The 2020 pandemic has forced many to alter their working practices. But with so many people hotdesking from home, more and more individuals are considering what it might be like to run their own businesses. If you’re one of these budding entrepreneurs, setting up a dating site might have crossed your mind. After all, this industry is worth billions globally (and has thrived under lockdown). Here are three top tips for launching a dating service.
Online dating has become a phenomenon since the first commercial site was launched back in 1995, to the extent that around one-in-three relationships today are instigated in the virtual environment. But that is no reason to take success for granted. The first thing you’ll need to consider is where you see your venture fitting in what is a highly-competitive marketplace. You could opt for a generic flavour, but the trouble with that option is the degree of competition. Some of the longer-standing websites command global memberships running into tens of millions. A better idea might be thinking of a niche area and making it your own. Perhaps a subject you are already interested in, and for which you could provide enthralling content? This is where you can let your creative juices flow. A site for singles who listen to Kings of Leon? Or New York Yankees fanatics? The dating world is your oyster – as long as you can bring originality and flair.
Much as there might be a temptation to unleash your inner web developer by downloading some basic templates from a bespoke website design outlet, customizing pages to your vision (with minimal coding skills required), you need to formulate your business plan before getting hands-on with any page building. This is where you need to outline every aspect of this venture, from your branding (including registration of a domain name and the graphic design criteria you will employ when cobbling together headings, web content and images) to the financial platform you will utilize. How will you generate income from your dating service? What will you do differently to your competitors? Will you get an experienced technical expert to build the appropriate shopping cart? What are the risk factors you can foresee that will have a negative effect on your enterprise, and what steps will you take to ensure you deal with risks? Once you’ve established a business model for your dating service, you can tailor this according to fluctuations in customer demand. You can also use this as a valuable slice of background information about your business should you happen to explore the possibilities of seeking a grant or business loan to kick-start the process.
After deciding on your name, branding, design concept, and how you’ll monetize your service, you might think you’ll be able to take a step back and wait for customers to rock up to the latest dating venture on the block? No. This should actually be seen as more like the start than the conclusion of your web enterprise. You should continually analyze what your customers are looking for – web analytical tools will reveal which pages are most popular, which global locations you are receiving most web traffic from, which of the functions you offer to subscribed customers are most engaged with. You can take on board feedback from all these areas and ensure you keep your site abreast with what your customers are expecting of you. You can also focus on promotion as an ongoing concern, through social media.