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Start an online dating consulting business by following these 9 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple step guide to starting your online dating consulting business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
STEP 1: Plan your Business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How long it will take you to break even?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening an online dating consulting business?
Costs can be relatively low to start. You likely won't need any other supplies besides a computer. You can have an office, but it works just as well to meet your clients in a public location like a coffee shop. A website can be started on a service like Squarespace for just $150 a year, and social media platforms are entirely free. You may want to invest any of your start-up costs with paid advertising on social media to help get the word out though. Facebook pay-per-click ads can be expensive, depending on your area and competition.
What are the ongoing expenses for an online dating consulting business?
Dating consultants will have the following ongoing expenses:
- Website maintenance
- General supplies (paper, pens, smartphones, laptop)
- Advertising costs
Who is the target market?
Dating consultants choose their own target market. Typically, the ideal person is a busy professional who may not understand the rules or tricks behind creating a dating profile. Most consultants then choose a specific niche that accounts for the area they serve. For example, a young person in Denver may be more likely to want a spouse and children, while an older person in NYC may just be looking for companionship. However, if you feel strongly toward one demographic or another, you can likely carve out a client base regardless of where you are with the help of your expertise and passion.
How does an online dating consulting business make money?
Online dating consultants will generally charge for their time. A professional company (as opposed to an independent consultant) may charge by the week for access to their full team. More often though, consultants will charge a package rate that includes a specific level of service for a designated amount of time.
How much can you charge customers?
Costs vary depending on the service you offer. A quick profile revamp may cost as little as $50, while a full-scale service can charge up to $2,000 a week for VIPs. A consultant should determine how much they want to make an hour, and then determine how long it takes for her to service an average client. They should also check what similar services are charging in their area to avoid pricing themselves out of the market.
How much profit can an online dating consulting business make?
Profits can be considerable. Depending on how much you spend on advertising, you could potentially be making close to 95% profit on your services or even more.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Dating consultants may want to offer classes about online dating to attract more people at a lower rate. They may also consider doing group sessions where people can vent about their experiences and get advice about how to make online dating go more smoothly.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your online dating consulting business is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC's, and DBA's.
You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.
For most small businesses forming an LLC is a great option, but if you still want to weigh all your options check our our article, What Structure Should I Choose for My Business?
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a online dating consulting business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Online dating consulting businesses should require clients to sign a services agreement before starting a new project. This agreement should clarify client expectations and minimize risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions, service level expectations, and intellectual property ownership.
Informed Consent Agreement
It is recommended to provide clients with informed consent agreements to decrease legal liability and encourage transparency.
STEP 7: Get Business Insurance
Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
How to promote & market an online dating consulting business
Brag about your stats! This is the best way to let people know that you get results. Even if you're just starting off, let people know your personal numbers. If you had 75% of potential partners to respond to your first email, then that's a truly incredible stat that others will want to know about. If you've successfully played matchmaker in the past, talk about how many of the couples are still together. Start conversations with people on a social media page by asking specific questions about the dating culture (e.g., what's your favorite dating platform and why?). If your target demographic is on the younger side, then pay-per-click advertising on social media may bring a considerable ROI.
Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.
How to keep customers coming back
The best thing a dating consultant can do is hope for recommendations from their customers. Being personal and professional will help, but dating consultants should also go the extra mile. It's like a concierge service in that the consultant should think of what their client needs before they realize they need it.
STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence
A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Start An Online Dating Consulting Business In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
This business is excellent for someone who genuinely cares about what it means to interact with another person both online and in-person. Those who are most successful took a long, hard look at how they handled their own relationships before moving forward with their an actual business. Once they felt they had a good handle on their approach, they could go out and help others develop their own style.
What happens during a typical day at an online dating consulting business?
A dating consultant may have the following to-do list:
- Meeting with clients
- Writing/editing dating profiles
- Crafting written responses
- Taking profile pictures
- Advertising/social media strategies
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful online dating consulting business?
This business calls for someone who can understand what people want without their even having to say it. Many people find it difficult to identify what they're looking for in a partner. They may say they want one type of person while pursuing another type of person. Dating consultants aren't there to judge but are there to make it easier to meet the client's needs. Consultants should be friendly, personable, and able to plan ahead. They should also be extremely organized to juggle everything they may need to do in a given day.
What is the growth potential for an online dating consulting business?
Growth potential is excellent for those who have a knack for matching people. Online dating is one of the top ways people meet others, as bars and other anonymous social scenes become less and less appealing. There are plenty of people who don't know or don't have time to write a profile, and who are looking for someone to make it a bit easier.
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Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting an online dating consulting business?
Those who are familiar with this business say that it was their passion that led them to success. They didn't have to be told to go out and get the answers, they were finding out how to navigate the online dating world on their own. It takes a lot of time to understand the ins and outs of why certain profiles and people do well online while others can't seem to catch a break. Once the consultant found their own soulmate, they wanted to help others do the same.
Ideally, dating consultants need to go beyond what people can find online, and give them real advice they can use. If the client isn't interested in putting in the effort, then the dating consultant can do it for them. Also, always have a contract with your clients. Let them know that you'll do everything you can, but that true love can never be guaranteed. This type of informed consent will set up reasonable expectations and avoid potential lawsuits.
How and when to build a team
There is little need to build a team unless you want to start a large business. If you do want employees, you'll want to wait to build a steady client base before you branch out.