"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Hi! My name is Keli and I'm quite new to this site. My husband and I have a business idea that we think is very lucrative, but I need the opinion of some professionals to see if it would actually work. We live in a very rural community, the closest town (where we want to open the "Biz" is 13 miles away) Everyone has to go to this town for groceries, wal-mart, (etc.) The only place within about 50 miles of the town that has internet for people who don't have their own computer is the library, and they only have six computers with internet access.. Our idea, is to open a Christian internet cafe, with about 20 computers, and sell food and drinks too. We would also like to have on Friday and Saturdays amateur night for Christian poets, artists, and musicians. We've got the business hours and prices just about all figured out. We think this would be good for the community because there is nothing like that around. It would employ probably up to fifteen people so it would be creating a few jobs... And would help local musicians, poets and artists get exposure. The reason we want to open a Christian cafe, is because of our own personal beliefs and that the community is over all very religious. We don't know where the money is going to come from... no idea. I've looked up government small business grants, but the fact of the matter is, if you are not an "organization" they don't offer them. If they do I sure haven't seen anything about it. Anyway, my question is this: Do y'all think this is a lucrative business opportunity? Or is it just a dream that will probably never happen? I'd appreciate some input. Thanks y'all!
#1. "RE: Is my business idea any good?" In response to Reply # 0
Coming from a small community myself, I have found that finding the "right" idea for the are is so very hard.
The internet cafe is a good idea, but you won't draw what you would in the big city, but you probably already know that! I guess your hours of availability and what else you would offer that people would be willing to pay for would determine your success! I would guess you would not be charging for the internet access, but going with the assumption that people would be purchasing coffee or food for use of the internet? Then you may have to limit time and so on, so I think this could be hard to sell in a small area, all the details around the idea would probably be key in your success and the wants of the community!
#2. "RE: Is my business idea any good?" In response to Reply # 1
I tend to agree with the other response. Why not try to survey some people and get a feel for if they would go to your cafe? Also, do a lot of people not have internet access in your area? If many people already have the internet then this idea would not work very well. As far as money goes, do you have good credit? If so, you may be able to get a bank loan if you can convince them you have done your homework.
#3. "RE: Is my business idea any good?" In response to Reply # 2 Mon Aug-11-08 11:18 PM by KeliGuitarMomma
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 I have done some homework and interviewed about fifty people. From what I can gather... about 3 out of 10 people do not have the internet in this town or in the surrounding communities. All together, there is probably 15,000 to 20,000 people in Mountain View and all the surrounding communities. We would be charging for the internet, based on the prices of a few that we have looked into. The most fair, and affordable price that we could charge per hour, and still make a little profit, is $5 an hour. There is a college here in Mountain View, and I have heard the students complaining that there is not enough available time in the computer lab to get all their research,and papers done. (I am a business student there myself and I can tell you, for people that work 9 to 5, there is no time for them to go to the school computer lab) So, this would be beneficial for the students here and at another college (Lyon College) about forty miles away. I have a feeling that people will be coming from miles around to see us. One reason is that people can meet other people, its going to be a very social atmosphere, and another reason is that we are going to treat our customers like family, and another thing we have to offer is going to be a friendly, helpful, fun, social, entertaining atmosphere in which customers can be comfortable. Thank you both for your advice, and I will consider detailing the development of everything that will be surrounding the internet (the cafe and restaurant and amateur night) because the truth of the matter is, if it doesn't ALL run smoothly and ALL of it doesn't contribute to the community, it won't work. Oh, thats another reason, I want to do this. Community development. Social interaction.. okay I've typed a book... Thanks again!!
#4. "RE: Is my business idea any good?" In response to Reply # 0
I think the idea does have some merit. However, you probably need to also research why there isn't another cafe around. You mentioned it was a small town. Are the people using the internet alot. I go to the library and evaluate the usage of the 6 computer there. Maybe they don't get that many users. Also, you may end up running a coffee shop and not necessarily a internet cafe as your revenue may be derived from the sale of food/beverages and not internet usage. I have a friend who opened a bookstore and does the booksigning, book reading thing at her shop as well. Additionally she sells coffee. But her main thrust was to sell books. I think your idea sounds interesting though.
#5. "RE: Is my business idea any good?" In response to Reply # 0
I noticed in your posts that you mention prices and profit so I am assuming you have figured your expenses in order to come up with a profit margin.
Be sure to work up your business plan before you get too much farther along in the process. It's amazing how much you can derive from the business plan to help you determine if it really is a viable business for you. By going step by step through the whole business plan process you get the true picture. You will know if you can make a go of it. You will know exactly how much it will cost you and if you will indeed be profitable and when you might reach the break even point.
There are so many expenses to a brick and mortar business that lots of folks just don't think about until they hunker down and write out the business plan.
It takes a lot more than good credit and a great business plan to qualify for a business loan. In most cases it takes 20% of the start up cash coming from your pockets, plus great credit, plus collateral and industry experience.
#6. "RE: Is my business idea any good?" In response to Reply # 0
Coming from a VERY small community in North Dakota I can see this being a help. I do have two bits of my opinion. I would take the time to plan it out well as we both know that many business' try to make it in these 'bedroom towns' and rarely do anymore. Just don't rush into anything. As a fellow Christ Follower, I would not make it too 'religiousy'. Religion is what pushes people away from God. You do NOT want to make anyone feel uncomfortable in there. Use contemparary music (Steven Curtic Chapman, Casting Crowns, Salvador, Third Day, Toby Mac, etc). In those areas you are going to be catering to more of a younger crowd. Now, even at 40 I still consider myself in the 'younger crowd'. Or is that a pipe dream..hehe. I have been in a couple coffee places in the bigger cities that are more like a Starbucks but have cool Christian music going. Gives the place a fun atmosphere along with having words of Christ moving through the place. Cool idea