An internet café is a profitable business to start in South Africa. With the increasing number of internet users in the country, there is still a significant number of people with no internet access especially in rural areas -only 2% of rural homesteads have access to the internet. An internet café especially one that offers other services such as gaming, printing and utility payments is a lucrative business that can provide you with good profits. This article will outline how to start an internet café business in South Africa the internet cafe business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

There are some essential things you need to consider before you venture into such a business venture. You have to decide on the size of your internet cafe; the location of your shop, the kinds of products and services you will sell, and your target market. These choices will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and the market you are targeting. You should carry out a feasibility study, market research and have a good internet café business plan before you venture into this type of business.


Market research is a critical part of every business. The more you know about your market and its needs, the easier it will be for you to develop your business strategy and find the right customers. When conducting market research for an Internet cafe business, check out your competition: You need to know who else is in your market so that you can decide what makes your business different from theirs. Consider visiting your local internet cafes and seeing what their offerings are, as well as how they differ from yours. Find out whether or not they offer something that you don’t already have in place, and take note of their weaknesses. You must check out the size of your market in order to understand just how large your industry is before launching your internet cafe business. After conducting a market assessment, you will be in a much better position to segment your ideal market. You can segment your customers based on age, hobbies, and buying habits. This way, you can find out if your services are suitable for them.


An Internet café, also known as a “cybercafé,” provides the use of computers with high bandwidth Internet access for a set price. The use of these computers is generally charged by the minute or part of an hour. The internet cafe business model is a simple one that you can implement. You must have a physical location in order to run your internet café business. You will also need some equipment and software, as well as staff to run the business and serve customers. A typical day at an internet cafe involves opening up for business during the morning or afternoon hours, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but that will depend on your target market and location. You can hire staff to greet customers and take their orders for the duration of their online stay (usually 30 minutes). These staff members can also monitor the computer use of minors under 18 years old. Since internet services have become readily available in most parts of South Africa, you can supplement your services by offering gaming services, printing, and utility payments too. You can also offer coffee, tea, and some snacks to attract clients to your shop.


The location of your business is an important decision to make before you start an internet cafe. It’s important that you locate your internet cafe close to your target market. Consider the amount of road traffic, find an easily accessible location where people can stop and quickly get service. There are several possible locations, including shopping centres, malls and the city centres. The location you plan for your internet café has an effect on your marketing strategy. Opening an internet café close to places that typically have potential for traffic such as near schools could be ideal depending on your target market. It is also important to be strategic about your neighbouring businesses because you are more than likely to feed into each other instead of competing. Your internet cafe should be large enough to accomodate the number of computers you intend to have, and space for other services you intend to offer. Customers should be able to freely move within the internet cafe. Your internet cafe business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing or leasing the premises.


You need various equipment for your internet cafe business. The equipment you need will depend on the size of your internet café and the kinds of products and services you will offer. The basic equipment required for an internet café are computers and Wi-Fi routers which provide high-speed internet connection. The other equipment will be determined by the extra products and services you will offer at your internet café. For example you may need printers, laminating machines, binding machines if you intend on offering those services. You will also need a refrigerator if you plan on selling refreshments. Your internet cafe business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing the relevant equipment.


The products and services you will offer will depend on your target niche. Most internet café offer internet surfing, gaming, printing & related services, computer accessories, refreshments, and you can also purchase or pay your utility bills in other internet cafés. It is best to offer differentiated services to your customers in order to attract more customers and to increase cashflow. It may be a good idea to sell beverages and snacks to complement your internet products and services. Another essential factor in running an internet café is is selecting the right Internet service provider (ISP). Your internet service provider should offer you reliable and high speed connection that will allow you to offer quality internet services that way you can attract and retain customers. The are many internet service providers you can use for an internet cafe like Vodacom Business Internet,  Telkom Business Internet and many other fibre companies. Your internet cafe business plan should clearly outline the different products and services you will offer.


It is critical to compare your internet cafe business to other similar businesses when setting one up and running one. In this way, you can determine what the strengths and weaknesses of your competition are and how they compare to yours. As part of this process, you should consider the following questions. What makes your internet cafe better? Why would people come to your shop instead of going somewhere else? How does your internet cafe differ from the other competitors’ offerings? Look out for any opportunities for you to improve upon the services you offer your customers? With a competitive analysis, you can discover where your internet cafe business can do well, where you need to improve, and which trends you need to get ahead of. You should conduct a competitive analysis on a regular basis, not just when you first open your internet cafe business. Your competitive analysis should include your competitors’ features, market share, pricing, marketing, differentiators, strengths, weaknesses, geography, culture, and customer reviews. Your cybercafé chases similar  customers as its competitors. Since you offer comparable products or services to each other, you need to understand why you win some clients but lose others, and a competitive analysis helps you do that.


