How To Start An Online Dating Service
Knowing how to start an online dating service hooks up more than just folks wanting a date. A business owner interested in online dating services needs to find a partner that is a crackerjack in putting up and operating an internet website. The duo also needs to find a lawyer to put together the legalese in case if folks get upset, the daters don't blame the website owner.
You'll need a few things to start attracting potential couples, including:
- Legal contracts for site use
- Business license
- Incorporation papers
- Computers, programs or a company to maintain the website
- Internet and host provider
- Internet or brick-and-mortar bank account
- Write a business plan. Every business, no matter how small, needs a business plan. The plan should include at least a three-year plan with details for marketing and money management.
- Interest investors. If your online dating service needs major funding, you'll need investors. If you're loaded or operating on a small budget, you can skip this step. Investors need to see a business plan and major research that supports your plan. If you haven't done this part of the work, you're online service probably won't do as well as you'd hoped. Take the time to do detailed research and planning even if you aren't going for investors at this point. Save your work. If your online dating service rockets in popularity, you'll need funders to expand at that time.
- Investigate business licenses and permits. Some states, counties and localities have laws regulating online businesses. If you haven't investigated the legality of opening a business, you better do so before you open your site. Liability, especially when you're providing the forum for hooking people up, can be significant. If something unexpected happens, you may end up on the end of a lawsuit. Hire a legal eagle to look over your business and maybe incorporate you to protect you personally from irritable people seeking damages.
- Arrange for business contracts and disclosures. Your site needs a privacy statement and online disclosures. You'll also need your legal eagle on the job for these documents. Look at other online sites that have operated for years. The privacy statements for these sites incorporate the lessons they've learned and might serve as a good groundwork for your documents.
- Check out the competition. Check out other online dating sites in detail. Take notes about offerings, details, features and prices. These guys are your competition. Make notes about how your site differs and what you offer exclusively to your visitors.
- Lay out website. If you're a master programmer, go for it. If you need a sophisticated site and can't do it alone, investigate possible programmers. Interview potential web masters and make sure that you look at the web builders work in detail.
- Build website. Add the necessary bells and whistles to make the site work. Leave room for new pages and operations.
- Investigate internet providers. You want bang for your buck for your site. Compare down times, speed, capacity, as well as services. Match your needs with each provider. You may not need 50,000 web mail addresses, but you might need tons of photo storage. Make sure your comparing prices with your immediate needs.
- Test the site. Put up the site and test it. Gather groups of friends to do user tests and collect feedback. Modify the site if you see the same complaints mentioned more than twice.
- Market website. Determine the best locations to advertise your online service. Starting an online dating service requires a business plan. Use the information from your research to assist in targeting your groups. Dating groups divide into ages; consider separate marketing campaigns to target each age group.