Investing in dating franchises
Over the past few years, dating has become big business in the UK. Although the internet had already opened up a whole new world to those looking for love, it wasn’t really until the first smart phone apps were launched that digital dating really hit the big time. Although many of these apps and services are free to use, companies can make a lot of money through advertising and by collaborating with other brands. In some cases, users also pay a weekly or monthly subscription fee to their chosen dating service.
As well as franchisees and company owners benefiting from this matchmaking boom, the wider UK economy is also getting a slice of the dating pie. According to research by UK bank TSB, the dating industry now contributes a huge £14.5 billion to the country’s coffers with £11.7 billion estimated to come from dating apps alone. An incredible 55% of Brits are now thought to have used the country’s most popular dating app, and the cost of wining, dining and wooing can quickly add up. According to the report, the average first date now costs £41.20, while follow-up dates cost around £28.83.
Many of the businesses now making a name for themselves in the dating industry are franchises. The many benefits offered by the business model makes the franchise the perfect way for entrepreneurs to cash in on this lucrative industry. With a number of opportunities now available across the country, now could be the ideal time to invest in a dating franchise of your own.
Young adults are leading the dating surge
With 64% of millennials currently single, it’s no surprise that it’s the younger generation leading the surge in demand for dating services. As well as being single, this age bracket has also grown up with technology at their fingertips and is more comfortable with the idea of online dating than any other generation.
According to figures published by the Pew Research Center, the number of 18- to 24-year-olds using online dating services almost tripled between 2013 and 2016. Largely driven by the availability and prevalence of apps, this significant growth shows just how much demand there is for matchmaking services. What’s more, as this generation is likely to continue to use online and offline dating services as they age, the demand isn’t unlikely to wane anytime soon.
Over 55s are joining the dating revolution
Although it’s the younger generation who have bought into digital dating services in a big way, silver surfers aren’t going to be left behind. More and more over 55s are now using online and offline apps and services to find love, with the Pew Research Center reporting that 12% of adults in the age group have now tried online dating compared to just 6% in 2013.
A rise in computer literacy among older age groups, and increased awareness of digital dating services, have both played a large part in these changing dating habits. Another important factor is that many over 55s no longer see themselves as ‘old’ at all and many are keen to embark on new relationships at this stage in their lives.
Types of dating franchises
With the dating app industry dominated by a few big names, most franchise opportunities are available in more niche areas and in businesses offering specialist matchmaking services. For example, a number of dating franchises focus on specific interest areas, on specific age groups or matching people in a particular way.
Often, these businesses will have a more personal relationship with the people using their services than the big dating apps. Franchisees may need to employ old-fashioned matchmaking skills in order to find potential partners for their customers and they’ll need to build up a trusting relationship with their clients if the business is going to be a success.
Benefits of investing in dating franchises
Dating franchises deal with an important and sensitive aspect of their customers’ lives. Most people will be more comfortable sending their personal details to a brand they trust. As a result, new dating businesses that are started from scratch often have to put a huge amount of marketing and branding work in before their business gets off the ground.
If you buy into a dating franchise, however, the business you’re investing in will already have its name out there. In most cases new customers will search for a dating service online. If the franchising brand already has a strong digital presence, it should help to drive customers to your business and ensure they already have a level of trust in your brand.
As you set up your business and grow your venture, the franchise will provide relevant help and support to ensure you have the resources you need to succeed. They’ll be able to provide you with all the marketing materials, market research and operating instructions necessary to ensure your business is on the right track from the day you open your doors.
On a more personal level, investing in a dating franchise can bring a huge amount of job satisfaction. A lot of people choose to invest in franchises because being their own boss gives them increased freedom and they’re able to benefit directly from their own hard work. If you’re looking for a career where you get to help other people as well as improve your own work-life balance, investing in a dating franchise could be the perfect choice for you.
What does it cost to invest in dating franchises?
The amount it costs to invest in a dating franchise can vary significantly between brands and between opportunities. In general, franchises that don’t require the franchisee to buy or rent commercial premises are among the most affordable to invest in. If your dating franchise can be run from your computer instead of from an office or retail premises, your start-up costs should be minimal. In some cases, you may need to invest in specialist software to help you match clients and there are likely to be other associated costs you’ll need to budget for when setting up your business.
If you do need to hire or buy premises, or if your franchise relies on holding regular events in rented spaces, you may find you need a little more money if you want to invest. Speak to the brands you’re looking at to find out about their exact criteria.
What qualifications do you need to buy a dating franchise?
In most cases, entrepreneurs looking to invest in a dating franchise won’t need any specific qualifications. Previous experience in the industry and a head for business will help your venture to succeed, however the franchising brand will provide you with all the information you need to get your business going and make it profitable.
If you’re considering investing in a dating franchise, the first thing you’ll need to do is take a look at the opportunities available on our site. Once you’ve found a brand that you’re interested in, get in touch to begin the application process.