As a customer-centric business, its important that you hire employees that are friendly and efficient. Your employees should be passionate about serving and assisting clients. If you want to hit the ground running it is better to hire a team of people who have experience in running an internet café. Your staff members should be computer literate and able to teach and assist your customers. Inexperienced staff members need to get extensive training before they can be given intricate tasks. There are risks associated with running an internet café. It is important that your staff are always on the lookout for scammers and cybercriminals who prey on unsuspecting customers and your business. Thus, the issue of security cannot be underestimated when it comes to running an internet café.  Some of the required staff for an internet café include, the café assistant, security and administration to name a few.  Your internet cafe business plan should cater for the salaries of your staff.

Some of the day-to-day operation of this business involves:

  • Help customers with the use of computers and applications.
  • Respond to customers who encounter error messages from accessing sites, emailing, or downloading content.
  • Monitor use of computers to ensure compliance with café policies and applicable laws and regulations.
  • Time customers of the number of minutes or hours they will use the computer, internet and playing online games.
  • Serving refreshments


A marketing and sales plan is a document that contains all the information you will need to set up and run your internet cafe business. Your plan should contain research on how well your target market will respond to your internet cafe products and services, plus it should outline the steps you must take in order to reach your customers. Your marketing plan will also include a detailed sales strategy that describes how you will make money from the sale of your cybercafé services. You should clearly outline how you will set up your internet café and the kind of complimentary services you will offer. Some of the strategies you can include in your sales and marketing plan include, offering discounts for selling more login tickets and buzz marketing, where you can focus on creating excitement among consumers about a particular game or service at your cafe. Consider event marketing, which can be both online and offline, in order to promote your internet cafe. This can be a gaming night where regulars and new clients can be invited to play games for a price. That can be a great way to promote your business. You must not neglect word-of-mouth marketing when creating your sales and marketing strategy. Word of mouth marketing is still a great way to raise awareness about your internet business.


Although there is a huge gap between internet access in urban and rural areas, South Africa has one of the fastest growing internet penetration in Africa. The demand for internet services has been growing at a fast rate, with a lot of business being conducted online. Even though some people in urban areas have access to internet connection at home, they still make use of internet café for other services such as printing and laminating. Even in the urban areas a lot of people access internet from internet cafes as not everyone has internet at home. Business peoples, students, freelancers are big users of internet in internet cafes. Another market that has been growing all over the world including in South Africa is online gaming.  However, not everyone in urban areas has the proper equipment for gaming. In rural areas few people have access to the internet so there is a ready market for the traditional services of browsing and emailing. Thus, each market, has unique needs that can be met by an internet café. Ensure that you conduct a feasibility study for your business before you set it up in your chosen location. A proper marketing strategy should be included in your internet cafe business plan.


To start a successful internet business, consider opening one in a neighborhood with a middle- to low-income population. Opening up an internet café in a high-income neighborhood is not ideal. A lot of people from high-income neighborhoods already have WI-FI and computers, and the majority of them also have multipurpose printers and gaming devices. The only time you’ll get business is when the ink on their printers runs out. Many new entrepreneurs appear to make this error. Also, leasing a space in a high-income neighborhood can be very costly. Your business will run at a loss and ultimately fail. Consider locating your cafe in townships or middle- to low-income neighborhoods to ensure a steady flow of customers. You should take your internet café to people who actually need it. The city center of any town is not a bad place to have your shop, especially in small towns that are surrounded by rural areas where you will likely get a lot of clients, especially if you don’t have a lot of competition.

Whether you are a young entrepreneur, a professional seeking to start your own business or someone who needs a retirement plan, investing in an internet café is something worth considering. One thing that can set you apart before investing in any venture is developing a business plan. A well thought out internet cafe business plan will help you in both the short term and long term for your investment. There are various risks associated with running an internet café, like any other venture, your internet business plan should clearly outline these risks involved and ways to minimise them.


For an in-depth analysis of the internet cafe business in South Africa, purchase our internet cafe business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the internet cafe business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.

Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run an internet cafe business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the internet cafe business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The internet cafe business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your internet cafe business
  • As an internet cafe project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the internet cafe business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation


The business plan includes, but not limited to:

  • Market Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • 5 Year Automated Financial Statements [ Income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, monthly cash flow projections (3 years monthly cash flow projections, the remaining two years annually),break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortisation]
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the internet cafe business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your internet cafe business in South Africa

The Internet Cafe Business Plan package consist of 4 files

  1. Internet Cafe Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 82 pages)
  2. Internet Cafe Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 82 pages)
  3. Internet Cafe Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 43 pages)
  4. Internet Cafe Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the costs, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change. 


We decided to make the business plan affordable to anyone who would want to start the business, and the price for the pre-written business plan is only 500 Rand.

We have several payment methods which you can use.

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The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Instant EFT then  click here: Business Plans Store

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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