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hamstar
10-03-2004, 12:06 AM
I dunno if this has been done before or recently but can anyone tell me the basics of starting an internet cafe.

so far I have decided that I will have eight machines, but I am stuck on what kind of Internet Plan to get. There won't be any filesharing that will take large chunks out of my limit, but with general internet usage and games what kind of cap should I be looking at? 1GB? 3GB? 10GB?

And I have kind of decided on Quicksilver internet but if anyone has any other suggestions I would be glad to hear them.

Quicksilver plans are as follows:
Jetstream SURF 1GB limit @ 256kbs - $60 (5c/mb)
Jetstream SURF 3GB " " " - $70 (5c/mb)
Jetstream SURF 10GB " " " - $90 (throttling)
Jetstream Home 1GB limit @ fullspeed (watever that means) - $90 (20c p/mb)

Also do I get pinged if I'm on the home account when it's kind of a business?

Then it says
4. Jetstream (256k and fullspeed) - Important Information
As Jetstream excess traffic charges appear on your Telecom phonebill, it is important that you check your usage regularly throughout the month on Telecom's website

Does this mean I'm charged for national as well?

Also any pricing suggestions will be welcome.

Oh one other thing. How do I go about getting volume licencing for things such as win2k, nortons 2003, battlefield 1942, counterstrike, zonealarm, unreal tournaments, call of duty etc etc... who do you contact for that sort of stuff?

metla
10-03-2004, 12:20 AM
I take it she would be running from a non-residential address?

Thus it would not be a residential phoneline.

Thus it would be a commerial phone line.

Thus you pay business rates.

And they are huge.

Cant see how they justify it against the home rates.



I done the sums for an internet cafe,the outlay is big,the overheads are large,and need of constant customers is 100 percent.

Granted it must be able to be done as theres a boatload of them,but my sums certainly didn't make it look like a worthwhile venture.

Chilling_Silently
10-03-2004, 12:28 AM
For Internet:
Give Orcon a ring.....
You're looking at a LOT more than that per month.... That's just a joke.. We pay about $550... If we switch providers we could save a bit more, but that's up to management, not myself.

We do about 3.5 Gigs, and that's without Games. e.g. surfing, emails and that's about it.

We have 7 PC's.

IIRC, Gamesman do volume liscencing. Have a google around....

I wouldnt bother with Zone-Alarm on each PC. We keep pretty close tabs on everything that's on our PC's, and dont have any firewall, rather just the router. There's the WinXP firewall I s'pose..
Get a Linux smoothwall box, or IPCop etc and route through that.

Win2K? Im pretty sure it costs a lil more than XP.... There's precious little performance boost, if any, so it may pay to stick to that, or better still, get Win98 second hand :-)

AVG is great for corporate use also :-)

Hope this helps


Chill.

hamstar
10-03-2004, 12:47 AM
>Cant see how they justify it against the home rates.
Yeah but, will I get done for it? ]:)

>And they are huge.
Yep, I saw. And I was scared. ;-)

>$550
Ouch!

> 3.5 Gigs without Games...
Wow, thats a lot. I better take the 10gb plan then eh?

>I wouldnt bother with Zone-Alarm on each PC.
Oh, yeah I wasn't gonna write that... i was just gonna install it on the gateway pc, or just use the naturally ocuring one on the router...

>Win2K? Im pretty sure it costs a lil more than XP
Yeah. bout $100 more (wholesale) but I prefer not to spill the blood of the innocent :^O (y'know, xp is the antichrist ;) :-P)

> or better still, get Win98 second hand
Yeah, good ol' win98!

Oh, and what do you charge your users?

PoWa
10-03-2004, 12:50 AM
I would look more at getting 2000 Pro or Xp Pro rather than older OS's. Much easier to configure for advanced settings like group policies and NTFS permissions. You perhaps don't want people deleting windows. Although when I go to a internet-cafe I like to have unrestricted access on it. Things like changing screen resolution so I don't go blind. Some of them don't even have a java VM running so I can't access my webmail (hushmail). So I like to install it for them :p Plus theres the other stuff I like to install like trojans and proxies so I can route my P2P traffic through their network... bla bla bla you don't need to know all this ;)

Chilling_Silently
10-03-2004, 01:02 AM
We use WinGuard Basic to protect our PC's from most things.. And I asked a PF1 user to compile an old program I helped develop which essentially killed any open programs that fit a specific value.

10 gigs... Depends how much gaming you're going to do.
Ring Orcon and have a talk to them. It might pay to look into getting a frame-relay of some sort.. who knows. There's tons of options, they should be able to put you on the right path.

We charge $4 per hour ($1 for 15 mins), however many Cafe's in Auckland are now charging:
$2 = 30 Mins
$3 = 60 mins

It varies between Cafe. When we started out two years ago we charged $8 per hour!

Apps like Spybot S&D are a Must.... Openoffice saves on Office Liscenes.... DesktopX from Stardock.com might be worth looking into also.

And setup a local PC to be a file/game server. Running a local server is good for LANs ;-)
Use something like Daemon Tools should you need to mount CD Images for games that want the CD in the drive to play, or find no-cd fixes. We use Alcohol 120% on one PC we use for copying CD's (Legitimately of course).

You'll want the latest of all the software like MSN, Yahoo, ICQ Lite, Cheating Death, Internet Explorer..... And keep it up-to-date. Nothing's worse than sitting down at a PC at a Cafe and finding MSN or ICQ Lite _must_ be updated before you can sign in again.

Mostly, I'd recommend WinGuard Basic, and/or DesktopX.
We use WinGuard Basic, and if I wasnt pushing to get a few Linux PC's, I'd be pushing for management to buy DesktopX. WinGuard Basic is shareware.....

Cheers


Chill.

hamstar
10-03-2004, 01:03 AM
LOL...

I just went and searched google for a game distributor called IIRC...

Then I saw what it stood for...

haha, thats funny....

LOL...

p.s. IIRC=if i recall correctly....

metla
10-03-2004, 01:05 AM
> Yeah but, will I get done for it?

Its not a question of will you get done for it,,They know the second you give them the address whether its a commercial or residential line and will charge accordingly.

Unless you plan to run this out of a house then it will be classified as a commercial line.

While we are at it,add up your projected costs,hardware,internet feed,rent,power,insurence,security,software,wages, maitence,advertising,signage,.....

Then add a third and you may be close to start up figures.

My figures for start up on my most recent adventure were nailed right down to the last dollar,and were blown all out of whack within 15 minutes of getting the keys to the premisis,.....I did expect it however,just not what form it would take....


Anyway,back to the net cafe,Add up your start up costs,then work out your weekly outgoings,Including tax,wages and all the rest,then see how many hours of use each computer would need to have in order to pay all the weekly costs plus recoup the startup fee.

Chilling_Silently
10-03-2004, 01:11 AM
If you're in Auck's, then I'd be happy to have you into the shop some time and show you around a few of the things we offer, and pitfalls to watch out for.


Chill.

hamstar
10-03-2004, 01:17 AM
Man, theres some good ideas there (including PoWa's ;))

>We charge $4 per hour ($1 for 15 mins), however many Cafe's in >Auckland are now charging:
>$2 = 30 Mins
>$3 = 60 mins
Hey, thats sounds fair.

>Apps like Spybot S&D are a Must.... Openoffice saves on Office Liscenes.... DesktopX from Stardock.com might be worth looking into also.
Yep of course. I actually forgot about OOo. But why DX? To control access to stuff?

>setup a local PC to be a file/game server. Running a local server is good for LANs
Man! Thats a great idea! Doing that! Run LAN's. That'll pull in a bit of cash!

>Use something like Daemon Tools should you need to mount CD Images for games
Ahh... thats sensible.

By the way, what size do you think is a good size for the hard drives?

Man, glad I did this... I would've lost money had I not!

