More than a decade ago, when mobile phones and computers were not so common, cyber cafés dominated the Internet scene. The business was so lucrative that it became the preferred business for entrepreneurs as more and more cyber cafés sprang up.

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Even the Chams City Digital Mall located in Lagos and Abuja was once listed as the world’s largest Internet café before its eventual closure last year. But the influx of cheaper smartphones into the Nigerian market, coupled with the availability of affordable data services, has reduced the viability and profitability of the cyber café business and its patronage.

As the past few years have witnessed the closure of many cyber cafés across the country, experts explain that if your café business is not remitting enough cash, you would need to re-strategise.

What you need

Rizqaut Adelakun, a cyber café owner, explains that the profitability of the business has dropped drastically because almost everyone now has access to phones, laptops, tablets and data plans to connect to the internet in the privacy of their homes. But she adds that, to retain customers, the operator should complement the cyber café with the services of a busi- Making your cyber café more profitable ness centre alongside similar services.

“This is because there will always be people who need the services of a typist, who may want to print or scan documents and send emails. When this group of people are added into the cyber café business, there will be an improvement in sales,” she says.

Adelakun explains that the first step to a profitable cyber café is good location. According to her, not citing your cyber café in the right location can be a big hindrance to the success of the business.

She explains, “It is best to locate your cyber café in a commercial area where other businesses that require the services you offer can easily aira Cornelia Oseghale Nwise patronise you rather than locating it in the midst of salons, boutiques and other businesses that will add no value to your business.

“More so, get a photocopier for your business because it will help boost sales as some people may need to photocopy documents after getting a typing service.” She explains that, because power supply is not constant, it is important to always have a functioning standby generator.

“Cyber owners can also make more money through online examinations like the West African Examinations Council and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board examinations, among others. It is important to ensure your cyber café is not stuffy but wellventilated to attract customers,” she says.

RECALL

• Locate your cyber café in an environment with businesses that require your service.

• Always ensure you have an alternative means of power supply

• The café must be well ventilated.

• Provide other services like typesetting and photocopy.