If you want to make money hosting singles events, consider learning how to start a speed dating service. Speed dating is a great way for singles to meet each other in a relaxed, friendly environment. At a speed dating event, single men and women meet at a designated location for a series of short "dates." At the end of each date (usually no more than ten minutes), everyone gets a new partner and the process starts again. Each single makes notes on a date card, which the coordinator collects at the end of the event. The coordinator then notifies the singles of any matches, and the matched pairs take it from there. Although busy professionals in some cities already enjoy the benefits of speed dating, the concept hasn’t quite caught on in some locations. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to help others, this could be the business opportunity for you. Just be sure to do your research, and consider the following tips to start your own speed dating service.
- Determine your market. While dating services can serve general markets, many of them target a particular niche. Some popular niche markets include Christian speed dating, ethnic speed dating, and graduate speed dating. By focusing on a particular niche instead of the general market, you can build a good reputation for providing a dating pool that yields more successful matches.
- Determine your venue. A speed dating event requires a good venue. The area must be large enough to accommodate the number of singles registered for the event. Consider partnering with a restaurant that can provide a dining room, drinks and appetizers. Other popular speed dating venues include coffee bars and lounges.
- Obtain your business permit. Your speed dating service will require a business permit, but the license type depends on your state and local government. Check with your city, county, state and a certified public accountant for information regarding permits, licenses and taxes.
- Market your service. Use a wide variety of methods to market your speed dating business. Advertise in print media and on the radio, television and websites. Social networking is a good way to update members and advertise your events. But don’t neglect conventional, tried-and-true methods like fliers, circulars and newspaper ads.
- Organize your events. Start with a schedule. If you know how many singles to expect at an event, you can better plan the venue, meals and extras (literature, gift bags and coupons, for instance). Establish some ground rules. Determine the length of each "date" (usually no more than ten minutes). Decide on rules for the couples, such as limiting contact information or the types of questions that they can ask each other.
- Offer discounts and incentives. Keep your clients coming back with discounts and incentives. For example, offer referral discounts or special incentives for bringing a friend to an event. With permission from your matched pairs, share speed dating success stories in your event advertising.