Published on:
November 7, 2012

5 Tips for Turning Your Internet Café into a Profitable Co-Working Space

With an increase in the number of homes with high speed Internet access, your Internet Café may be seeing a decline in revenue.

The good news is, with a couple of simple changes, your business could be booming again!

While Internet Cafes are no longer as popular as they once were, Co-Working Spaces are really popular now.

With more and more people having the opportunity to work from home – or turning to consulting after a layoff – the increase in need for a good, distraction free workspace is on the rise.

After all, working from your living room or home office is hardly the ideal situation for many people. It not only becomes harder to separate work from life, your home is full of reminders of the million things you need to do outside of work.

Many people turn to their local coffee house as solution because they often offer free wifi access. The downside is that coffee houses are often noisy (with other people and loud coffee grinders) and don’t present a professional front if your client wants to meet with you.

These reasons are what make Co-Working Spaces ideal. They offer a professional, quiet environment from which a person can work without having to lock themselves into an expensive lease for a small office.

Since your Internet Café is already set up with desks, chairs and Internet, there are only a few small tweaks you would need to make to be on your way to turning it into a Co-Working Space.

  1. Offer special packages for small teams and consultants.Create packaged deals for small teams and consultants that include a variety of services for a set price.

    For example, for $30 per day per person participants get:

    - High speed Internet
    - A desk
    - Access to a printer, copying machine and fax machine
    - Free coffee
    - Networking opportunities with coworkers

You could also offer monthly membership packages based on time. For example:

The 15 Day Per Month Bundle per person for $200 includes:

- High speed Internet
- A new desk each visit
- Discount code for printer, copying machine and fax machine
- Access to the conference room
- Free coffee
- Invitation to networking events and classes

A 30 Day Per Month Bundle per person for $375 includes:

- High speed Internet
- The same desk each visit
- Free copying, printing and faxing
- Priority access to the conference room
- Free coffee
- Invitation to networking events and classes

These packages aren’t necessarily recommended, they are purely examples of what you could offer.

  1. Create a fun common area.You may already have a common area in your Internet Café, but if you don’t it would be nice to set one up. It will become an area where your customers can network, brainstorm, have meetings and just generally relax.

    A fun common area would include comfortable seating (think: couches, beanbags, etc.), tables to place laptops and coffee mugs on and maybe some light music.

    You might also add a ping-pong table or foosball table if your customers are the kind that would participate. Offering a fun game is a great way to encourage customers to break the ice with each other and blow off some steam during the day.

  2. Create a conference room if possible.One really great benefit for small business’ and consultants to use a coworking space is that they don’t have to meet customers at a Starbucks or their home. It’s much more professional to bring customers to “the office” and show them to a conference room.

    If you have an extra room in your Internet Café, even if it is small, try to convert it into a conference room.  All you really need to add is a large table, chairs and maybe some pictures on the wall.

  3. Host classes for small businesses and consultants.

    Everyone serious about their career is looking to improve their own skills. This is particularly true among consultants who are always looking to get a leg up over the competition.Invite special guests to host classes for your customers. The guests can lecture tips to improve marketing, customer services, sales, accounting – anything! This benefits the special guest because he or she gets to speak in front of people who are potential customers or who could introduce him/her to new customers.

    It also benefits the consultants in the audience because they learn something new.

    And it can benefit you too if you charge a small fee for entry into the class.

  4. Host local networking events and club meetings.Local clubs and organizations are always looking for new, fun places to meet. Why not invite them to your location? All of the members are potential new customers and this gives you an opportunity to show off your awesome space.

    If you wanted to, you could also charge the organization or organizers a small fee to rent out your space for their event.

Turning your Internet Café into a CoWorking Space could be just the thing you need to start driving an increase in cash flow again.

Do you have any questions about Co-Working Spaces or the tips in this post? If so, leave a comment and we’ll do our best to answer them!