I'm going to google wingaurd.....

hamstar
10-03-2004, 01:20 AM
Thats another thing, should I have like a kitchen place for hot drinks etc?

Chilling_Silently
10-03-2004, 01:21 AM
DesktopX would essentially lock them out of most desktop functions such as My Computer if you didnt want them to have access to it.

There's nothing stopping the user opening IE and typing:
C:
in the addres bar, but still...

We run 20GB's on most of our PC's. If you're gonna do games, then anything that size or over (Depends on how many games you want on each PC) and you should be right :-)

Dont forget you've gotta work out a way to time how long each user is on the PC..... ;-)
That's why I wrote some basic but useful software to do it for us, and sold it for $100 to the Cafe that I work at :-) Its been well worth it!


Chill.

Chilling_Silently
10-03-2004, 01:23 AM
> Thats another thing, should I have like a kitchen
> place for hot drinks etc?

To qualify for being a "cafe" you have to sell certain things.. Phone up Coke and enquire about getting a fridge in.

We hire a Cappucino machine for about $10 monthly or something... make coffee's with that :-)

hamstar
10-03-2004, 01:30 AM
Hey, this is starting to look better. My tutor said to put in vending machines, and take a commision so I could mix it all up and ba-bam!

But that would be cooler having a coke fridge.

Don't mean to go off-topic but my tutor reckons coke invented santa claus.... thing is, my serious tutor agreed with him ?:|

hamstar
10-03-2004, 02:32 AM
I did go to bed, but thought of things to ask, so...

Do your users find a need for CD writers?
What is the rent like and what area is your cafe (and road frontage etc)
What specs should I make the Lan server and what software do I need to run to make it a lan server? Keeping in mind I suck at Linux ;) Or I could get you to set it up for me.
Could you sell that timing proggie to me @ m8s r8s? ;)
Do you guys have headphones at the computers? How do you manage that part of things?

Ahhmm... that about it yeah...

Sweeeet!

l8r

Chilling_Silently
10-03-2004, 09:14 AM
> I did go to bed, but thought of things to ask, so...
>
> Do your users find a need for CD writers?
It depends on if you want them to be able to download things, such as CV's, game patches, drivers etc off the net. We use ours once every second day for a customer. We've got three of varying speeds.

> What is the rent like and what area is your cafe (and
> road frontage etc)
Cant comment on the price sorry, I dont know it. We're on the main road in Te Atatu Peninsula though, right in the middle of all the shops.

> What specs should I make the Lan server and what
> software do I need to run to make it a lan server?
Depends on what its going to do. If its going to host files (Such as Setups for IE, WinAmp, Quicktime, Games, Patches) and just run Counter-strike, then use a Linux box. Dont waste $200 buying a Liscence for Windows when you can have it up and running in 20 minutes with Linux.

> Keeping in mind I suck at Linux ;) Or I could get
> you to set it up for me.
Send me an email.....

> Could you sell that timing proggie to me @ m8s r8s?
> ;)
We can talk about that via email ;-)

> Do you guys have headphones at the computers? How do
> you manage that part of things?
Yeah, a pair of headphones on each PC. We reserve the right to ask them to lower the volume if they've got the noise totally blarring out.

> Ahhmm... that about it yeah...
:-)


Chill.

hamstar
10-03-2004, 04:22 PM
Would I even need a server? Could I just use a bigass switch.

Billy T
10-03-2004, 06:21 PM
> Do you guys have headphones at the computers? How
> do you manage that part of things?
> Yeah, a pair of headphones on each PC. We reserve the
> right to ask them to lower the volume if they've got
> the noise totally blarring out.

You need a rotating pool of headphones and every customer should get a clean set. The used phones go out back to be cleaned/disinfected.

A couple of cases of headlice could kill your business and the Health department might be down on you too. It may be a drag, but you wouldn't share your underwear/pillow/hat with a bunch of strangers and headphones are no different.

You can always offer the option, headphones or no sound, for most it won't matter.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

hamstar
10-03-2004, 06:52 PM
>A couple of cases of headlice could kill your business and the Health department might be down on you too
Yeah, thats what I was worried about.

cyberchuck
10-03-2004, 07:09 PM
Watch out for OSH Requirements and New Zealand Legislation. After temping at OSH over the Xmas holidays I can only tell you that whatever you do make sure you follow the legislation (stuff like Employment Act, etc) and if you do get setup, give someone a call to come in and check out your setup - point out problems/etc - OSH don't do this unless there is a complaint/serious harm/etc so you will find you need to bring in one of the companies which do this - can't remember any off the top of my head but they should be listed on the OSH website.

Also, OSH were starting a Zero Tolerance approach to repeat offenders, or offenders which do something so stupid it's not funny (they will prosecute) - IIRC there's some safe practices on Computer Use/Occupational Overuse Syndrome - dunno if CyberCafe's are liable for OOS, but it might pay to find out.

Don't screw with the system as either way it'll just come back and bite you in the ass - pay for all your licenses, follow the Law (take a look at www.legislation.govt.nz for a few pointers), don't go for residential plans for a business and get in touch with the Citizens Advice Bureau - they have some good stuff on starting your own business and what to do.

That's my 2c worth.

Billy T
10-03-2004, 09:43 PM
Just a word or two of very serious advice hamstar:

Forget any ideas about starting up on the cheap and funding compliance out of revenue. If you haven't got the capital or the financial backing to do it right from the off, it is all downhill from there. There is nothing wrong with starting small and funding growth from net tax paid profits but do it all right from the start.

The so-called entrepreneurs who do cheap business start-ups, rip people off then do a flit and start all over again somewhere else usually have plenty of money behind them. They leave nothing behind but debts and disappointed people.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Chilling_Silently
10-03-2004, 10:02 PM
Billy's right on both counts.
Although not all customers want sound.. in fact maybe one a day where we are, so split amongst 7 PC's.... :p

Keen to come check out the "behind-the-scenes" of the Cafe I work at some time?


Chill.

hamstar
10-03-2004, 11:48 PM
Okay, well I've made a few decisions. All the computers are going to be gaming machines so I will definitely need headphones. And I think maybe leasing the computers would be a better idea? Any thoughts on that?

I thought that it would because that would take the startup cost wayy down and I don't have that much collateral to put up on a loan. The only thing I'm worried about is that it will add to the ongoing monthly costs. But is that a problem? Also, would anyone know where I could go to lease computers... Techrentals?

And I should really check out that OSH stuff too... with both me and coldfusion @ uni next year, we might need someone to fill in.

>Keen to come check out the "behind-the-scenes" of the Cafe I work at some time?
Maybe if I get stuck.

>Would I even need a server or could I just use a bigass switch?
I am guessing a server would be better, so as not to put to much stress on the host computer.

Could I use OEM versions of Windows for the machines? They would be new computers.

Chilling_Silently
11-03-2004, 12:04 AM
Yeah, you should be able to use OEM versions....

Try looking into Credit Capable, doing finance rather than leasing :-)

zminos
11-03-2004, 12:04 AM
Hamster... there are some things in business ( like life ) you have to learn for yourself.

Yes ask questions in PF1, but don't expect handouts STS.

you might want to see if you can get hardware vendors to "sponsor" you with discounts on their hardware ie ATI,Philips and AMD for example... but then you have to present a well researched and viable business plan.

Coke won't give you a cooler unless you stock their products only ( this includes vending machines ) and you definately can't sell alcohol.

Apart from the cost of actually buying the PCs, are you going to rent? as then the hardware upgrades are more or less their problem - as well as tech support for H/W issues.

If you buy the PCs you'll want bulk discount and need to find someone that can meet supply/demand and look long and hard about warrantys.

On the OS side your problem is licensing. Usually MS reserve the right to "check up" that you're complying - which you do NOT want to be found in breach off - and I wouldn't suggest 98se. Limited support ( runs out in 2006? ) and although most people have used it at some stage in time, I'd suggest XP Pro.

