Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dating Service

  • Start-up cost: RM5,000-RM50,000 (depending on how high-tech you want to be)
  • Potential earnings: RM50,000-RM1.5 million
  • Typical fees: RM350 per client
  • Advertising: Yellow Pages, classified ads, 1-800 numbers, television ads, singles magazines
  • Qualifications: None
  • Equipment needed: Extensive phone system for 1-800 numbers, computer (with many using computer video programs to showcase their clients)
  • Staff required: Yes
  • Handicapped opportunity: Yes
  • Hidden costs: Computerized systems can run as high as RM40,000
  • Lowdown: Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a living.…Today’s dating scene is vastly different from the old days, when a village woman made matches based on how her knee was feeling that day. Tired of meeting people in bars and the regular “sweat shops,” many young professionals simply want a confidential, efficient way to meet the man or woman of their dreams. Because they don’t have the time to screen a hundred or so applicants, you can provide this service for them—and at a competitive rate (just because they don’t have time certainly doesn’t mean they don’t have money). You’ll need to first decide what kind of dating service you’d most like to be: a well-respected, high-profile agency or an impersonal (yet profitable) 1-800 number. Either type requires you to manage profiles of your clients, so you’ll need to have them answer questionnaires detailing their hobbies, interests, and desires in a potential mate. The next step is to make this information readily available to your client base—and keep track of your successes!
  • Start-Up: Your start-up costs can be quite high, based on the fact that most of your competitors (both large and small) are investing in technology that does it all in a few steps: first conducting the interview, then recording the interviewee and, finally, selecting a potential match from the databank. All of this could run anywhere from RM40,000-RM150,000—so be sure to investigate those costs well enough to document them in your business plan, particularly if you are going to need investors. However, if you opt for a more low-cost, manual, non-automated / electronic service, you would need just a good filing system although you cannot work as fast or earn as much income.
  • Bottom-Line Advice: This is the love business, so what’s not to love? For one thing, you’ll be meeting quite an array of interesting people, and you’ll be helping them to find long-lasting happiness. But what if it doesn’t work out? Are you prepared to deal with broken hearts, all the while encouraging them to stay in the game? If the answer is yes, you’ll be heartily rewarded for your efforts.