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    2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 31, 2008 12:06 PM by DomainDiva

    Starting A Cyber Cafe?

    blood_gulch Newbie
      I am currently 16 years old and I know most of you will already underestimate me because of my age but, I've been around family business' all my life. First with a Cell Phone retail store, then with a Barber Shop, and so on.
      Anyways, I'm planning on starting my own business once I'm out of High School. I've been planning on opening a Cyber Cafe for about 2 years now.
      So my question is: How can I get funding for it?
      I've estimated 15,678$ on getting EVERYTHING I will need for the opening. (Buying the computers, games, projectors, systems, cables, building materials, etc.) and about 4000$ a month. I've already made a system on how much money I would need to make to keep the business going.
      I don't have 15grand though... and I don't know how to qualify for a loan or anything. I don't have things to put as colateral for the loan except a car but I don't think it's worth 15k. I still have a very long time before actually opening it though so I need to start looking into funding.
      I am COMPLETELY serious about opening this place up and running it. I plan on getting a business degree after high school to be better at managing but I want to start learning EVERYTHING now when I'm young.
      Any advice would be very helpful.
      If you're a business owner,
      What were some obstacles you encountered upon The Grand Opening?
      How did you get funding to open?
      How much money do you pay per month to keep it running?
      Did you create mergers or agreements with competition? Or did you try to make your business better to run them out?
      Well, anything you can tell me will be appreciated. Thanks!
        • Re: Starting A Cyber Cafe?
          Iwrite Pioneer
          Not all of us underestimate people because of their age. It is all about the quality of your idea for most of us.

          The first step is to develop a business plan. You have put a lot of thought into idea, now it is time to put it on paper and take a look at it from there. Most lenders are going to want to see that as part of the process. I suggest you start looking at business plans online and contact your local SCORE chapter for more great free help.

          Now back to how you open up your post - try not to make your age an issue. Have your stuff together and present your idea without making apologies for your age or your experience. In your presentation address ALL the objections before someone has the opportunity to bring it up but don't linger on them, turn them into positives: Your age means that you are not set in your ways and you are willing to try new approaches and open to new ideas, you are more technologically savvy and better understands today's market for a cyber cafe. Something like that.

          Start looking at and trying to understand trends - technology is evolving at an amazing pace. Make sure you are on the leading edge of the technology wave. Become an expert on the issue of cyber cafes. The biggest obstacle is fear and doubt, learn to deal with them and the rest is easier. Focus on your target audience, learn to observe and listen to their changing tastes and needs. Study successful companies and not so successful companies to learn what to do and not to do. Get a better understanding of marketing and how you are going to have to reach your target audience.

          Everything comes back to having a plan. Be flexible with it, allow it to grow and evolve as you learn and experience things. Have fun. Good luck.
          • Re: Starting A Cyber Cafe?
            DomainDiva Ranger
            You have family that's in business? You are the product of family businesses? Wonderful.

            Go to your parents and make them a part of this project. Make a contract that allows you to buy them out after you graduate from college (or sooner if the cash flow is good).

            Your parents can do one of two things:

            front you the money from business or perosnal funds
            co-sign a note at the bank where they do all of their business

            Mergers and alliances with other businesses are good as long as they match in services provided. Our start up has partnered with three other companies to get us up and running. These companies are not competition but have technology theat we need for our application.

            Don't start a business with the idea of running others out of business. Start your business with the idea that you are going to be the BEST cyber cafe in the universe and then start from there. You are at just the right age to be able to know what young techies are looking for in these environments. Gear your business towards customer satisfaction and reliable hardware. Make the customer important.

            You also need to write a business plan. This will help you sort out and categorize what's in your head.

            Good Luck