HOW TO START UP A COMPUTER BUSINESS CENTER
First and foremost , I will like to introduced myself my Name is Agara Blessing Omoyemi, From Ondo State, Akoko South West and I have a computer Business center in Kakuri-Kaduna (A.Y.H. Business Center) . By I want to improve it, in-order to create employment in my environment.
Computer business centre in Nigeria is open to offer several services such photocopying, secretary works, spiral binding and laminating of paper materials, instant passport photographing, typesetting, installation of systems, computer training, internet services (for computer business centre with cybercafé ), typing and printing project work, letters, correspondence, memoir etc, and other computer services.
The demand for computer services is high especially in tertiary institutions, offices and in different work areas. This business is one of the profitable medium scale businesses in Nigeria; the business can give a high profit margin when managed properly and run alongside with a cybercafé .
A cybercafé or internet café is a place where Internet access is provided to the general public, usually for a fee. This business usually provides snacks and drinks, hence the café in the name. The fee for using a computer is usually charged as a time-based rate, in minutes or hourly.
Most computer business centre runs computer services alongside with cybercafé for the purpose of maximizing profit and as well as providing a complete computer services package to their customers
Now, if you have actually decided to go into the business of providing computer services to clients, then below is everything you need to know about starting a computer business centre in your locality.
5 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Own Computer Business centre in your locality
1. There are a lot of niche market that one can target in computer services business
2. As a computer business owner, you will add to the development of your community and country at large, with respect to job creation.
3. You can work independently and offer your services to institutions, school , etc
4. It is one of those businesses that you can start small and then grow big.
5. The business is still a virgin business and it is yet to be exploited fully in this part of the world
How to start a computer business centre in your locality
Though, this article is targeted to a region (Nigeria) but computer services business is a profitable business that can be taken advantage of anywhere, respect of your country, state, town or locality in the world. The major differences will be cost of the startup of the business, your locality perceptions, and government policies of the region you are targeting.
- Make a decision to start your own computer business centre in your own locality
To get started in computer service business, you need to first decide if this business is for you. As other businesses may require, computer services business need dedication and hard work..
- Acquire all necessary skills, training and certification
Computer service business is a service oriented business and hence it needs skill, experience and expertise. It is important you understand want things are involved in running a profitable computer business centre.
If you are to grow the computer business centre to a high level then you need such a business initiatives and skills such as;
• self-management skill,
• financial independence and where need be, ability to Raise Funds to Start the computer business centre
- Appealing personal traits.
These personal appealing traits include; being patient, zealous, hard-working and ability to work under pressure.
• Best use of personal skills.
- Choose a business name for your computer business centre
Choose a business name for computer business centre and then register it. Consider starting your computer business centre as a registered company rather than as unregistered company. The reason why many businesses never go too far is because they fail the register their business name. I will suggest you register your business. For those of you in Nigeria who wish to register their company can register it now on CAC online business registration portal and if you are non-Nigerian, you inquire about the parastatals in charge of business name registration in your country.
Write a computer services business plan
Any business without a business plan is short-circuited. A business plan will serve as a blueprint for the business and its management. Having a business plan clearly helps you set your business mission, vision, goals and objectives; and also help keep you on business track. Even if you are starting computer service business as ‘one man business’, write a business plan for it because it can become an important tool tomorrow for the business expansion and outsourcing for fund.
If you are going to make money on this business then you need a good location. Of course, you should know that it best to site the computer business center near colleges, high institutions and work offices complex.
- Create your price list
You can create your price list by checking out what other computer business centre collect for a particular service they render to their customers. As a new beginner in the business, the price for a particular service you offer may be a bit lower than what others collect for the same service to help you build a good customer base.
Get your computer business centre permits and operating license
As a new computer business centre service owner, certification is not enough to run the business; you will need to find out what license is required and acquire it immediately. Before you apply for a computer service centre license, you must meet the criteria that will qualify your permit. Unless you are thinking of starting ‘any how computer business centre’
Purchase the necessary computer business centre equipment and materials
The natures of equipment you will use depend on the size of your computer business centre.
• Photocopying machines
One of the major equipment you need is a Photocopy machines. There are those who are willing to sell their fairly used photocopying machine at a good price but I strongly advised you buy new ones. The reasons being that;
• It will last longer,
• it will save you the stress calling a technician always to repair broken machine
• Fairly used photocopy machine can be troublesome.
