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Online Dating Start-Up Business Plan Report (Assessment)


Introduction

The project’s purpose is to start the online dating business that will help people to get in touch, acquire new acquaintances, and arrange offline meetings. Since online dating implies the meeting of unfamiliar people, safety measures are the priority. For this reason, along with the function of social networking, our Online Dating App will incorporate a good security system. By focusing on the safety of our customers, we will create an additional customer value that will presumably increase the success of the marketing strategy.

According to recent statistical data, about 84 percent of singles around the world used online dating sites and applications at least once in life (“Online Dating Statistics and Facts” par. 3). In the USA alone, the industry is currently on the rise – about 41 million adult Americans reported using the apps for dating (Davies par. 1). Although online websites and apps provide a convenient space for the search of potential mates, their use is associated with some safety issues. Researchers observe that about 20 percent of users registered in online dating websites are scammers or offenders (Mizzi 14). Since there is a large number of fake user profiles in online dating apps and sites, it is essential to provide customers with the system that would ensure both their security and confidentiality. The app will utilize the secure email and messaging systems, introduce the policy of voluntary background check-ups, and coordinate the security efforts with the local police department.

The trustworthiness and credibility of the product are pivotal for companies and consumers. Consumers will never commit their time or financial resources to services that do not seem credible to them and, for a firm, the lack of credibility substantially interferes with its growth potential. Since security and privacy are two of the main drivers of trust (Wendel and Frandsen 30), by integrating an efficient security system in our Online Dating App, we will be able to provide users with safety guarantees and, at the same time, increase brand strength and create the positive reputation.

Organizational Structure

Online Dating App firm will be a C Corporation in New York with a linear management structure. We chose the given type of business because it is associated with reduced financial risks and better access to the sources of financial support; it protects the company owners from responsibilities for losses and failure. At the same time, the linear structure of the organization is appropriate for enterprises with a small number of employees. It excludes hierarchy and, therefore, fosters more effective collaboration and communication among partners.

Along with two specialists in marketing and online security, the team will comprise two customer service specialists who will work 2/2 12-hour schedules. Since the users will be able to access the application online anytime, the presence of customer service specialists throughout the day and week is essential to provide all types of assistance to them if needed. For this reason and due to the limited financial resources, the owners will be also available full-time to resolve various organizational issues, support the hired employees and customers yet their working hours may be more flexible.

Background of the Owners

The first owner is Jingjie Chen, a graduate of Long Island University Post (LIU Post) from China. She graduated from the university with a master’s degree in communication studies and advertising and completed an internship in the UN. She obtained a profound experience working in her specialty in a television company. With this knowledge, she will help us to manage the advertising and promotion of our Online Dating App.

Long Chen is the second owner of the firm. He graduated from LIU Post with a bachelor’s degree in business administration-management. Long’s work experience includes consulting, business management, and marketing. For some time, he was employed as a consultant in LIU-iQ, a consulting company at LIU Post. When working there, Long obtained an opportunity to be a part of an international team. Daily interactions with professionals from Sweden, the UAS, and Norway contributed to the enhancement of Long’s communication skills. He also worked as a sales consultant in one of the Chinese large clothing manufactories. There, marketing research was one of his major responsibilities. This experience allowed Long to better understand product development and planning and improve decision making in this area. Currently, he owns a business in China and works in an international Import & Export firm on a part-time basis.

Feng Lin is the third owner. He is from China and currently works as a radio station manager there. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in China specializing in social media advertising. Since Feng is experienced in marketing and advertising in China, his skills may be used to expand the target audience of our business and enter the international online market.

Organizational Chart

Long Chen Jingjie Chen Feng Lin
30% owner (180 shares) 60% owner (240 shares) 30% owner (180 shares)
Customer service Chief Executive Officer; app advertising and promotion Social media advertising
Working as a consulter at school Full-time customer support Development of partnerships and collaboration with the NY police department

Marketing

Level of Competition and Potential for Growth

According to statistical data, the volume of installed mobile dating apps has increased by 3.5 percent each year since 2008 (Wendel and Frandsen 32). The users of dating websites continue to switch to mobile applications which indicates the growing trend in the industry. Due to this, a large number of online dating project has emerged in recent years, and the level of competition has increased as well.

Currently, there are many competitors in the online dating market. OkCupid, Glimpse, JSwipe, and Match are just a few of them. However, the NY-based Orange Dating can be considered our major rival because it focuses on the dating security system as well, uses similar marketing resources, and targets the same consumer groups.

It is possible to say that, nowadays, the US online dating market is saturated. One may find a great variety of sites and applications targeting different population groups – they may be developed to meet the needs of individuals from particular religious or ethnic backgrounds, for particular types of relationships, etc. Nevertheless, there is still room to grow in the industry. The primary requirement for success is a clear understanding of the target market and format because users of online dating apps usually have particular ideas of what they need (Davies par. 4).

Target Population

Online Dating App will have a narrow market focus. The target population will include adults of both genders aged between 20 and 30 years – the age when individuals seek potential mates for marriage and engagement in the family life. Although we intend to expand to the international market in the future, initially, the potential target market will comprise people living in the USA and New York, in particular. Thus, Online Dating App will have a specific geographical focus. At the same time, it is designed for single or divorced people from diverse multicultural backgrounds with different interests. The only common feature of our potential consumers is their belief in the importance and value of long-term relations and finding true love.

The young individuals often lead to productive academic and professional life. They engage in multiple activities that are essential for their success but which may also be time-consuming. Online Dating App is intended as a tool for busy and successful young people who are socially active but do not have a lot of time for dating. The potential app users are interested in balancing their personal life and leisure with career and academic performance.

According to recent research findings, people from 20 to 40 years old prefer to use the Internet to fulfill various daily activities, whether it be emailing friends and colleagues or online bill payments (Right Brain Advertising 2). This information verifies the presumption that the targeted consumer group understands the utility of the Internet and online applications, and will likely consider Online Dating App a convenient tool for meeting new people. Additionally, the research findings suggest that individuals younger than 35 years old can be impacted by advertising media much more than the older ones (Right Brain Advertising 2). In this way, by effectively aligning the interests of the potential consumer group with the project goals, mission, and vision, we will be able to increase the product attractiveness and stimulate users’ interest in the app.

Works Cited

Davies, Simon. “The Online Dating Market is not Oversaturated.” Tech.Co, 2015, Web.

Mizzi, Shannon. “Your Online Sweetie Might Be a Scammer.” Foreign Service Journal, vol. 92, no. 3, 2015, pp. 13-14, Web.

Dating Sites Reviews, 2017, Web.

Right Brain Advertising. Right Brain Advertising, 2012, Web.

Wendel, Martin, and Emil Maltesen Frandsen. An Analysis of the Online Dating Industry and How Startups Can Compete. Master Thesis, Copenhagen Business School, 2015, Web.

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