Using a router etc ( like what others have stated ) is excellent and I can only agree, you can't effectivly manage a heap of PCs on a box by box basis, do it from the server.

:)

hamstar
11-03-2004, 12:27 AM
>Yes ask questions in PF1, but don't expect handouts STS.
Huh? Handouts? STS?

>you might want to see if you can get hardware vendors to "sponsor" you with discounts on their hardware ie ATI,Philips and AMD for example... but then you have to present a well researched and viable business plan.
Yeah, I was hoping to do that. Invite them to LAN parties. Be an authorised AMD dealer (how'd you do that metla?), advertise their stuff in my shop. Thing is, theres a sh*tload of variables with this plan...

>Coke won't give you a cooler unless you stock their products only ( this includes vending machines )
You mean, put only coke in the cooler, or not have a pepsi machine in the shop with the coke machine?

>and you definately can't sell alcohol.
Oh, no. definitely not...

>... are you going to rent? as then the ...
Yes I am hoping to rent/lease the machines.

> I'd suggest XP Pro,
If I was going to get a gluggy os i could probly save a few $ and get home (?). But seriously XP hates me. If I go near it, it freezes up. Which is why i think xp is like a ferrari in mud. Microsoft chucked the 2000 kernel in a box of molases and called it xp.

> you can't effectivly manage a heap of PCs on a box by box basis, do it from the server.
Okay. I'm confused. Do I need a switch for this or do I just bulk buy some RealTek 8139's and whack 'em in the server.

(Cheers for all the help by the way guys - i'll donate some of the takings to imagef1 or chatf1 ;))

metla
11-03-2004, 12:41 AM
> Be an authorised AMD dealer (how'd you do
> that metla?)


I could tell you but then i would have to kill you.

Wait,heres the skinny.

Get a little Authorised AMD re-seller gif and mount it on the front page of your site.



Seriously,They have a section of the AMD site where dealers in Austrilasia can apply to be a recorgnised re-seller.But that doesnt get you any advantages,just a nice little certificate and constant emails from AMD telling you how great they are.

In return one must visit forums and argue to the death that AMD are the best thing to bless this earth since jesus turned water into wine,making it possible for everybody to get drunk and forgot their problems for a day or so.

Perhaps i should sell you a computer Medic franchise,got a spare 80 grand?

hamstar
11-03-2004, 12:58 AM
>Perhaps i should sell you a computer Medic franchise,got a spare 80 grand?
<joke>Yeah sure.</joke>

Billy T
11-03-2004, 09:52 AM
Just had a thought hamstar: chill might be able to give you some idea of average utilisation rates so you can work out prospective cashflow.

Working on chill's figures of $4 per hour and allowing 50% utilisation over a 12 hour day, that gives you 7 computers x $24 x 7days = $1176 gross which comes back to $1045 per week net of GST. After deducting ISP costs, rent, power, telecom, finance or lease costs and a few bucks for you to live on, there may not be much left.

I know diddly-squat about Internet cafes, but a start-up can't expect to run 24 hours from the off, or enjoy 100% utilisation at any time of the day, so you either need to share premises with another money making organisation, have a sideline that operates from the same premises and brings in cash flow, or have enough capital behind you to tide you over the lean & mean startup period.

On the bright side, Internet cafes seem to be popping up everywhere, there are now five in my local shopping centre (plus 4 computer builders/repairers/parts sellers) and none have closed down so there is a strong demand for their services. There are a lot of international students in my area so perhaps that plus gamers is the reason for their success. They all seem to have a secondary revenue stream though.

When I started my business (from scratch in a brand new field) I invested $80K in equipment and other resources but earned only $12 K in the first year, $20K in the second. If I had had rent, mortgage or leasing costs to meet I would have gone bust inside of 12 months. I had to work outside the business for extra money to keep my family but it all paid off and now the business runs profitably.

Hold onto your dream but plan carefully. You may have to delay startup while you get the facts & figures together but if you start with a sustainable business model, once running you should go from strength to strength. Whatever you do, don't set out to attract business by being the cheapest on the block! Aim to be the best with the most attractive environment, friendliest staff, most reliable service and coolest coke machine.

I wish you well.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)
Old adage: Businesses don't plan to fail,
they fail to plan.

metla
11-03-2004, 03:19 PM
And head off to the libary and borrow some books on starting/running a company in NZ,its a bit of an eye opener.

And visit an accountant.

Billy T
11-03-2004, 05:38 PM
You got me thinking hamstar, so I went up the road for a haircut (overdue) and took a look inside two ICs. Both were operating computer repair/upgrade services to keep their techo's busy during the long day and dreary night.

You have to keep school kids out during school hours and later at night too or the school principals & local rozzers will be paying visits. I know that our local College does a regular sweep of the ICs around 9:30 10:00 when absenteeism is bad, then they put a ban on the business.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

hamstar
11-03-2004, 07:07 PM
>And head off to the libary and borrow some books on starting/running a company in NZ,its a bit of an eye opener.
Or google it... ;)

And Billy T, thats what I'm gonna do. Repair/Upgrade/Sell/Build.

Then you got the commision from the vending machines, income from selling coke, and money from sponsors coming to LANs and stuff.

hamstar
11-03-2004, 07:10 PM
any money from door charge at lans

hamstar
12-03-2004, 12:38 AM
Wrote myself a report to see from a distance what everything was going to cost and it was about $1000~$2000 difference pa.

But with growth it can only go up. Because now the machines are going to be leased that frees up enough money to lower the collateral and the loan. However monthly payments are like $5000. Compared to monthly income of $4600 at about average I thought.

However theres no software in the picture yet and I am still to ring coke to get some figures on renting a cokefridge and income from selling coke, also, I have no idea how much commisions on vending machines cost ?:|

A few LANs should push the income up a bit if enough people attend.

Plus I'm gonna try and get one of those business mentors (http://www.businessmentor.org.nz/clients/how_it_works.php) after 6 months.

In the meantime, I'll read my rich dad poor dad books and google some stuff on starting a business.

Still ain't had a reply from the gamesman.

Anyone know where else I can get wholesale (preferably) volume licencing and where I can lease computers wholesale (preferably)

And thanks a heap everyone whos helped me. Even metla who tested me by trying to put out my flame ;)

Like Billy T said:
>Hold onto your dream but plan carefully. You may have to delay startup while you get the facts & figures together but if you start with a sustainable business model, once running you should go from strength to strength. Whatever you do, don't set out to attract business by being the cheapest on the block! Aim to be the best with the most attractive environment, friendliest staff, most reliable service and coolest coke machine.

metla
12-03-2004, 12:57 AM
Dude,i wasnt trying to put out your flame,if you have the balls to do the deed then i salute you.

My business model was based on what i percieve as far as investment goes,and it was applied to a smallish rural town with no major schools,asians(dunno how that gonna sit) or large groups of youngsters with wads of cash.

And if i went belly up then i wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage or feed my family.

I wish i had thrown large chunks of cash into business ventures when i was younger and had less to lose.

Sure would have been more healthy then what i did waste all my money on back then.



And im pretty sure you don't get any commision from coke machines.

metla
12-03-2004, 12:59 AM
But if you do,then im going to put one in my shop,if i drink enough cans of coke a month i should get a nice little kickback.......

Billy T
12-03-2004, 09:21 AM
For computer leasing, take a look Here (http://www.yellowpages.co.nz/all-categories/computers-and-electronics/computer-rental/) or Here (http://www.cll.co.nz/) but for a seven computer start-up I'd look seriously at building your own or acquiring suitable computers via auctions.

