How to Start a Dating Agency

So, how do you start your very own dating agency? It's a many-stepped process, but the results are worth it. There will always be people who will be willing to pay for the help of an agency like yours.

This article will guide you on how to start your very own dating agency, as well as what to expect as you go along. Is it for you? Let's find out.

How Do Dating Agencies Make Money?

Dating agencies differ from each other depending on the services they offer. Some commonly offered dating services include:

  • Coaching
  • Matchmaking
  • Group dating and speed dating events
  • Online dating websites and apps
  • A dating agency will charge its clients for services rendered. This can be in one-time or ongoing fees (as in the case of monthly membership fees).
  • If you had your own dating agency, what would you offer? Whatever it is, chances are there's a market for it.

How much profit can you expect?

That's definitely up to you, but here's an idea. If you're planning to put up a matchmaking app or such, you can charge your clients between $15 to $50 a month. If you had 1,000 members paying $20 a month, that's $240,000 a year for you—gross.

What's the profit? It's impossible to tell until you crunch the numbers. That's why it's important to calculate the costs early on, just so you'll know what to charge if you want to turn a tidy profit.

And speaking of costs involved...

How much will it cost to maintain?

Again, this ultimately depends on the dating services your agency will offer. There are two kinds of costs to consider: upfront costs and ongoing costs.

Upfront costs are the expenses you need to make just to get the business started. Here are a few examples of such costs to give you an idea:

  • You'll need a website, and it's safe to set aside around $1,000 to buy the domain name, hosting, WordPress theme, dating software, logo, copywriting, web development, and so on. If you're going up against industry heavyweights like PlentyOfFish or Tinder, expect to pay much more up to $25,000 to $50,000.
  • Initial advertising is also an investment to make, and this can fetch up to $5,000 or more depending on how you go about it. Social media is always a good idea as it lets you interact with your potential clients.

Meanwhile, ongoing expenses include:

  • Monthly salaries may average between $1,500 and $3,000 per employee if you're building a team.
  • Hosting fees start at $10 or so a month.
  • Additional advertising, for which an allocation of $1,000 should do just fine.

When you have a good idea of how much your upfront and ongoing costs will be, you'll also have a good idea of how much you need to charge for your dating services to stay profitable.

Step #1: Make a Plan

Now that you have a good idea of how much it will cost to start and maintain a successful dating service, it's time to get clear on your target customers.

Who is the target market?

In the dating industry, your biggest chunk of customers will always be young adults, as they tend to not have settled down yet and are still looking around for potential partners. This is where your dating agency comes in. With your help, they'll find what they need much easier, and so they'll pay you handsomely for it.

Depending on your service, you might want to be more specific as to who your target audience will be. For instance, you might want to serve young adults of a certain demographic, race, political stripe, religion, and so on.

How much will you charge?

The more specific you are with your audience, the easier it will be to forecast how many clients you'll get over a set period of time. With that information, you can then calculate how much you'll need to charge each client in order to get the profit margin you want.

From there, you can tweak the numbers and adjust your approach to give yourself your best chances at a successful launch.

What will your dating agency’s name be?

In case you don't already have a name in mind, there are plenty of free business name generators on the Internet to give you ideas. It's also a good idea to check with business records in your state and the rest of the country, as well as on Google and social media, to make sure your name isn't already taken.

Once you find an original name you'll stake your claim on, get it registered. And make sure to secure the domain name, too.

Step #2: Get Legal and Tax-Registered

You have choices here: You can either set up your agency as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC (limited liability company), or a corporation. The last two options are popular among dating agencies as they keep you from becoming personally liable if someone files a lawsuit against your company.

Getting tax-registered will depend on what kind of business you set up your dating agency as. What's more, your state may have certain unique taxes that apply to your business. To be 100% sure, do some research to see what setup is best for your company tax-wise.

Step #3: Open a Bank Account and Credit Card for Your Agency

It's a business rule of thumb to have a separate business bank account and credit card for your dating services company. If you use your personal accounts, they could be jeopardized in a lawsuit.

It's also a good idea to get a separate credit card for your business for the following reasons:

  • It helps build credit history for your company.
  • It separates your personal and business expenses, streamlining your accounting.

Step #4: Set Up Your Accounting

You also need an accounting system. Find a reliable, accurate way to record your business expenditures and income generated. Accurate and detailed accounts will streamline your tax filing efforts as well.

Step #5: Get the Necessary Licenses and Permits

This is important—running a dating agency without the licenses and permits required by your state is just asking for trouble. Visit your county, city, or town clerk's office and ask about the local licensing needed, as well as any important tax practices to follow.

