My brother Benjie was an OFW but has decided to stay in the Philippines to be with his family. He has then ventured into different small businesses, and one of them is a Pisonet business.
A pisonet is an internet cafe wherein customers rent the unit not by the usual hourly rate but by paying the minimum of one peso (piso) for every 4 minutes of usage. Pisonet means ‘one peso internet.’
The Philippines is typically a sachet economy wherein products and services are being sold on small portions or tingi-tingi. This especially appropriate for consumers with minimal purchasing powers. Hourly rental is usually ranging from P15 to P20. With pisonet, a customer is given the flexibility of paying depending on the time he requires. This makes it appealing to children/youngsters who don’t have enough funds but want to enjoy surfing the net even for just 5 minutes or so.
I have interviewed my brother to get a closer look at the pisonet business. I will discuss how to set up this kind of business and all the factors to be considered.
Capital and Supplier
The good thing about this business is that you can start small and expand your business once you have seen a great potential. A new unit of pisonet costs P15000 or more only. It’s a complete set package that includes: CPU, 19 inches LED monitor, webcam, keyboard, mouse, headset, coin slot, and an arcade-type box. It’s all set up. All you need is to plug in the power supply, connect to the internet, and voila, your business has just started.
You can find these units being sold by major computer shops in your place and the malls near to you. If you are in Manila, you can see this in the area near Gilmore LRT station (Quezon City) and Raon (Quiapo). Some suppliers are also available online. Just check on Facebook and Google.
Selecting the best location to put up your pisonet business is one of the essential factors to consider. An excellent site is near schools as most of its users are the youngsters, mostly students, who are playing online games or doing some school projects/research. Just mind on the city or municipality’s ordinances on internet shops as it may have some distance or any operation restrictions.
Otherwise, you can put up your pisonet in a location where there is significant foot traffic or just within a crowded community. My brother is operating his pisonet at home. He only allocated a portion of his living room and converted it to a shop. Likewise, you can put your units on a secure space on your front yards and even in your garage.
Internet, Permit, & Crew
You need an internet connection to operate this business. My brother subscribes to a 5mbps package for P1600, and it performs reasonably well. Remember that a high-speed connection attracts more customers.
Permits to operate are required for this business. Get a Baranggay and/or a Municipality/City permits. Permit fees vary from place to place.
The most significant advantage of a pisonet as compared to the usual internet cafe is its ability to run with minimal supervision. You might not need an attendant/crew to monitor all its activities. Customers pay by dropping money to the coin slot, then the computer operates. This saves you from paying an employee. Of course, if you have a bigger shop, then you need an attendant.
Profitability depends on the location and the number of units you have. Let me give you a sample computation. Assuming you have eight pisonet units and the average customer usage is 5 hours per unit in a day.
P1 = 4 minutes of rental
P15 = 1 hour of rental
P75 = 5 hours for 1 unit
This means that your cafe will earn P600 a day or P18,000 a month. Of course, the more units you have coupled with more users, the better your income will be. You also have to consider expenses such as electricity, internet connection, shop rental, employee salary, etc.
The speed of your internet connection, coupled with the usage of the latest computer specs, is an excellent customer magnet. Furthermore, the machine is also programmed to save energy by hibernating if not in use. This makes your electricity expense significantly lower and guarantees a reasonable profit for you.
Other Income Sources
Computer rental is the primary business, but there are other sources of income coming along with it.
You can buy a printer for P9000, and you can do multiple income-generating tasks. Inks cost P250 only. My brother said that there is a considerable profit from printing.
Print – Price starts from P2 for black and white and up to P15 for the colored image. You can print pictures on a 3R sized glossy paper.
Scan – You can scan an image and send it to an email or save it in a flash drive for P7.
Photocopy – The same printer can be used to photocopy documents and images at a charge of P2.
Invitation Cards – Applying some of your creative talents, you can make invitation letters for birthdays and weddings. Prices start from P10 to P25.
Another source of income is lamination. A laminating machine costs around P900 and ten sheets of A4 size laminating film costs P25 only. Charges range from P25 to P95, depending on the size.
Just note that prices depend on the areas that you are operating. It might be dictated based on the competition.
The most common problem of a pisonet business is the loss or intermittent internet connection. Another is the loss of power supply due to widespread power blackouts. This happens typically during storms and heavy rains. These two are disruptions to your business operations. You should be ready as it may happen anytime.
EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.
Chat with me
I have ventured into an e-commerce business (online selling) that you might also be interested in setting up. You can visit our website at colibers.com, where you can have a chat with me (just select Contact Us), and I will be more than willing to entertain your questions regarding this post and e-commerce.