Lease costs are high, and although tax deductible they are a significant drain on cashflow for a new business that needs to use its revenue to help it grow, not as life support.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Susan B
12-03-2004, 11:04 AM
A rather interesting thread here Hamstar, I hope your venture takes off and is successful. :-)

Just wondering though - you mentioned a "tutor" and then you talked about finance or something along those lines. Can I be nosy and ask you whether you are at Poly, Uni or something? I may be mistaking you with someone else but I had this idea that you were only 17 or something. :8}
Whatever age you are it's good to see you giving it a go anyway. :-)

Chilling_Silently
12-03-2004, 11:47 AM
We have a Coke Fridge in here at the shop.

Prices are soaring for Coke, and the rrp for a can of coke is goin up to $1.60 apparently!

First it was $1.20 in most dairies... now this...

We still have our Fridge from Coke, but purchase the 24 packs from Woolworths.

You still make money from selling Coke either way you do it.

IMHO, it'd be a good idea to shop around and simply build your own from scratch right from the beginning!
Talk to Credit Capable if you need Finance, they specialise in Finance for Computers.

LAN's are a great way to get people coming in.
Even if you just start of with C_S (Including the free mods) and a few other popular games (Even just another two on each PC), that'll set you back a fair bit in Game liscences alone. There's no taking shortcuts when the public or your business is involved!
Anyway, Have a LAN as a shop-warming sort of thing. Run for 24 hours straight, and charge, say, $30 per person.
You could even let people BYO PC if you wanted a larger LAN, but bear in mind planning.

I think I agree with Billy on this. Planning is a must :-) Asking for advice from people will never set you wrong, so good on your for starting this thread :-)

Cheers


Chill.

hamstar
12-03-2004, 02:02 PM
Hey man, cheers for all the support and advice. You guys are great! And yes susan I am 18 in april.

>Even if you just start of with C_S (Including the free mods)
Now, isn't counterstrike a free game?

> $30 per person.
Isn't that a bit steep? I was thinking half that.

>BYO PC if you wanted a larger LAN
Oh yeh OK. I see. Charge more for the use of our computers. Theres local venues I can hire out and just have a massive LAN promoting the shop.

With the business broadband, is national traffic free? Cos then I could redirect all the default game servers to like jetsreamgamesnz or something. Theres tonnes of NZ game servers. Then I wouldn't have to worry so much about going over my intl cap.

Also aren't there bandwidth limiters out there? So I can tweak each computer down to 256k/s each (out of 8mbps). Maybe up tweak it for people going to hotmail and stuff. Also if I use one of those netchache programs to store frequently visited sites, that would take a bit off the cap.

I just had a thought. I could bulk-buy pies and have a microwave so people can have hot food. Just gotta build my custom desks with a lowered part at the front for drinks and stuff, so they dont get spilt. It'll be tricky then though to comply with the OSH computer use rules.

> but purchase the 24 packs from Woolworths
Woolworths are like the most expensive supermarket! Do you know how much it is to rent that coke fridge? Do you sell 600mls?

Oh and, ahh, I want 8 PCs, not 7.

cher cher.

Winston001
12-03-2004, 04:54 PM
&gt;
&gt; Then you got
&gt; income from selling coke.......

:O :O :O

Don't the rozzers frown on that just a bit???

Obviously Auckland is more of a Sodom and Gomorra than even I thought.
.

Winston001
12-03-2004, 05:03 PM
Just a note to support Chill. I know a chap who owns a small dairy with a Coke fridge. Not allowed to put anything except Coke products in it.
Anyway he buys his product from the Warehouse, Pak'n'Sav, wherever Coke stuff is cheapest.

Coca-Cola weren't best pleased with him and threatened to remove the fridge. He called their bluff so they now turn a blind eye.

The fact is, he could buy the stuff cheaper in a supermarket than direct from the supplier.

Go figure.

Often ventures such as yours Hamster make most of their profit from the fringe activities. Food and drink are profitable but customers don't seem to mind.

roofus
12-03-2004, 05:17 PM
All this talk of setting up shop and spending money, but where is the income actually going to come from

1. how are you going to get people to go to your internet cafe
2. where is your street frontage
3. what is foot traffic like
4. Who are you going to employe
5. How are you going to finance this (banks want to see business plans)
6. what business structure are you going to have
7. what are the costs of the business structure you put in place
8. What will be forecasted cashflow
9. Will you be ready to make tax payments when they arise.
10. Will you be personally liable if it falls over
11. What long term contracts will be in place (premises, leasing etc) these don't end just because your business fell over (goes back to that personally liable point)

PoWa
12-03-2004, 05:21 PM
Counter-Strike mod is free, but in order to get 10pcs running that, you have to have 10pcs with a licence and separate cd key with half-life. Requires half life to run.

I remember the days when coke was $1.20 for a 600ml. That was 4years ago. Now its $2.50 or $2.70 for a 600ml.


And btw even with a 8MB connection with jetstream, your likely only going to get about 3.2MB just depending on things like line quality and distance from exchange. 8MB is theoretical maximum.

hamstar
12-03-2004, 07:34 PM
>1. how are you going to get people to go to your internet cafe
Signage and flyers around the shopping centre which is/will be near it. Also maybe adverts in the local paper. And our local paper usually interviews new local businesses so that would be good publicity.

>2. where is your street frontage
Don't know. Haven't found the premises yet.

>3. what is foot traffic like
^^
>4. Who are you going to employe
Myself and (hopefully) coldfusion will be partners.

>5. How are you going to finance this (banks want to see business plans)
Working on making a business plan.

>6. what business structure are you going to have
Huh?

>7. what are the costs of the business structure you put in place
Wha?

>8. What will be forecasted cashflow
Still got to get the figures.

>9. Will you be ready to make tax payments when they arise.
Yeah, why not?

>10. Will you be personally liable if it falls over
No, just have to give back fridges etc & leased PC's back, leave premises, pay loan remainder (bout $2000 total)

>11. What long term contracts will be in place (premises, leasing etc) these don't end just because your business fell over (goes back to that personally liable point)
Ahm, Premises, Leased PC's, Broadband, Loan, thats bout it. Not necessarily long term either.

hamstar
12-03-2004, 07:35 PM
3.2Mbs.. excellent...

tedheath
12-03-2004, 08:41 PM
I think internet cafes are a thing of the past here, just like disco.
New internet cafes may be a good idea in eastern europe like Albania and Romania and some parts of asia.
No one here except desperate foreign,alien,non born here New Zealander backpackers needing to check his hotmail.

tedheath

Billy T
12-03-2004, 09:26 PM
Another thought hamstar.

You will probably need a guarantor for any contracts you take out since you are 18 and have no business track record. That would be a parent most likely, as at your age there are not likely to be too many friends that have the werewithal to satisfy landlords or banks.

Just factor that into your plans too, so that you don't get a nasty surprise.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Winston001
12-03-2004, 09:37 PM
I don't want to be a wet blanket but Ted has just echoed my own thoughts. This seems to be a crowded market so your venture needs to be a bit different to attract the punters in the door - and keep them coming back.

Free hash cookies? Ooops.........

How many people with money to spend lack access to a an online computer?

On the other hand it is easy to find reasons not to go into business. Don't be discouraged. Try and be objective - what will bring people in the door and keep them there?

metla
12-03-2004, 09:50 PM
Boobies.

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
12-03-2004, 10:04 PM
> Boobies.

Why do you use this vocab... on the other hand.... its good to have a childs mind when you're a bit mature :p

Anyway, I actually wouldn't encourage you much. You are wanting to start in a field, where is getting a bit old. Like the others say, you must think of something creative in order to get the money.

