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So much so that he quit his ,000-a-year job after a few months to start Group Encounters, a social organization, using the ,000 his father had given him to pay off school loans.

While de Lasa went to Barnes and Noble to research how to write a business plan, Graham Mc Aden, 28, a public relations account executive for consumer products such as Burger King, languished at his job and told friends about the "socializing service" he dreamed of opening.

A lunch powwow turned into a partnership, and by 1997, Mc Aden had matched de Lasa's initial investment and the twosome headed a revamped activities service dubbed Social Circles.

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Activity-oriented matchmaking companies, like Social Circles, that appeal to affluent professionals. Hottest of all are online dating services: Revenues in this category are expected to increase fivefold--to million--by 2003, according to Marketdata.

Sandra Mardenfeld ([email protected]) has written about small-business issues for six years. "People are looking for opportunities to meet other eligible singles," says Mc Dermott.

"I wanted the site to be cool, hip, colorful and fun," she says.

"Jews who are already involved in Judaism will go anywhere on the Internet to get the information they need, but you have to make a special effort to appeal to young people and nonaffiliated Jews."Online personals also appeal because of their low cost.

They work long hours at demanding careers and have little time to search for a romantic partner.

And, finally, due to divorce, many people have to re-enter the singles scene after many years of absence."But today's dating service are no longer stereotypical "video dating" companies.Social Circles, for instance, originally charged clients for each activity."It quickly became apparent the service was worth far more than per activity," says Mc Aden, who now sells memberships at 0 for six months and 0 for one year."Online matchmakers allow people to get to know each other from the inside out on their own time and at a price they won't regret." While most Internet dating services, such as Zipple.Com, offer free personals and generate their income through advertising, e-commerce and Web hosting, more traditional dating services usually ask for an upfront membership fee."The old method of matching up singles--charging consumers

And, finally, due to divorce, many people have to re-enter the singles scene after many years of absence."But today's dating service are no longer stereotypical "video dating" companies.Social Circles, for instance, originally charged clients for each activity."It quickly became apparent the service was worth far more than $10 per activity," says Mc Aden, who now sells memberships at $650 for six months and $800 for one year."Online matchmakers allow people to get to know each other from the inside out on their own time and at a price they won't regret." While most Internet dating services, such as Zipple.Com, offer free personals and generate their income through advertising, e-commerce and Web hosting, more traditional dating services usually ask for an upfront membership fee."The old method of matching up singles--charging consumers $1,000 to $3,000 for a contract specifying a certain number of matches--is no longer viable," explains John La Rosa, research director at Marketdata.

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And, finally, due to divorce, many people have to re-enter the singles scene after many years of absence."But today's dating service are no longer stereotypical "video dating" companies.

Social Circles, for instance, originally charged clients for each activity.

"It quickly became apparent the service was worth far more than $10 per activity," says Mc Aden, who now sells memberships at $650 for six months and $800 for one year.

"Online matchmakers allow people to get to know each other from the inside out on their own time and at a price they won't regret." While most Internet dating services, such as Zipple.

Com, offer free personals and generate their income through advertising, e-commerce and Web hosting, more traditional dating services usually ask for an upfront membership fee.

"The old method of matching up singles--charging consumers $1,000 to $3,000 for a contract specifying a certain number of matches--is no longer viable," explains John La Rosa, research director at Marketdata.

,000 to ,000 for a contract specifying a certain number of matches--is no longer viable," explains John La Rosa, research director at Marketdata.