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Starting A Vibrant Cyber Cafe
Cyber Cafe (cont'd) Still on factors to consider before setting up a cyber cafe:
COMPUTER SPEED Computer speed is closely related to hardware requirement. If you do not put enough RAM in your computer or your processor is slow, then computers in your cyber cafe will tend to be slow. A slow computer will frustrate your customers. Imagine someone typing something and waiting for up to 2 seconds before the screen is updated, it could be quite irritating. This is one of the reasons why you should invest in the right hardware.
EMPLOYEES The number of computers in your cyber cafe will determine whether you need employees or not. If your cafe is small with 5 to 10 computers, then you can handle it all alone. However, if you have more computers- say 15 or more, you will certainly need one or more helping hands. You will need to train your employees on basic computer management. Do not allow your employees to learn on the job. Train them properly before they start work in your cyber cafe. You should also ensure that they are paid properly. This will no doubt make them more committed to their jobs. It will also enable you to retain your staff for longer period. Experienced staff are assets to any business, cyber cafe is no different. You can reduce employee theft and account tampering by simply paying them well. You must have a strong and effective governance structure. All your employees must know this structure. It should be included as part of the training of employees; for example, procedure for service payment. The role of each employee must be known by all your employees.
To reduce account manipulations, install good internet-cafe management software. This software will ensure that customers will log in before using your computers. Some will also enable you to monitor how each computer is being used. They can also monitor what your employees are doing and report any foul play. Also, limit how much access to this software by your employees. The key to success in cyber cafe business is to learn all aspects of the business. Ensure you train your employee to be customer friendly. They must be made to understand that the customer is king and must be treated as such; after-all their salaries are paid by your customers. Recruiting the right employees is key to success of your cyber cafe business. Due diligence must be administered while recruiting employees, as they can make or mar your cyber cafe business.
SOFTWARE Your Computer should be packed with software that will enhance your customers experience. Server and the Client PCs have different software requirement. Here are some suggestions for your cyber cafe:
SERVER PC Operating System: Windows XP or Linux, Office Software: MS Office or OpenOffice, Anti Virus: McAffe or Norton or Avast, Browser: IE6 (minimum) or Firefox or google Chrome, Flash reader, Yahoo messenger, Adobe Reader 6.0 (minimum), Internet Cafe Management Software, WinZip, Computer games, QuickTime.
CLIENT PCs Operating System: Windows XP (minimum) or Linux, Office Software: MS Office or OpenOffice, Anti Virus: McAffe or Norton or Avast, Browser: IE6 (minimum) or Firefox or google Chrome, Flash reader, Yahoo messenger, Adobe Reader 6.0 (minimum), Internet Cafe Management Software, WinZip, Computer games, QuickTime, Windows media player.
MAINTENANCE PROCEDURE To succeed in the cyber cafe business, you have to maintain your hardwares and softwares. Have you ever been to a cyber cafe with 15 computers but only seven working? That is the consequence of poor maintenance. Have you ever been to a cyber café with all the characters on the keyboard wiped out or some keys not functional? Have you been to a cyber cafe where you will have to use all your concentration to move the mouse? A great maintenance procedure is to have spare computers. These spare computers are installed when any of the currently installed computers go down. You should also have spare keyboards and mouses to change faulty ones as soon as customers complain.
Ensure that customer complaints are logged. Any faulty computer or defaulting hardware must be logged with the fault. This will enable you handle maintenance properly. Every piece of hardware must be labeled so that they can be distinguished from other hardware. This will make logging easy. If it does not make business sense to employ an in house hardware technician, you should outsource this service to a reliable firm that will respond promptly to all your business needs. Remember that a good maintenance procedure will reduce your operational cost. It will also increase your revenue, as your cyber cafe down time will be greatly reduced. ..........to be continued.

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