If you're in my area (AKL), here is some of the things happening. Some bigger cafes have quite a few PCs, usually only 25% in. Many people don't like going into cafe now. Amongst my peers, that image of a internet cafe is not 'so cool' as it used to be a year ago. Some of my mates have gone portables... or even bringing whole computers over to each others house. Internet at Jetstart speed is fairly common in our area, mainly because we're the biggest income earners. But, still, people are going "broadband". The only time they go to cafes are on occasion birthdays for overnight gaming. Guess how much they pay (any more and they don't bother going) Just under $10. May sound ridiculous, but thats the way it is. *um... yes guys, you can actually neogoiate price discounts with the owners... :D* This is the only reason why we have seen quite a few cafes go bust within months. The only cafe left here are big'gish' type, i.e. 20-30 PCs, usually 10 on at most given times. ALOT of drinks sold though.

Also, another things to watch for when you employ people. This is true story: there are employees that will take your takings if you let them alone over night. They will say no customers even thought there is a full house. You got to watch them by camera or monitoring programs on PCs, etc. Just make sure customers don't complain though.

As usual, do alot of research...

mejobloggs
12-03-2004, 10:05 PM
Heh, and some of us can go work there? How much will you pay us?

Winston001
12-03-2004, 10:21 PM
Just some quick advice:
&gt;
&gt; 1. how are you going to get people to go to your
&gt; internet cafIts got to be special or different.

&gt; 2. where is your street frontage
Important for any retailer but costs

&gt; 3. what is foot traffic like
Important unless you have a hook to attract people.

&gt; 4. Who are you going to employ
Paye, ACC, employment disputes, unreliability, sick pay, dishonesty. Thats the risks.

&gt; 5. How are you going to finance this (banks want to
&gt; see business plans)
OK

&gt; 6. what business structure are you going to have
Sole trader, partnership, company, or even a trust.

&gt; 7. what are the costs of the business structure you
&gt; put in place
Allof the above have different setup and compliance costs.

&gt; 8. What will be forecasted cashflow
Part of the business plan.

&gt; 9. Will you be ready to make tax payments when they
&gt; arise.
GST initially.

&gt; 10. Will you be personally liable if it falls over
Highly likely and you'll probably need your parents guarantee.

&gt; 11. What long term contracts will be in place
&gt; (premises, leasing etc) these don't end just because
&gt; your business fell over (goes back to that personally
&gt; liable point)
Difficult to avoid.

metla
12-03-2004, 10:27 PM
> > Boobies.
>
> Why do you use this vocab... on the other hand....
> its good to have a childs mind when you're a bit
> mature :p
>


Because if i said "set if tits" i would get into trouble.

Wayne H
12-03-2004, 10:47 PM
vending machines and random thoughts.
for vending machines see wwwdotsnackmatedotcom they are a customer of ours, they have a distribution arm called vending direct ask for hamish.
from speaking to them you can do a number of options, buy a vending machine and fill it yourself, and keep all the profit, rent the machine fill the machine yourself and keep most of the profit or get another company in to run and fill the machines and keep a small % of the profit this way is best for a start up because you can see how it works for them. you could probably sign a deal for three months and if it the vending machine is not utillised enough then the person supplying the machine will say no not profitable enough to run a machine here see you later and they have the option to pull out eraly you don't. and you know that you are wasting your time with a vending machine without wasting your money. don't tell them that you are looking at setting up your own vending machines.

finance we supply PC's and finance, but i don't organise any of that but the one thing I know is that you pay the entire GST content up front + the first months rent in advance and for a start up company most would not deliver without the initial stuff payed upfront.

renting locations.
Most landlords sign for a fixed lease and you are responsible for the entire lease period.
So you sign a really good deal for three years then you have to continue to pay for the lease for the three years weather you are there or not make sure you have the ability to sublease in the contract as some don't meaning you do not have the ability to transfer the lease if something goes wrong, if you go for a month by month contract you can pay up to 60% more for the space and be given 1 weeks notice to vacate if the landlord has found a longterm tennant. Just because you are in the shop now does not mean that the landlord stops looking.

This sounds really pompus but the lower socio-economic areas with good schools are better targets for your market, look at the ERO reports for the schools rating, because in this market you have a better educated market with a little bit of money to spend on little toys rather than spending larger to buy their own PC. you could also be social-minded and give some of the better regulars parttime jobs and help with their training. (youth rate is now $7.20 per hour for 16-18 yrs) this would be helpfull through school holidays when you are expected to get busy. even the thought of imitation prefects who get special access or privilage without money changing hands would be good to keep an eye on things while you have your back turned.

a program like ghost would be invaluble for resetting your computers each night. or if there is a problem during the day. (some where around $100 i have not bought recently)

A good antivirus is a must

beetle
12-03-2004, 10:56 PM
Ok i have some reservations about this due to the fact i am in business and is not all a bed of rose's.

things you hadnt counted on, some lease's of buildings require you to pay the buildings rates......

you may need to pay insurance on the comps etc any gear you use, chairs, tables etc.

will you be supplying eftpos facilities???? monthly charge on this, and charges on what sort of cards you accept as well.

advertising, paper, business cards?

if you supply food and drink, health / food may be checked on..... kitchen or fridges?

if you supply food / drink be prepared to supply clean rest rooms which must be cleaned daily at the least. ( supply of toiltet rolls, soaps, towels or paper towels for hands, cleaning products for toilets, and floors - mop?)

GST is a two monthly thing, you can either do this yourself, or an accountant...... lack of payment on time incurs penaltys.

personal tax if you over such an amount....... have no idea what the amount as we havent got there yet........

hours of being open? who is working what hours, how will you do banking if only one on at a time, bill paying (pay for net usage etc)

power, phone or other incidentals.....food / drink. etc

puter costs, desk costs, chair costs, printers? paper, scanner or copier?

there may be more of these things but these are what springs to mind.
being in business has good points and bad points, you meet some wonderful people then you also meet some really %$#@#$ awful people ....who have no respect for anything, including you.


there are an amazing amount of hidden costs that eat at you constantly, or the ones that are unexpected and large bills..... crippling.

best of luck what ever you decide.......

beetle

agent
13-03-2004, 12:37 PM
Beetle raised some very good points.

For instance, it would be best to take a cash count at the end of the day when you close, lock this in a safe, and drop it off to the bank first thing next morning. If you cannot do this, consider getting a company such as Armourguard to do it for you.

In doing so, you are keeping good business practices.

Also, though it might sound silly in terms of the type of business you want to run, I would reccommend giving receipts to your customers. I have yet to see a cybercafe that does this, but there are people who would prefer to have a receipt for everything (one of them being me - it should be regulation, so even McDonalds have to give you a receipt).

Megaman
13-03-2004, 02:21 PM
i know of a cheep way to get computers to own

compaq thin client pcs. they seriously cost about $400 each and come with windows xp (embedded). dad's law office just got one, and he says they are excellent

godfather
13-03-2004, 04:49 PM
> compaq thin client pcs. they seriously cost about
> $400 each and come with windows xp (embedded).

But I thought the rationale here was for gaming as well?

Dont try it on one of these ...

ilikelinux
13-03-2004, 08:42 PM
agp slot?

I dont think so, these will also be used for gaming.

Integrated Graphics *chris shudders*

hamstar
14-03-2004, 12:51 AM
Good ideas beetle and agent. *Adds them to the list*

I think it'll be Sole trader but if Cold Fusion wants to help me it'll be split 50/50.

And yep the computers are going to be mainly used for games and I wouldn't touch compaq EVER! Not keen on funding the end of the world. ;) (site (http://www.extremedevlopment.com/end))

roofus
14-03-2004, 12:17 PM
well if you go 50/50 with cold fusion it becomes a partnership and with a partnership you come under the Partnerships Act 1908 which is a pretty old act which means you are going to have to create a document with new provisions otherwise you might find that you get a raw deal if things never go to plan/

Naturally if your making money then you are required to pay tax, the IRD doesn't work out how much you have to pay until you've been in business at least a year, however this doesn't mean you don't have to pay tax for your first year, what happens is that in your second year you are paying your first year tax and making provisional payments for your second year of operations. this is where most businesses fall over as they can't meet the payments.

