Friday, May 4, 2012

Why some of the cybercafe closed down?

Why some of the cybercafe closed down?

The following article is about the problems identified by Michaelsoft DDS, who has been a cybercafe solution provider for five years and counting, they shared a few common problems that breaks a cybercafe business.

"I want to open a cyber cafe."
"Do you have money? Cuz I wanna open a cyber cafe too, I need some extra capital."
"No, I got no money."
"Hey, if you don't have capital for opening a cyber cafe, how do you still intend to open one?"
"I have technical knowledge to manage your cyber cafe."
"Oh... why not join me for opening one, but you'll need to pay a sum of money for your share in the business though."

Partners or Staff's Credibility 

Cybercafe operator, do not consist of one person. They had partners to overcome the financial issues and technical issues. Usually there's some partners who contribute the most for finance, the others, for technical. This itself is a problem. How much can you trust your partner on handling the operations when you're not around to manage it or know how to manage it?

Some businesses close down because of partnership, they had doubts in each other's credibility. Those partner who's good at technical is able to siphon the money into his own pocket without being traced. Even the cashier also take advantage of the billing system. For example, some of the customer who paid a package rate of $10 for 10 hours who left before the timer is up, say he played only 6 hours, the remaining 4 hours were given to other customer and the cashier charged him for $2 per hour, therefore the cashier has siphoned $8 out of that PC. 

Some billing system had loophole, hack-able by customer, cyber cafe owners who always opt for software that is free, or cracked version will have lesser revenue. Even paid version will also be hacked as well, this  probably happens when the owner stored his million dollar bank account somewhere in the cybercafe.

"No one is hardworking! Even the boss also slack sometimes!!"

Staff's working attitude

Some business have staffs that is not committed to their work. When the boss is not around, they will be slacking. Lack of supervision or managing will allow them to do whatever they want. 

How will this make a cybercafe business fall?

When a customer want's to complain about their computer, the staff is ignorant about it. That pisses off the customer right away. This dissatisfied customer will never come back anymore, unless he has no choice but to come back. Competitor wishes that you had more dissatisfied customer so they can earn more profit. 

If the staff acknowledges the problem, he will fix it when he has the "time". However, why is there a complain about the computer in the first place? 
  • Games were not up to date. Staff didn't update the game when they had the time.
  • Games were not working. Staff didn't install the game properly or the link to the game server were inaccurate.
  • Games were not listed in the game menu or desktop. Staff didn't install the game AT ALL.

"Cheap stuffs ain't good quality."

Software Choices

The receptionist who take advantage of the billing system case above was a good example. Although there are software that is cheap, or even free, but they come with risk. Some business suffered loss due to downtime caused by 
  • using cracked version of software or freeware
  • update cracked version software
  • installing new software due to outdated version of cracked software
  • installing new software due to "no more support" freeware
  • installing new software due to UNSTABLE or BUGGY freeware
If the business is willing to take the risk to use such 'troublesome' software, in the long run, it will ruin the business image. These freeware, or cracked version can be hack easily, as they are not fully stable, when a billing system is hacked, potential profit will be gone as well. 

Customer don't have the patient to deal with such unstable software, for example game menu that doesn't work, billing system that always crash and loses revenue records, and miscalculated charges.

Imagine the money that you could have earned went to someone else's pocket. 

"There's no loyal customer in cyber cafe business. If there's a cheaper rate cyber cafe, why spend more for the same type of service?"

Maintenance and Upgrades 

Some business close down because they didn't maintain or upgrade their hardware to satisfy the need of the   gamer. It became competitor's opportunity to open a new cybercafe and capture all those dissatisfied  customer. Once the competitor maintained their performance, there's hardly any chance the customer will return to the cyber cafe which they visit before. Unless it's full house at the competitor's place, but the leftovers from competitor were not able to feed those cybercafe who still have lousy machines. That is why some of the competitor when they are able to open a cybercafe, they will make sure that they are able to open a BIGGER one to 'eat' other cybercafe's dissatisfied  customer.

In an area with a lot of competition, the best way to beat all the other cyber cafe competitors is to offer better service than the rest, at the same rate, and be BIG. Crowned as the big boss in the area, with the same rate, customer can get better gaming experience. Why spend more for crappy, lag, century old wooden machines that doesn't satisfy customer's gaming need when there's a cyber cafe who can offer EXCELLENT service at the same rate?

Who doesn't like to play with a computer that is FAST, monitor screen which is LCD and BIG, has internet speed that is as SMOOTH as silk tofu, razor SHARP precision of mouse, and SNAPPY keyboard. Good ambiance, such as lighting, decorations, air condition, background music, and friendly staff plays a part in becoming a good cyber cafe.

Conclusion (Solution) 

Next week, there will be an article about "Survivor's guide to run a cybercafe business." It will solve all the above mentioned problems. Solution used by most survivors that will reduce staff's maintenance, upgrading,   troubleshooting work, and reduce or remove billing software's problems.

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