one due to the cost.

Taking all this into consideration, a cyber café business in Nigeria is still very lucrative.

Now we would like to hear from you. Please let us know if you or someone you know has started a Cyber Cafe in Nigeria.

 

 

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