GST you could pay 6 monthly or 2 monthly, or even 1 monthly. i wouldn't recommend 6 monthly and i think you are best to go for 2 monthly.

Chilling_Silence
14-03-2004, 12:24 PM
Two is pretty much the norm, correct?

Scouse
14-03-2004, 01:01 PM
I think it'll be Sole trader but if Cold Fusion wants to help me it'll be split 50/50. Had a family member do this with a small business that looked as though it could develop to 12/7.
She went from making a meagre living to both earning almost benefit levels. Make sure you've got something left over to split other than the work.

hamstar
14-03-2004, 01:36 PM
Well, is the partnership much different from a sole trader?

>earning almost benefit levels
Yeah well, I'm kind of worried about that. Plus if we're going to employ someone thats even less. I think it'll have to wait until after uni in 2 years. Hopefully, but probably not, the gap in the market for that area will still be there when I get back.

About the setting up of the computers. Can I have it setup so I can enable and disable computers and timers from the admin pc. And is there a program that lets me watch what the users are doing? No that XP remote desktop **** but some program like they have on macs at my old school. If it was a program, I bet it would cost a shitload.

They should have subsidaries for new businesses. This should be another thing the government should look to.

cheers.

roofus
14-03-2004, 01:43 PM
you subsidies for small business? the govt is thinking about bringing in a 6% discount for new prov payers not to sure if it is out yet.

You really need to talk to an accountant. funily enough i'm an accountant :-)

and yes a partnership is considerably different to a partnership due to the act i previously mentioned

Winston001
14-03-2004, 07:51 PM
Hamster, could you please moderate your language? If you want to be serious about business, you need to be courteous - particularly when asking for help.

Winston001
14-03-2004, 08:18 PM
> Well, is the partnership much different from a sole
> trader?

Yes two differences:
1 Both of you are each totally liable for all debts - if one can't pay, the other has to.
2 Your business relationship - sharing of work, responsibilities etc.

> They should have subsidaries for new businesses.
> This should be another thing the government should
> look to

Of course! Everything is the Goverments responsibility - and their fault when it all goes pearshaped. It's so obvious.

Actually there are any number of business help systems set up by Government, polytechs, Chambers of Commerce, and local authorities.
Try your local Citizens Advice Bureau to start with.

And Chill, GST periods depend on annual turnover. Under $200,000 or such, six monthly is allowed. Two monthly is for over that figure and fairly common.

hamstar
14-03-2004, 08:45 PM
Oops, sorry bout the language guys... should remeber that I'm in a public forum, not a dc hub.:8}

I read about that mothly GST paying and I downloaded some pdf's off the IRD website. I was gonna pay 6 monthly, just put all the GST into a different jar as we go along, then pay it all in one lump sum. But if you recomend 2 monthly then maybe I should do that.

>business help systems set up by Government, polytechs, Chambers of Commerce, and local authorities.
Any examples? Or is that what I got to CAB for? Do Winz do anything like this? Probly not...

Cheers.

Laura
14-03-2004, 09:37 PM
A word about GST options - 2monthly versus 6monthly

Although 6monthly is allowable for small business, it can be a trap - unless you are very strongminded about keeping your records up to date.

Putting the money " in a jar" isn't such a bad idea. Sadly, it's remembering exactly what it related to that's the problem. Unless you write down receipt details regularly (Many suppliers give only bare-bones invoices nowadays) you can find yourself wondering months later what on earth you bought from Firm XYZ. Or which of their invoices was for which product?

IRD will want to know such things if you are audited - not merely the cash totals. And it's too easy to postpone the book=keeping when you're busy & the deadline seems a long way away.

I speak from personal experience alas...
The 2monthly option keeps me on the straight & narrow - with deadlines looming more often.

Winston001
14-03-2004, 10:04 PM
Go to www.biz.org.nz

Good point Laura. Two months is much better discipline.

Also put all your bills a in holepunch folder and write the cheque number/payment code on each as they are paid. By all means use an accounting program but keep physical records as well.

As a rule of thumb I suggest putting one third of monthly profit aside - before taking any wages- to pay GST and income tax. You'll be grateful in the long run.

Wayne H
15-03-2004, 04:27 PM
using VNC is a free option to control and monitor your pc's, look here (http://www.realvnc.com/download.html).

rotten
19-03-2005, 05:04 AM
Hello Guys,

I just read this entire thread top to bottom, and I have to say your discussion has been very worthwhile for me, as I am planning to start a chain of internet cafes in Canada.

I have a question for any of you who have any information on the subject: I am planning to use a vending machine as the method by which customers pay to get a receipt with a login/password that can be used at any of the terminals, and I was wondering if any of you are familiar with manufacturers of such a device. Otherwise, I will have to contract an electrical engineering firm to build me one which will be significantly more costly, but at the same time further leverage my competitive advantage in the field.

Thanks in advance.

Chilling_Silence
19-03-2005, 09:31 AM
http://tinasoft.com/ may be a step in the right direction for you :) Nothing hardware-related exists in NZ that I know of.

There are card reader/writers out there with which you could write a small program to write an encrypted number onto the card, being the amount of credit the user has?

Then again, The aforementioned URL does this membership monitoring, just without the hardware :)

Greg
19-03-2005, 09:40 AM
Have a look at your libraries - the manufacturers of their self-issue machines may be a place to look.

Graham L
19-03-2005, 12:22 PM
It's easy enough to write barcode labels. They can contain a lot of information.(There are codes other than IPC ;)). There are handheld barcode scanners which plug in series with a keyboard (old DIN and PS/2) so presumably you could fit them on brackets. I am sure there will be USB ones now.

MEee
23-07-2005, 06:43 PM
Hi All,

Very interesting reading. I hope there are still some people out there keeping tabs on this thread.

Yes, I too am thinking of opening an internet cafe. Is there anyone out there that can give me some information on turnover, usage (number of hours per PC per week), etc for a typical internet cafe?

Chilling_Silence
23-07-2005, 06:49 PM
Depends on what games you have, specs of the PC's, and how many you have.

Work it out:
One 'Net cafe in town has 100 PC's
At any given time they reakon at least 20 are in use
$3 per hour

Now let your imagination run wild ;)

Welcome to PressF1


Chill.

andrew93
24-07-2005, 11:14 AM
Nothing hardware-related exists in NZ that I know of.

I had a product demonstrated to me about 2 years ago. It was a POS printer with some PC software which assigned login id's and passwords as well as time limits for wireless internet connections (think Starbucks wireless internet lounge) and it printed a docket with the relevant information (and it doubled up as a tax invoice). The software managed the logical wireless internet connections to prevent over-runs. I've forgotten the name of the supplier but they were based on the North Shore (Auckland).

I'm curious to hear from hamstar whether this venture ever got off the ground. This thread is chock full of good advice and I'm not going to bother re-iterating it here.

Irrespective of plans, gaming software, drink machines, street position, OS versions, business structure, ISP plans, LAN set-up and all that other good stuff, the business will succeed or fail based on 2 things : sales and cash flow. The cash flow aspect has been pretty much covered in this thread but IMO a business is nothing without sales. I'm not talking about your typical fast-talking greasy-haired used car or vacuum cleaner salesman, I'm talking about being a sales creater (i.e. you actively pursue sales) instead of a sales taker (waiting for foot traffic).

Also, if you think sales = marketing then I suggest you stop right where you are and go and buy the book "How to master the art of selling" by Tom Hopkins. It is my sales bible. Then you need to go and buy the book "The 22 immutable laws of Marketing" by Al Ries and Jack Trout. If corporate management read this book, we wouldn't have lame products such as Raspberry Coke or Panafen being (re) launched. And if only I had read these books when I first became self-employed, the start-up process would have been so much easier. It is never too late to learn so go and buy / borrow / steal those books!

