Interview with Maarten Visser from @internet Cafe
Maarten is a knowledgeable person with a good business sense and an even better sense of humor. He was keen on telling us more about himself and his business and made us laugh throughout the interview as a bonus
He owns and runs a successful internet cafe business here in Rustenburg on the corner of Von Willeigh and Kock str.
Thanks for your time Martin! Best of luck with the internet cafe business.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Maarten Visser and I own the @internet cafe business in Rustenburg with my mother. I run and manage the business on a daily basis.
I enjoy playing action cricket every now and then. I’ll be competing in the North West trials in April 2009 for the North West national team in action cricket.
2. When did you start doing what you’re doing and why?
I started the internet cafe business about 3 years ago. My interest in computers gave me the needed inspiration to launch the business together with the need for a primary income. I really enjoy all the aspects of the business and the challenges it throws my way.
3. What are your specialties?
Customer service is my niche. I’m always focused on providing the best service possible. Teaching and guiding my customers is an important factor. I often illustrate procedures to people so that they can attempt it themselves at a later stage.
Every now and then, customers approach me with projects that they need to do. These projects consist of research on the internet and generating layouts in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Corel Draw, etc.
4. What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
The first major issue I face on a daily basis is latency and downtime with my internet service provider. Running and internet cafe business requires a stable, reliable internet connection at high speed which is not always the case.
Another challenge is assisting illiterate customers and helping them to work with computers and the internet for the first time. It is a good experience but it requires a high level of determination and concentration.
5. What is your one killer piece of advice for other people in your field?
The location of your business is the most important part. Being centrally located near other businesses, supermarkets and schools will increase your revenue drastically.
Good customer service is the key to a successful business. Treating your customers the right way will guarantee a return and word of mouth from those people.
It is also important to choose the right internet service provider before starting your business. Running an internet cafe on an unreliable connection/network is extremely frustrating.