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Contact South West Web Marketing How To Start An Online Dating Business

Consumer habits have changed dramatically. By 2020, some experts predict that 90% of transactions will take place online or be internet-influenced

Consumer habits have changed dramatically. By 2020, some experts predict that 90% of transactions will take place online or be internet-influenced. Many businesses have long used their websites to generate additional revenue, yet in recent years there has also been significant growth in businesses that start up exclusively online, which can involve less risk, cost and effort.

Online Dating Templates

Creating an online business

As with any small business, the first steps to starting to trade online involves conducting market research to identify your target market (niche), assess demand, competition and reaction to your prices from potential punters. You also need to produce a business plan. With Online Dating you must decide if your going down the traditional boy meets girl scenario or are you considering a more "niche" approach. For example - casual dating or women seeking men with beards!

If sales are likely to exceed the annual threshold (81,000 in 2014/15), you must become VAT-registered. You’ll also need to pay tax, in accordance with your status as a sole trader, limited company, etc. Online traders must also observe data protection legislation, of course, when storing important information about customers.

Marketing will largely determine your business website’s success and search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial to this. Basically, it means using words on your website that ensure high placing in lists on search engine (eg Google) results pages. You could also use paid-for advertising services such as Google Adwords, for which you’re charged on a pay-per-click basis.

In certain cases you can jump a whole section here and buy into a pre populated and pre marketed website. There are a few good "white label dating templates" out there that will give you a database and the tools to market.

The benefits of going down this route can include:

  • Multi Language White Label Sites
  • Free to Build
  • Geo Targeted
  • Pre Populated Databases
  • Promotional Tools Included
  • Affiliate Programs to Make Money
  • Referral Programs
  • Full Customisation

Getting your site up and running

You must decide whether to create your own dating website or get someone else to do it for you. Doing it yourself can save money, but the results might not be great. And again going down the "private label dating" website route can save lots of money and time here.

There are many ready-made online solutions that allow people with little experience to create their own website. However, these are only likely to provide you with a couple of formulaic template pages with stock text and photos. With this in mind, you might prefer to pay a professional website designer. This should give better results, and will cost around £300-£600 per day. For around £2,000 you should get a service which includes design, domain name registration and arranging hosting of your site by an internet service provider. Setting a budget and a clear brief can help you minimise the costs.

Website information you must include

Your business website must include your address and contact details, privacy policy, terms and conditions, exchange and refund policy, quality commitment and information about delivery and payment. Stock availability and pricing should be kept up to date and you must state how much VAT and post and packaging is payable per item.

To collect payments you need to include a shopping cart function, as well as a secure means by which customers can enter their card details when paying. Most website designers provide a shopping cart function and payment facility as part of their service. Online website-building packages do, too.

You also need a merchant account to collect payments. Providers such as PayPal are popular, but you should also enquire at your bank. You pay a service charge on each transaction, a set-up and monthly service fee.

Test and protect your website

Be sure to test your website site thoroughly before you launch. Ask potential customers what they think, too, and act on their feedback if valid. And remember – running an online business isn’t without risk. Serious technical or security issues can have a disastrous consequence, so make sure you protect your website from online threats and back up important data.

And finally and more importantly - enjoy your new online business. Don't just sit back though - push and tell people about it. Imagine your a new business in a field, it may be the best product in the world but nobody knows you are there! Market it...

Tags: Marketing Strategies, Start Your Own Online Dating Site, Google