Before I became self-employed, I talked to a few people and my mechanic said to me that I would make my best money from year 7. I thought "yeah right!" and speaking from experience, year 7 was a goodie in my first business (and then I sold most of it) and we are now in year 6 in my second business, and next year is shaping up to be a good one. Looking back on that piece of advice, I can't tell you why my mechanic was right, but he was. If you can get through the first 2 months and the first 2 years, then you are on your way.

Good luck

My 2c
Andrew

Metla
24-07-2005, 12:20 PM
Irrespective of plans, gaming software, drink machines, street position, OS versions, business structure, ISP plans, LAN set-up and all that other good stuff, the business will succeed or fail based on 2 things : sales and cash flow. The cash flow aspect has been pretty much covered in this thread but IMO a business is nothing without sales. I'm not talking about your typical fast-talking greasy-haired used car or vacuum cleaner salesman, I'm talking about being a sales creater (i.e. you actively pursue sales) instead of a sales taker (waiting for foot traffic).

Also, if you think sales = marketing then I suggest you stop right where you are and go and buy the book "How to master the art of selling" by Tom Hopkins. It is my sales bible. Then you need to go and buy the book "The 22 immutable laws of Marketing" by Al Ries and Jack Trout.


Andrew


Anychance you would be willing to elaborate on sales creation and "if you think sales=marketeing,stop right there"?


Meanwhile I am going to track down the 2 books mentioned....

andrew93
24-07-2005, 03:28 PM
Hey Metla

That is a pretty big question and uhhhhhh, where do I start? (This will take a while to explain so apologies for the long answer)

The books I mentioned were very useful to me (in the professional services and lately in the technical services industries) but the principles are applicable to almost any industry. Keep in mind the 22 laws book should be read in conjunction with a proper marketing plan. Also, if you can look past the 'Americanisms' of Tom Hopkins, there is a lot of useful stuff in the sales book.

The readers digest version to your question : marketing should be based on a formal marketing plan which addresses areas such as the product / service you are selling, the place of business, your price strategy, your promotion plan and your target market (to start with the 5 basics).

The marketing plan starts out highly conceptual and the more you get into it, the more detailed it gets. For example, Coca-Cola project an image of selling fun or good times, despite the actual product being lolly water. The mistake for CCA would be to refer to their product as a carbonated beverage, because whilst that is the physical product they are moving, they focus on the benefit to the end consumer (which is that you drink Coke when you are having fun, therefore it's not a big leap of logic to think that drinking Coke is actually fun, to {the cynical} who needs external 'fun' stimulants when I can get it from this can?). Without labouring the point, rather than approach your products from a technical perspective, describe your products in terms of 'what is the benefit to my customer?'.

So pick a benefit to your customers and focus on that as your 'product'. Why should someone buy from you rather than Dell or the Warehouse? So focus on that point of difference and consistently drive that point home (e.g. "You want cheap? Well yes the Warehouse or Dell is cheap, but did you think about after sales support?...") Also, don't pick 'quality' as your point of difference. To be a point of difference, it has to be unique. Who doesn't stand for quality? Who says we are going to sell you 'un-quality'? No-one, so pick a unique benefit.

Keep in mind that if you are wanting to project a high quality image then your pricing should match it, and vice versa. That's why promotions focused on top quality at rock bottom prices don't work (the average consumer simply doesn't believe it). Take for example the Warehouse, they don't waste any time or money trying to present themselves as a purveyor of top quality consumer goods, and quite rightly so. Contrast that with the approach jewellers other than Michael Hill take. What do you think Briscoes and Rebel Sport are doing to their long-term image by being on sale every other weekend? The message I get is not to go there at other times, because there is bound to be a sale on next weekend when I can get the identical item cheaper.

Don't be too vague with your marketing plan and things like 'NZ' for your place of business isn't what the plan is about, nor is a target market of 'all computer users'. It has to be conceptual yet specific. Where the 22 laws book helps is in paring back your marketing / business efforts to the products and services that actually matter. For example, in most businesses you can apply the (Pareto?) 80/20 rule where 80% of your sales are from 20% of your products (or 20% of the staff do 80% of the work, or 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers etc). The message the 22 laws book hammers home is 'focus', 'focus' and 'focus' on the 20% that actually deliver results.

The promotion methods (read advertising, sponsorships, newsletters etc) must tie all of this together consistently and be aimed directly at your target market. For example, would you advertise on Radio Talk Sport? Before you answer that, you first have to consider, who listens to radio talk sports and how well does that fit with my target market? The same goes for any other promotions you might consider.

All the stuff so far has been about marketing. Think of marketing as the conceptual stuff. It's about creating interest in your business / product, generating enquiries, keeping you in the mind of the prospects, or bringing your business to the attention of prospects etc. Now for the sales stuff - yes think of the greasy-haired used car salesman. This is the part where you are faced with a prospect and you are trying to close the sale. It's not about desperate techniques or underhand tactics, it's about building a sales relationship based on trust (does this prospect trust me? If not, he / she won't buy from me).

The quick and dirty version is that sales is about creating a sales 'environment', creating / converting sales leads, overcoming objections and closing the sale. As for 'creating' sales, this is a combination of promotion (which is part of marketing), and a number of sales techniques to generate and convert 'leads'. If you can visualise a 'V' shaped filter, you tip leads or prospects (or suspects?) into the top of the filter, and only a fraction will drop out the bottom as actual sales. How to do this? That is the $64m question. It depends on everything else.

The focus has to be on getting more (qualified, i.e. relevant) leads into the top of the filter and converting as many as possible to the next 'stage'. The 'stages' might include Prospect -> Lead -> Enquiry -> Dialogue -> Quotation -> Acceptance and Sale Closure. In some cases this process might take months, for others it can happen in a matter of minutes or seconds (particularly retail).

In a retail environment, typically the maximum potential sales is limited by the amount of walk-by traffic (i.e. the prospects or suspects). So rather than try to convert unwilling or unqualified leads (i.e. all of the people walking past your shop) into sales, how do you increase your maximum potential by going beyond the foot traffic? Helping on internet forums? Will this lead to more sales? How about seeing more people (read prospects) face-to-face outside of your premises? Yes this has pitfalls but hey, I can't tell you what to do....only you can do that. Before you do anything, ask yourself "will this contribute to an increase in sales for my business?". If the answer is 'no' then there has to be a pretty good reason why you do it (i.e. hobby, boredom, fun, chill-out etc).

The other benefit of the sales book is that is contains conversations that you will have with your customers (if you follow the prompts, the conversations will be almost word for word). Typically these guides will help you overcome 'objections' (e.g. too expensive, I don't need one, I prefer Linux, I want an Intel chip etc.) and train you to eliminate sales-busting words from your everyday vocabulary e.g. never use the words 'sale' or 'sell' (as in I'm going to sell you a computer, 'oh no you're not' is the mental reply from a prospect), 'contract' (the prospect thinks 'I had better read a contract', instead it is 'paper work' which is ok) and words like 'deal' (is for people who never do them) and so on.

I don't mean to sound rude, but people (usually not in business) who use the words sales and marketing inter-changeably don't know what they are talking about. I attended the small business expo in Auckland last week and a guest speaker kept using the words interchangeably, I resisted temptation to interject .... instead I just did the Kiwi thing and voted with my feet. When such a person refers to 'marketing their product' what they mean is 'selling their product'.

I trust this explains the differences (in the few thousand characters that I have typed). This sort of stuff is the subject of very long courses and degrees. I know I have left out lots of important bits and pieces(other posters please fell free to add to my thoughts) but this is all my brain can cope with on a slow Sunday afternoon.

Lastly, 2 things : the goal of business has to be "to make money", anything else is fluffery. And most importantly, these are just my opinions.

