How to Start a Pisonet or an Internet Cafe Business in the Philippines


The Internet Cafe was a godsend for those who needed work done online while on transit. It had only been around two years since the broadband technology was made available to the world.

The Philippines was still catching up with digital technology. Not many had smartphones yet because the early prototypes were expensive and faulty. The Blackberry was the status symbol for those who could afford. Today I could get things done from my smart phone. All I need is a place with Wi-Fi service.

By 2014, mobile technology officially displaced the desktop as the primary source of online traffic. Laptops, tablets and smart phones are evolving at a high rate. They are designed to manage more work and perform a wider variety of tasks than ever before.

Then you have the growing number of apps flooding the market. From gaming to fitness to hailing a cab, you can find an app for anything you want to be done.

With all the advances in digital technology and the Internet, one would be inclined to think that an Internet Cafe business in the Philippines would go the way of the dinosaurs.

Well, think again.

In the same way that technology evolves to find ways to make life and work easier and more convenient, the Filipino entrepreneur will always find the means to make a lucrative business model even better and offer more value.

Introducing the Pisonet.

Have you heard of the Pisonet? You’re probably reading this article because:

  1. You’ve heard of the Pisonet and wanted to start one out.
  2. You haven’t heard of the Pisonet and would like to learn more from your friends at
  3. You haven’t heard of the Pisonet, but the term itself is quite intriguing.

If you haven’t heard of the Pisonet, you’re not alone. Most people I’ve talked to have no clue what it is all about. But having the word “Piso” as the first syllable already connotes a value-based enterprise. And you are indeed correct!

What is the Pisonet?

For some reason, my first encounter with new business ideas is always in Makati. This time I was in Makati Avenue when I received a call from an associate that I needed to scan and send a document to a potential client.

I went inside the first Internet Cafe I came across. It looked like the typical Internet shop yet strangely different. The computers resembled more like an arcade game or the slot machines in a casino.

Maybe the best way to describe how the computers looked would be an ATM with a provision for a keyboard. You can’t see the PC because it is housed in a wooden enclosure with a built-in slot.

According to the store manager, to activate the machine, you have to drop coins.

How much do these casino-like, Internet shops charge? One peso for every four minutes!

The Pisonet is the newest godsend to those who need access to a PC while on transit.

You can see more Pisonet-type Internet Cafe business in the Philippines. I’ve seen a number of them set up inside a subdivision or neighborhood. Many entrepreneurs convert the front part of their homes into a Pisonet.

But what is the difference between a Pisonet and an Internet Cafe?

Difference Between a Pisonet and an Internet Cafe

Other than their appearance, the biggest difference between a Pisonet and the traditional Internet Cafe is their price.

The Pisonet is a more customer and budget-friendly version of the Internet Cafe. It is a welcome change for office workers who only need a few minutes to accomplish tasks and students who have little means of paying for a full hour’s use of the Internet.

Before the Pisonet became popular, you would have to pay the Internet Cafe the minimum charge per hour even if you only used their facilities for 10 minutes. An Internet Cafe would charge around 30 to 60 Pesos per hour.

The Pisonet started gaining traction in 2010. You may have noticed that a few years later, some Internet Cafe outlets began lowering their minimum charge to 30 Pesos per half hour.

Still, you get more value by patronizing a Pisonet. An hour’s use of a Pisonet’s computer will only cost you 15 Pesos!

So do you want to start a Pisonet or an Internet Cafe business in the Philippines? If you do, read on! We have some valuable information that you need to know!

Preparing a Pisonet or Internet Cafe Business Plan

The first step in your pursuit of an idea is to prepare a Business Plan. Everything sounds good in theory until you subject the idea to different conditions and scenarios.

A Business Plan is not a crystal ball; it will not tell you if your venture will succeed 100%. But if becomes an important reference for making crucial business decisions. It will give you clues on whether you should pursue the idea or not.

Related: Top 10 Home-Based Business Ideas and Opportunities for 2017

If you don’t know how to make a Business Plan, outsource it to someone who does. But generally, the information you need to know are as follows:

  • Does the Pisonet venture have a ready market for its services?
  • How much capital do I need to put up a Pisonet?
  • What is my break-even point?
  • How many sales should I target every day?
  • What are my risks?

A Business Plan consists of 3 types of studies:

  • Market Study
  • Financial Study
  • Marketing Study

In this article, we will only focus on the Market and Financial study. Only when you find the Pisonet venture feasible or viable should you perform a marketing study. You should find out first if there are end users for your service and if so if you could afford to put one up.

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