Starting a cybercafé in Kenya, is a relatively demanding task, especially if you do not have the correct information about the procedure. This article will therefore dive into all the essential aspects, covering how to start a cyber café business in Kenya, capital requirements, and possible obstacles that you may face in the venture.
Stick to the end as we dive in…
#A. Definition of a Cybercafé
In very simple words, a cybercafé is a business which allows people to have access to the internet. Well, with the technological advancements that have been made in the 21st century, cybercafés have started offering wider arrays of services such as:
- Printing, scanning, and photocopying services
- Video conferences and online meetings
- KRA returns filing services
- Renewal of driving license service
- Multimedia services – These include graphics design, video editing, audio recording etc.
- Device charging stations
- Gaming stations and virtual reality services
#B. Capital required to start a cybercafe business in Kenya
Once you decide to start a cyber business in Kenya, you must have enough capital to compete favourably with other businesses around your area. Typically, a cyber café will need approximately Ksh.200,000 to Ksh.300,000.
This startup cost will cover all other expenses that have been covered later in this post. These expenses will include licenses, location, equipment and miscellaneous costs.
Before diving into the cost breakdown and analysis, you will first need to do market research, as expounded below:
#C. Market Research and Planning
Once you start any business in Kenya, you must do proper market research. Market research will involve you answering a few questions:
- What is the population of the area you intend to locate your business?
- What is the level of technological penetration in the area?
- Are people exposed to technology to require your services?
- What are the types of institutions or companies located in the area?
After doing market research, you should focus on understanding how big your competition is. If other cyber cafés are large and offer a wide array of services, you will have to pull up your socks and provide either the same or more services.
#D. Location Selection and its Importance
Selecting your location goes hand in hand with what you find out after doing market research.
However, to cut a long story short, a cyber café will do well in a place that is serene but with a lot of people and movement. For example, in universities and colleges, cybers do perfectly as compared to rural areas that may have a lot of people but little movement.
Urban and suburban areas are good areas to locate your cyber café business in Kenya.
#E. Creating a Business Plan
Business plans are not mandatory but prove very efficient to the entrepreneur seeking to start a large enterprise.
In a situation where you want to venture into a bigger cyber café that may need financing from traditional lending institutions, you will need to work on a business plan or hire a professional to work for you at an agreed fee.
Statistics have shown that businesses that take time to design their business plans have an easier time combating competition, anticipating obstacles and managing finances efficiently. This, therefore, translates to better income as compared to businesses lacking business plans.
#F. Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Business registration and licensing are done via the e-Citizen portal in Kenya. According to Kenyan law, all businesses should be registered under the registrar of companies and be tax compliant.
Therefore, to keep government officials out of your business premises, please make sure you register your business and get a permit from your county government.
The fees required vary from county to county but generally, registering a business name costs around Ksh.950, whereas getting a company business permit may cost you Ksh.20,000 or more.
You may be required to pay more fees for licenses such as the MCSK (Music Copyright Society of Kenya) if you intend to play music in your cyber or KFCB (Kenya Films Classification Board) if you choose to have a movie shop too.
#G. Infrastructure and Equipment
An attractive cyber café will always attract more customers than a poorly designed one. Further, once you invest in the right equipment, your rate of conversion will be more than your competition.
Therefore, as you design and select a theme for your cyber, you must invest in both quantity and quality.
If you choose to offer services such as graphics design, video editing etc., you will have to invest in computers with proper specifications and purchase all the necessary software such as:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Premier pro
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe XD
- After Effects
- Light Room
- Firefly etc.
For electronic equipment, here is the breakdown of what you will need.
Please note that you can modify the quantity or quality of what has been tabulated below to meet your capital investment.
|Electronics||Relevance||Price in Kes (Approximate)|
|Desktop Computers||Internet Browsing, Gaming, etc.||35,000 – 60,000|
|Laptops||Portability, Remote Work||40,000 – 80,000|
|High-Speed Router||Internet Connectivity||5,000 – 15,000|
|Printers (Laser/Inkjet)||Document Printing||10,000 – 30,000|
|Scanners||Document Scanning||5,000 – 20,000|
|Gaming Consoles||Gaming Experience||25,000 – 60,000|
|Virtual Reality Setup||VR Gaming and Experiences||50,000 – 100,000|
|Webcams||Video Conferencing||2,000 – 5,000|
|Headsets||Gaming and Communication||1,500 – 6,000|
|Multimedia Software||Video Editing, Graphic Design||Varies (Free – 20,000)|
|Office Software||Document Editing, Spreadsheets||Varies (Free – 10,000)|
|Charging Stations||Device Charging||3,000 – 10,000|
|UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)||Power Backup||8,000 – 20,000|
Attention: You can buy the above electronic equipment from buytec.co.ke
— Internal infrastructure
You will also need furniture for your business and a good theme. Consider investing in what we have listed in the table below.
|High-Speed Internet Connection||Reliable internet connectivity is essential for online services. Consider fiber-optic or high-speed broadband.|
|Network Switches and Cables||To interconnect computers and devices within the cafe.|
|Server and Network Storage||For data management, local hosting, and backups.|
|Power Backup (UPS/Generator)||To ensure uninterrupted operations during power outages.|
|Air Conditioning and Ventilation||Maintaining a comfortable environment for customers.|
|Security Cameras and Alarm Systems||For monitoring and ensuring the safety of the premises.|
|Fire Extinguishers and Safety Measures||In case of emergencies, promoting customer safety.|
— Theme & design
For your cyber theme and aesthetics, consider the following:
|Design and Theme||Description|
|Comfortable Seating||Ergonomic chairs & tables|
|Adequate Lighting||To avoid eye strain|
|Branding and Interior Design||Incorporating the cafe’s logo and theme|
|Cyber Cafe Signage||Clear and attractive signage indoors & outdoors.|
|Soundproofing and Acoustics||Reducing noise for quieter/focused environment|
|Decor and Aesthetics||Attractive decor that aligns with the cafe’s theme|
|Gaming Zone*||Separate area for gaming with appropriate setups|
|VR Experience Setup*||Designing a VR corner for immersive experiences|
|Social Interaction Area||Arranging seating to encourage social interactions|
|Reception Desk||Welcoming customers and assisting with inquiries|
#H. Staffing and Training
Once your cyber is up and running, you may need to employ staff who will help you run your enterprise.
Staffing is a critical process that may make or break your cyber café business in Kenya.
Your employees will be interacting directly with your clients and therefore, you must ensure that you train your staff accordingly.
Apart from customer relations, your staff will also need to learn basic computer skills so as serve your clients appropriately.
Now that you have understood how to start and run a successful cyber café business in Kenya, all you have to do is to implement the strategies laid out in this post and you will be on the right track.