• The new one makes the photocopied works come out sharp and fast.
• there is manufacturer guarantee on the new machine, an added advantage
- Different paper size
You need different paper size such A4 paper, A5, Letter, portrait size, Envelop, Cabinet etc. This can either be bought as a rim or as a carton of five rims. Depending on the amount you have.
• Staplers and Pins
There is giant paper stapler and also regular sized stapling machine too. It is advisable that you get both as you will be having customers doing high and low volumes of work.
The other consumables you will need are spiral binding materials. These days, you do not need to use spiral binding machine depending on the volume of work you want to bind at once.
- Desktops and laptops
You need computers and Laptops. At a start, you begin with five desktops and one laptop. I recommend that you get a laptop computer instead of a desktop computer. If you cannot afford that, you can however go for a desktop computer.
The major advantage of laptop over a desktop is that it saves power. The battery of your laptop can serve you for few hours of fuel spent on powering desktop computer.
- Different Color Printers
You customers may need to print their work. So, you need different color printers to print material from both internet and typed work for your clients
- Internet café and Internet subscriptions (computer business centre with cybercafé)
You can attach a cybercafé to your business centre for customers who will like to access the web, print out from their inbox, download or upload material like photos, PDF, etc. To acquire internet access, you can buy modems from different telecommunication network and subscribe for their monthly internet data plan or you subscribe for monthly internet plan from good internet wireless connection (hotspot, wiFi etc) providers
List of Equipment and Materials you need to start a Computer Business centre
• Computer set
• Managers desk
• Server (internet)
• Networking Cables
• Air conditioner
• Tv set
• Dstv / local antenna
• Staplers and Pins
• Instant Passport Sized Photo
• Spiral Binding Machine
• Laminating Machine
• Paper cutter
• Standby generator
- Decide on the number of Staff to employ
Computer business center is service oriented business which only one person can’t handle alone. So, you will definitely need helping hands.
Here are list of staff you can employ depending on your operation capital;
• Manager and computer instructor
• Computer operator
• Assistant Trainer
• Van driver
• Graphic designers
• Web designers and developers
• Computer engineer
• Data analyst
• Data Base Admin
Moreover, it is important that you train your employees so that they can provide the type of service you want and preserve brand image. In addition, you can also hire an accountant to keep your expenditures and revenue, invoices and mail report
A Full detailed Cost for Starting a Computer Business Centre
Tentative cost Start-up Summary
Building Improvements –
Standby Generator –
Photocopying machine –
Professional Development N10,000
5Computer Packages –
Spiral Binding machine N1,000
8 Computer Tables –
6 Computer Chairs –
3 File Cabinets N500
1 Desk –
Internet subscriptions, every month N3,000
Strong Antivirus N2,000
Grand Total N21,500
- Advertisement of your computer business centre
7 ways to advertise your computer business centre
You can advertise your computer business centre through the use of;
1. Producing and sharing the company’s brochure
2. Designing and giving out the company’s business Cards to different office that may need your service in future
3. Sharing of company’s Flyers
5. Sending out Introductory Letters to public and private establishment
6. Promotional tote bags, etc.
7. Web Presence i.e. creating a website for the company.
4 major challenges in Starting a computer Business centre in Nigeria
- Paralytic electrical power supply
To stay profitable in this computer business centre, you should just assume that you are going to be running generators for a 24 hr basis, 365 days in a year.
Starting a private business in Nigeria is more like opening office for local councils and state govt. You just need to know what are the right taxes and the proper way to pay them so you will not be exploited by so called government officials
Sub-standard computer and computer products in market
There are a lot of fake and substandard products in the market and it won’t make business sense if you invest in such products that won’t last for the long for you. It would be better to buy brand new computers for a start and original ones rather than fake or cloned ones.
Software virus challenge
Many computer business center operators don’t know take care of their computers talk more of installing antivirus to the computer and they end up leaving their systems infected thereby reducing the efficiency this computers.
In summary, you can a computer business centre is profitable business anybody can do. You can start the business a small or medium scale business and then end up as a large scale business enterprise. However, you can as well crumble; it all depends on you. Follow the right path to the business and you will definitely succeed.