Liability Waivers

Also important for dating service: provide your customers with liability waivers. These are also called "informed consent agreements," and they're meant to decrease your legal liability.

Optional: Certificate of Occupancy

Lastly, if you decide to run your dating service out of a physical storefront or office space, you'll need a Certificate of Occupancy. It's a certification from your local government that your space conforms to all pertinent building, zoning, and government laws.

If you're leasing the space for your dating service's operations, your landlord should have handled the Certificate of Occupancy requirements for you. If you're building your own space, however, you'll need to get your certificate from your local government. This normally means you should review all pertinent laws before beginning construction.

Step #6: Get Insured

It's also important to make sure your business runs as safely as possible by getting business insurance. Aside from protecting yourself from losses covered by your policy, it's an additional bit of verification that your dating service is legally in the clear.

There are many kinds of insurance policies out there, but small businesses like your dating service can't go wrong with General Liability Insurance. Meanwhile, if you plan to hire staff, you'll also need to get Worker's Compensation Insurance.

Check your locality for providers of business insurance—they're not hard to find.

Step #7: Identify Your Branding

Contrary to what many think, branding is more than just your dating service's logo and slogan. Rather, your brand is how the public—especially your target clients—perceive your company. A strong brand is easily recognizable and elicits a positive reaction.

That's why it's worthwhile to have an experienced designer craft a logo for your business. They'll go deep into your target market's mindset, using unique insights to design a logo that represents your desired branding best.

Marketing and Website Pages

When it comes to marketing and reaching out to your target customers, start with your website, social media, and advertising on the Internet. Besides that, you can promote your business through more traditional means, such as speaking, organizing events, joining conventions, and more.

Making Sales and Keeping Your Customers Happy

What about selling? The goal is to keep your clients coming back and paying you for your services. At the most fundamental level, that simply means solving their dating-related problems better than anyone else can.

  • What are their various fears about using a dating site? Identify them and offer solutions.
  • What are their main gripes about your competitors? If tweaking your business will minimize or eliminate the chances of them griping about yours, do so.
  • What are their deal-breakers? Make sure you don't cross those lines.
  • What are their deal-makers? Make sure you have them and more.

The more confident about your dating site your customers are, and the more satisfied they are with the results they get in exchange for their money, the more likely they'll keep coming back to you.

Step #8: Create Your Website and Phone System

All trustworthy businesses have websites. If your dating service doesn't have one, people won't trust it no matter how good your services might be. Having a website is a must-do for any smart online dating business owner.

What about social media pages? Can they take the place of a website? Not quite, as they take nowhere near the investment needed to put up a legitimate website.

The good news is that it's much easier now than ever to design your own dating website even if you don't have the skills yet. You don't need to hire a professional if you use services like WIX, SquareSpace, or Weebly. (Yaguara reviewed SquareSpace you can take a look at the review before you make your decision.)

Later on, it'll pay to have some search engine optimization done on your website. Ranking on Google's Page 1 is one of the fastest, easiest ways to get leads and sales.

And lastly, having a phone system set up just for your dating service adds to its legitimacy, since it's easier for your potential customers to find and reach you.

FAQs

Let's answer a few miscellaneous questions commonly asked by those who want to put up their own online dating services:

How Do Matchmakers Find Clients?

Most matchmaking businesses have pools of their own clients who are single. This database is their first resort in helping their clients find good matches. Some online dating matchmakers also form networks with their peers, sharing their databases and making it easier to help their clients.

Do You Need a Certification to Be a Dating Coach?

The dating market is always in need of good coaches. If you want to become one, you're not required to be certified, but it does help to have credentials. Your target clients will tend to turn to the most qualified dating coaches available to them. It's therefore strongly advised to get training and certification relevant to your business and branding.

How Much Do Dating Apps Make?

It's no secret that dating sites make a lot of money these days, sustained by a persistent demand and an ever-growing userbase. A 2017 DeCluttr report claimed that Tinder earned nearly $1,500 per minute, while the newest app at the time (Huggle) earned $0.10 per minute. The middle-of-the-pack online dating sites like Match, PlentyOfFish, and Bumble earned between $72 and $178 per minute.

Put simply, the online dating industry is booming, and if you wanted to start your own successful online dating site, now's the time.

Help Your Clients Find What They Want

This article introduced you to online dating agencies—how they work, how they make money, and how to set your very own dating business up. Did we miss anything that you feel should have made it into this guide? Let us know in the comments section below. Good luck!

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