In the near future I am planning on opening a computer store, not necessarily retail but more along the lines of repair, teaching classes on the basics, having a front for web development, hosting and also having on-call repair men.
Because classes would be taking place, there would already be ~10 computers in the store so after business hours the place would 'transform' into a computer [web\e-mail\gaming\] café.
Now, this idea is not set in stone and I am not completely serious about it as of yet, so I have not started work on a business plan but will as soon as I gather all of the information together.
I want WHT's view on all this, is it worth it?
Some key points supporting the idea:
- It is a developing area (pretty developed now)
- Would have a great location
- Would be serving 2+ demographics (adults\teens\businesses, etc)
- Has a future
I am pretty dedicated to this idea but as I said above I am gathering my information before I start out because once I start I will never stop.
One more question: If I have classes on how to do computer basics (Internet, E-mail, Word, Excel, etc) Would I need any special certification as long as I am not giving away 'degrees' I use the word degrees lightly. Also what if I were to give the people who finished the classes a certificate of completion, would that be okay?
You'll find that most of your business has to do with computer repair and as far as teaching classes, you don't need an certifications, but you should have some.
Cafe stores are great.. I assume you'll be serving coffee there. So you'd want to make a small "cafe" area with nice tables and wireless network so people can use their laptop while drinking your coffee and having a snack.
You won't even believe how close we were to opening the exact same shop, with the exact same idea (basic computer classes), you can even ask Steve-VST here, hehe. We had a decent location, we were days away from going out and purchasing the corner store, but we had someone research the demographics of the area and we found they (mostly young parents) did not have a strong enough interest to support the costs of running the shop.
To answer your questions, based on my research... It's all based on location. You have to know if there's a strong enough need for this shop, and if the revenues from every service you perform justify the monthly facility fees, startup fees (which are huge btw), and salaries. What we had our researcher do mainly, is perform a survey of the radius of homes surrounding the area (basically, he went door to door with a simple questionaire, annoying, but he managed to get a lot of data). The main problem with what we found out was that most of the people were new parents, so their kids were too young to care about the store, they were working all the time, or they already had internet access and wouldn't ever use a cyber cafe.
You do not need any special certification to offer minor courses in your shop (this is based on laws that govern my city, you should look into any specific laws in yours before taking my word for it). Granted, they won't be able to walk out with a Bachelor's Degree in Microsoft Word, they can walk out with a certificate saying they successfully completed "IDS Cafe's Microsoft Workshop" or something along the lines.