#1 Define Your Competitive Advantage
When creating your competitive advantage, you must define it within the first few seconds when a visitor clicks on your website. Your competitive advantage is why the visitor should sign up with your service, when there are many services to choose from. The answer must be what appeals to that visitor. In the case of a matchmaking business, the first competitive advantage a visitor thinks about is the cost. How much will this service cost. Can he or she afford the cost. Is the cost worth a membership. Next, the visitor might be thinking if this service is for them and will they find a match. Finally, the visitor might be thinking about privacy and if the information they enter to register is secure. The different types of matchmaking services in the market today range from requiring a potential client to pay the matchmakers fee upfront in full. Some charge by the introduction, meaning that once a client hires the matchmaker, the matchmaker finds an appropriate match and the client then pays for that single match. Some matchmakers charge a flat fee for one evening and have the client meet several introductions for 15 minutes each. Finally, there exists matchmakers that confirm the man and the women have seen photos and bios of each other before agreeing to pay and go on a date. Find what method works best for you. Make that your competitive advantage.
#2 Identify Your Market
Before planning your matchmaking business, you need to identify who you want as clients. Do you want young clients who are just starting a career that might have a small budget? Are you going after clients in a specific niche market, such as a particular religion or race? Are you going after clients in a geographical location where the culture is not widely known? Or, are you going after another matchmakers market and undercutting their fees? This is critical before launching your matchmaking business. You need to sit down and identify who your market is.
#3 Plan Your Acquisition Of Members
How do you plan on getting members to sign up for your service? Will you run paid advertising using Google AdWords, take out a newspaper ad or magazine ad? Will you organically market your service through word of mouth? Many matchmaking services begin with paid advertising setting a monthly budget. Others strictly use word of mouth and member referrals, offering free introductions in lieu of getting members to refer other members to sign up. Planning the acquisition of members is critical to your success.
#4 Create A Marketing Budget
You need to create a marketing budget. If you are running paid ads, you need to figure out what percent of unique visitors to your site will convert and sign up. Furthermore you need to calculate what each client is worth. As an example, if each client is worth $25 and you get a 1% conversion from visitors to signing up, you can afford to spend $0.25 per click and break. You can actually use a dedicated credit card as your source of funds to advertise. Pick a 3 month period of time and set aside let’s say $1,500 a month, for a total of $4,500. At the end of 3 months taking client fees and paying your credit card balance, see how much is actually cost you to start your business. You might be surprised that you made money and can then increase your monthly budget accordingly. Carefully create your marketing budget and be disciplined.
#5 Building The Technology
Technology has changed so much in the past 3 years. Matchmakers might have a member registration system that captures the data on their hard drive, which is the easiest and least expensive to set up. Others spend up to $50,000 to create a custom registration system that is accessed virtually on their secure internet site. By signing onto their private database with a username and password, a matchmaker can access a members and contact them. The latest trend is to lease a matchmaking app. What that means is, a programmer might have created a comprehensive matchmaking app that can be leased anywhere from $25 a month to $100 a month and give the matchmaker access to the technology. The member data is stored on a secure storage and is completely owned by the matchmaker. The matchmaker can cancel the leasing of the matchmaking app and download the member data and import that member data elsewhere. The matchmaking app tends to be more comprehensive compared to capturing the data on a hard drive and even creating a custom registration system, simply because every time an update is needed with a custom registration system, it cost hourly programming fees. When leasing a matchmaking app, whenever there is an update, the creator simply pushes a few buttons and the matchmaking app is updated and that is included in the monthly lease agreement. In fact, when leasing a matchmaking app, the creator will customize and brands the app with specific logos, colors, fonts, etc. for each matchmaker when they first sign up, so it appears that it was a custom registration system.
#6 Craft Your Communication Messages
This is one of the most important segments of creating a matchmaking business. Each page on your website, your business cards and any press you create must have the same communication message. Failure to adhere to this principle will cause confusion and lack of trust for a visitor. It is recommended that once all your communication messages displayed on all your platforms are complete, print them out and make a technique book so you can proofread all your communication messages.
#7 Pre-Test, Test, Beta Test, Launch
This is critical to the success of launching a new matchmaking business. No matter how articulate you might be, there will be mistakes, typos, programming issues and it must be vetted before you go live. Therefore, it is suggested that you pre-test your business with friends and family first. Then, test it again with a new group of close friends. Then run a beta test, which is simply either run a paid ad for 7 days to see the results, or find a group of friends that are not necessarily interested in your matchmaking business and ask then to do you a favor by testing the system for you. Once those three tests have been completed and you are satisfied, you are ready to launch. Keep in mind that you will constantly be tweaking new products and services to perfect your business.