Cheers
A

Metla
24-07-2005, 04:08 PM
Excellent, Thanks for the effort (my screensaver kicked in twice while reading that), as is most probally obvious I threw myself into business on the basis that I could use a screwdriver and install an AV suite so there is a vast amount of information that relates to growing a business that is ouside my experience.

Looks like I shall have to order those books in online, The local bookstore was as helpfull as a dose of the gout.

andrew93
24-07-2005, 04:19 PM
Excellent, Thanks for the effort (my screensaver kicked in twice while reading that), as is most probally obvious I threw myself into business on the basis that I could use a screwdriver and install an AV suite so there is a vast amount of information that relates to growing a business that is ouside my experience.

Looks like I shall have to order those books in online, The local bookstore was as helpfull as a dose of the gout.
No worries - I didn't intend it to be that long and I could write / talk about this stuff for hours (but I won't).

You can order the Tom Hopkins book from Whitcoulls by phone. From memory it is about $25 and it takes a week or two to arrive. I haven't seen the 22 laws book in local stores, we bought it via e-bay for SFA. Start with the Tom Hopkins book first - the price will pay itself back on your next 'sale'.

:thumbs:
A

Metla
24-07-2005, 04:32 PM
I think I do pretty well with making sales once the customer is through the door, Though I picked a location for easy parking rather then foot traffic and the business has been marketed as a repair centre above all else. Infact I am probably operating at about 20% more workload then I can easily handle.

Retail sales is definitely an area where I can see room for massive growth though, and I can see a huge amount of work to be picked up servicing other businesses but can't actively peruse it as it would mean extended periods with the shop closed or hiring someone on, both risky propositions (even though realistically I canít for a second entertain the notion of having the shopped closed for extended periods, and If I want to grow I am going to have to at some stage hire someone)

MEee
24-07-2005, 06:36 PM
Hi All,

Just a thank you for all of the good advice. All I need to do now is come up with a business plan, find a suitable location, borrow an awful lot of money and learn to live without sleep for a few years. How hard can it be :-)

I'll let you all know how it all goes in a few months time (assuming I get as far as opening the front door). In the mean time I'll be keeping an eye on the forum to see how things develop so keep the good advice flowing in.

BTW. If anyone has some real-life week to week examples of the types of outgoings I can look forward to (expecially hard figures) post em up.

shieldzee
28-09-2005, 05:25 PM
hi

i am in the middle on setting up a internet cafe here in australia.


i have been look for software for my internet cafe for the last 3yrs and just found some free sofware online.

its called eficium cybercafe surfshop you can download it at downloads.com

its free and ez to run but you computers need some add on software to run it but is ez to download off the net.

this has now cut $1000+ out of my setup costs.

all you need is high end pc to be the server and cut down bare boxes pc to be the cilent computers making it cheap to setup.

then you can make money alot faster and pay off all of your loans and get income faster.

i am planing to open a internet cafe next year when my mum and dad come back from new zealand as i going get them to help set up the business( no i am 23yrs old and not living at home).

i am luckey that i live 30mins out of brisbane as it cheap to buy 2ndhand pcs over here.

for gaming maybe have 4 computers for starter as a high end pc will cost about $700-800 ea when you have made your money back invest it back by replaceing all the 2nd hand pc's with new ones when you have 100% new pc go and start upgrade your shop by adding more pc's making more of a income for your business.

start with 5-8 pc's and one server ,hub and router(with built in fire wall for about $100-200) total cost is about $5000 plus deposit for place to rent and 2 weeks rent on top.

buy cheap tables and chairs from big-w or k-mart or any hardware shops will help total costs will not be over $7000.

look for unlimit plans with a slow down speed or is a true unlimited plans.
buy you adsl modem to save on setup costs on your internet(most modens are about $80 for network modem).

with windows you can buy copys off e-bay for cheap.

rent a shop and go for small retail space in a high end spot it will be about $130-$300 a week but you will get you money back in no time.

setup near backpackers and uni's as most people will pass your shop and see you have internet.

offer cheap rates to them and they will tell there friends about you and they will come back.

open as late as you can as most backpackers will hang out for hours on end doing there e-mails and book there trips on you computers.

put down on paper you aims for you business as this will help you.

don't talk to other business as they will try to stop you from seting up.

talk to people that migth come and use your computers find out what things they do on the internet or on computer.

have office software and printing.

sell food and drinks only sell them if you have the room.

sell cds or usb keys for them to store files on.

sell prepay internet and have the income flowing all the time.

the more you find out the ez it will be to setup you business.

CorbinH
28-09-2005, 06:03 PM
Please don't bring up things that havent been posted on in a while...

Chilling_Silence
29-09-2005, 10:22 AM
Actually CorbinH it has continuosly been posted in for quite some time... live and let live...

Two months sure, but its still relevant :)

Metla
29-09-2005, 10:27 AM
Thread has some good info and insights in it, Should be given a gold medal.

Greg
29-09-2005, 10:32 AM
Thread has some good info and insights in it, Should be given a gold medal.Apart from the spelling and grammar, it's a perfect post... nice advert for himself but includes useful info! Rather strategic I reckon! :thumbs:

fatwags
18-02-2006, 07:10 PM
Im Starting an Internet Cafe aswell. Where do you find the software in New Zealand to run one??

Laura
18-02-2006, 08:34 PM
Ah yes, I remember this thread well.
And no, I don't plan to read it all again.

More importantly, have you read it ALL before asking this question?

If so, welcome to Press F!.

andrew93
18-02-2006, 10:35 PM
If the question is asked enough or the post re-opened enough, then maybe this should become a sticky!

P.S. I suspect that the internet cafe trend of the last decade will become the case studies for MBA / Commerce degrees of the future. Possibly the paper will be "How not to start up a business 101".

:lol:

Faded_Mantis
19-02-2006, 12:20 AM
hehe, I just read this whole thread, I wonder if Hampster did it?

About mass buying of OS licences Ascent (http://www.ascent.co.nz/HardwareCategory.aspx?catname=Operating+systems) Operating Systems Page sells them as 1, packs of 3, 10 and 30

I acctually had some more answers to give, but I've forgotten them over the last few pages

shieldzee
24-04-2006, 08:35 PM
Im Starting an Internet Cafe aswell. Where do you find the software in New Zealand to run one??
have a look for this eficium cybercafe surfshop you can download it at downloads.com

its a 100% free program.

sorry about a late reply on this old post.

johnd
24-04-2006, 09:10 PM
AVG is great for corporate use also :-)
Chill.

But note that AVG is free only for only for one copy for personal use - the license is very clear about this.

hazenz
24-03-2008, 05:45 PM
Ive read through this thread has helped me alot, some things I wanna ask is

I want to open a net cafe with about 15 or 20 computers, good net speed for gaming, and some medium downloading.

What is the power bill like for running a internet cafe with x amount of pc's?

What is the internet usuage like for gaming pc's?

Is it worth me buying the PC's on loan or shall I lease them for 36 months etc? because I don't want to be stuck investing into a load of pc's and then having to upgrade them in a years time.

I read that to save cost on games you can have 1 server where all the games are on, what about games that require logins and CD keys..ie Steam/Warcraft 3.

Also, of course depending on the net cafe...do you get a decent amount of customers and during what time?

I am looking for at quite abit of furniture etc, IE LCD TV's and couches and desks/chairs. What are everyones input in these, is it worth it to lease couches? I want the net cafe to be a relaxing lounge...

Thank you all in advance :)

hazenz
24-03-2008, 06:04 PM
Oh and also 1 other thing air con or ventilation...what sort of ventilation u guys use? and what kinda price tag can i put on that.

Thank you

password
24-03-2008, 06:07 PM
Ummmm im not sure anyone will reply, this is a thread from 24-04-2006. Try and make a new thread and you should get replys =)