The world’s first marriage agency was opened in London on Threadneedle on September 29, 1650. Its creator was the progressively minded writer, businessman and public figure, Henry Robinson. Having received a brilliant education at St. John’s College in Oxford, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and advocated religious tolerance and social progress. The world of dating agencies has changed drastically since. And now a brilliant idea and pure enthusiasm are no longer enough to open a profitable business in dating.
- How did it start?
Frankly speaking, Robinson’s agency was not purely marital, although it entered the history under that image. In fact, it was an agency of the broadest profile: Robinson was engaged in disseminating information not only about wealthy brides and prestigious grooms but also about free jobs, real estate for sale and potential trade deals. The service cost a sixpence, but for those who were looking for work and could not pay, the information was provided free of charge.
The concept that information rules the world has remained unchanged, and similarly to the old days, men today still are going to pay a fortune to get access to valuable profiles of potential partners just to meet a single woman online.
We all live by stereotypes. Since our focus today is the opening of a marriage agency, here is another stereotype: the owner of such an institution is a very effective lady of Balzacian age, who wants to rule fates. She herself is hardly successful in her personal life and is a self-confident fury with huge experience of matchmaking. But this, as already noted, is a stereotype. It does not matter who opens the marriage agency – the character described above or a twenty-year-old student of the archaeological faculty; everyone has the same chances. Here everything is decided by psychology and entrepreneurial talent.
- What is a marriage agency?
A marriage agency is a type of business where the revenue will not be huge at first but you will have to work constantly. In the future, it will attract more employees but to train them first you need to learn yourself. To manage such an enterprise, you need to even have a creative approach to solving problems. A marriage agency can work according to completely different schemes, which are developed by their organizers, while almost any way of organizing can be effective.
A marriage agency is an intermediary who helps conclude a marriage contract and charges a commission for this. And given that many clients of such agencies come there for material gain, the agency can be called an actual economic intermediary. It is profitable for the site itself because it conducts the communication between a bride and the lonely foreigners. The translators, and the woman whose profile is being used, also get paid. And the man who covers the expenses gets access to round the clock conversation with a pretty girl and, in the best case, a real chance to meet her in real life and get married.
- Come up with an outstanding concept
You should think over the concept of work long before the opening, because only about a month will have to be spent on the registration of a business entity. A marriage agency is not a licensed type of activity (people are sold without any certificates), and therefore there are no restrictions on the form of entrepreneurship. Many agency organizers remain simple individual entrepreneurs because it is easier and does not require significant reporting.
When speaking about the legal forms, a limited liability company is preferable, but only if the association of entrepreneurs decided to engage in matchmaking. Such a business is difficult to classify, and it is best to check the coding of the activity with a lawyer, but most of the available codes (like “Other information services”). In the end, the marriage agency collects information in order to use it correctly later.
- So, how much will it cost to open a marriage agency?
You will have to pay for registration (about $350). After doing it, you should start searching place for the office. A very small one, about 20-30 m2, will be enough. The rental price varies, but for a large city, it starts at $400 per month. You can find a ready office with all equipment or change the interior according to stereotypical ideas about the matchmaking business. This is perhaps the only case when hearts, doves and pink-eyed cupids look appropriate on the walls. Although it’s better not to overdo it with sugary pink content. The arrangement you headquarter is unlikely to cost more than $1000, but for an elite agency it is better to buy expensive upholstered furniture and order a design project – it will pay off, while the level of the institution must be noticed in every detail.
Next is the creation of the site. This is a very crucial moment because you need to invest at least $400 in it: the site should be attractive, quickly working and containing large directories. Sometimes it may be necessary to promote it, and the SEO-services can cost several hundreds of dollars too (though not by a one-time payment, but extended by several months).
Advertising is also important because there are enough competitors in this market, and before you earn a good reputation, you need to attract customers. Advertising on the Internet pays off well, especially on dating sites. But conventional ATL techniques are also effective. Here you need to prepare at least $200.
- Hiring staff nuances
Many owners of marriage agencies started their business in general alone, having only knowledge of languages, a lot of energy and a sincere desire to earn money. But sooner or later, a large marriage agency will need additional employees who work with clients, select options for them and correspond with representatives of the foreign marriage market. Here the calculation is about $400 for one additional person. Plus monthly payments: utility bills, outsourcing, internet. But there may also be expenses when organizing trips of foreign men to the country (although, usually, such tours fully pay off). As you can see, the marriage agency does not incur large expenses, which ensures sufficiently high profitability of such an initiative.
- The success of a marriage agency depends on the leader
The correct attitude is to be a businessman, think like an entrepreneur, and not a lover of female novels. But the main focus should still be on the consumer, the real marriage between customers is the best advertisement. If you are guided by this, then you will quickly build a customer base and get ahead of competitors; although, as practice shows, the owners of marriage agencies often even cooperate with each other, because such kind of business is sometimes more about sharing experience that a violent competition. At the same time, a marriage agency is a highly profitable business (in the case of many customers) that has a constant monthly income (from those who are still looking for a couple) and additional profit in the form of rare but large deductions (from those who finally found a couple).
- Earnings on the Grooms
MEETING. The task of the international marriage agency is to arrange a date between a woman and a foreigner. A man pays from $ 50 to 100 for a meeting with one girl. Almost always such a trip of a foreigner to the country lasts 5-7 days during which he manages to meet at least three or four girls. Already at the time of buying plane tickets, a man knows exactly what day, when and with which of the girls he will meet.
HOUSING AND DRIVER. It is in the direct interest of the owner of the agency to make the stay of foreigners in our country as comfortable as possible. Therefore, very often he agrees to rent an apartment, organize excursions for the awaited guest or and hires a driver who speaks English. As a rule, the agency overstates the cost of all these services by 10-30%, which becomes a source of additional profit.
TRANSLATOR. A meeting with one girl will cost a potential groom from $ 50 to 100. He goes to a meeting with the owner of the agency or a translator. After the couple meets, they remain alone. However, if the bride does not speak English, then a date can also be held in the presence of an interpreter: a man pays for the translating services ($ 15-20 per hour). The translator leaves half of this amount to himself, the rest is given to the owner of the agency. Because men understand that the conversation on the site is being held by the translator or using CAT-services.
Finally, the agency gives a guarantee that all the girls are decent and are looking for a serious relationship, but sometimes they turn out to be “scammers” (they waste other people’s money, receive gifts, and then disappear). In this case, the women’s profile is removed from the database and blacklisted on the sites of unclean brides. The marriage office is not legally guilty for any of the actions of the bride – relations with the client are limited to verbal agreements. The agency can only apologize and offer discounts on its services.