I Had an Old Building and a Lot of Computers: How a Kazakhstan Businessman Risked Opening a Business in Miami

How a Kazakhstan Businessman Risked Opening a Business in Miami

Opening a computer club in Miami as a student sounds like a risky idea. Computer clubs are not as popular in the United States as they are in some other countries. With the development of online games and the ability to play from home, many Americans do not even pay attention to such establishments, but Kazakhstani Rais Agayev still managed to attract people who care and create a place where people can enjoy live communication, like a mini party.

In big cities like New York or Los Angeles, the rhythm of life can be especially fast. People are always in a hurry to get somewhere, constantly busy with work, school, sports or other activities. The twenty-four hours seem too short, and there is not enough time for everything that needs to be done.

American cities are busy day and night, with many stores, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues open around the clock. This mode of life can be exhausting, but for many it is stimulating and inspiring. Building one’s own business at this pace has proven to be no easy task.

The businessman himself admitted that he came up with the idea of opening a computer club spontaneously – he found an empty building with many computers and got the idea to bring the whole experience of Kazakhstani gamers to the United States.

Our club offers a classic computer gaming experience. We have a cozy atmosphere, the walls are decorated with paintings. It cost a lot of money, but it helped to attract customers. In addition, we have built a system with excellent service, which made our establishment attractive to visitors,” he said.

Agayev shared that he had to invest in a complete renovation of the place, decorating the walls with graffiti and creating a special cozy atmosphere that would make the city’s gamers linger in his club. Having already launched the establishment and welcomed the first visitors he was surprised by the possibilities of this business. He only had to find regular customers, and he turned to what works anywhere in the world – word of mouth. Having missed such a common thing in Kazakhstan as a computer club, migrants from CIS countries became its first regulars.

If you have a great business but lack effective marketing, your potential customers may never hear about you, especially here in the United States. Here, people are increasingly turning to Google Maps and other online services to research reviews and ratings. They don’t just look at the ratings, but they are also interested in the overall number of reviews and the quality of service provided,” Agayev noted.

People started enjoying the opportunity to chat with friends live than sitting at home and commiserating on Discord. Visitors started calling their teammates to the club and it began to grow a serious community. From the moment of its opening, the establishment operated for only about half a year, but the client base grew so much that it had a noticeable impact on profits. Agayev admitted that they had guests who were ready to spend almost 10 hours a day in the club from morning until closing. As the entrepreneur admitted, the average age of visitors to his place is people from 30 years old.

Now we are starting to consider the possibility of further development. We plan to create a franchise and spread our idea across America. This is a new niche that very few people, especially Americans, know about, but everyone is interested,” he said excitedly.

The businessman emphasized that at the very beginning he faced a language barrier as soon as he arrived in the States. He spoke English, but it took him considerable time to adapt and get used to the new living conditions.

One of the hardest things was coping. You had to move forward despite the difficulties. I tried to connect lights, water and other services myself by calling and speaking in English. Although I was talking, I felt limited,” he explained.

Agayev admitted that starting such a business was a fascinating experience that is difficult to replicate anywhere but the United States. In the U.S., the market is saturated with different businesses, and finding a niche in which your business can thrive can be difficult. You have to analyze the market, identify customer needs, and identify a unique offering that will catch the attention of potential customers. Despite these challenges, Agayev has found his market segment through innovation, patience and a strategic approach to growing his business.