CompuDate is a company in Denver that offers computer-based matchmaking services to singles in the area. It has acquired the assets of Date MatchMaker and is owned by Suzie Butterfly.

CompuDate’s target market consists of two distinct age groups: 20-35 year olds and 36-60 year olds. The younger age group has a 9% annual growth rate and 54,000 potential customers, while the older age group has an 11% growth rate and 64,000 potential customers. This presents an exciting market opportunity for CompuDate.

The company has identified three keys to success: knowing the market, picking the right matches, and ensuring sustainable profits. Accurate market research is being conducted to understand the target market. Choosing the right people is crucial for the progress of the business. Long-term profitability is also a priority for CompuDate.

Suzie Butterfly, a seasoned manager, will lead CompuDate. With experience at Yahoo! in project management and the matchmaking industry, Suzie possesses the skills and insight necessary to compete in this industry.

CompuDate has projected conservative sales for year two, which are expected to rise in year three. The company anticipates pleasant profit margins in both years. This presents an exciting opportunity for a local company to establish a sustainable presence in the computer matchmaking industry.

1.1 Keys to Success:

– Know the market.

– Pick the right matches.

– Ensure sustainable profits.

1.2 Objectives:

– Become Denver’s premier dating service.

– Achieve a 45% success rate in placing clients in long-term relationships.

– Realize the efficiencies and accuracies of computer-assisted matchmaking services.

1.3 Mission:

CompuDate’s mission is to provide the finest matchmaking services by offering reasonable pricing, outstanding customer service, and the most predictive matchmaking services available.

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Company Summary

CompuDate is a new company that has acquired the assets of Date MatchMaker, a matchmaking service that operated for seven years but failed to generate significant profits. CompuDate will utilize Date MatchMaker’s client files to expedite the establishment of an active client base.

Date MatchMaker was sold because the previous owner lost interest in continuing with the business. The importance of generating income from the business diminished over time, partly due to revenue from other sources. Additionally, the business was no longer enjoyable for the former owner, who made the decision to sell and pursue other activities of personal interest. The acquisition of the business cost $25,000, although the purchase price was not directly correlated to its value. Since the former owner did not face financial constraints, their primary objective was to secure immediate cash from the transaction, rather than determine the exact value of the business. Such transactions are atypical, as businesses are typically valued based on multiple factors, including projected future revenue.

2.1 Company Ownership

CompuDate is a Colorado-based "C" corporation owned by Suzie Butterfly.

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2.2 Company History

CompuDate is a computer-based matchmaker service that acquired the assets of Date MatchMaker, an existing matchmaking service that operated for several years without achieving profitability. CompuDate recognized an opportunity to purchase the former company’s assets at a nominal cost and embark on its own venture. The most valuable asset obtained was the customer list, as the previous company’s shortcomings in matchmaking left an intact client base still in need of matchmaking services. This customer list holds significant value for CompuDate.

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Services

CompuDate offers computer-based matchmaking services. Customers complete a comprehensive questionnaire/survey, and the computer uses logical connections to determine potential matches based on characteristics, likes, and dislikes. The computer’s value lies in its ability to quickly and accurately compare applicants and accurately choose a compatible date. The survey captures various information, including:

  • Activities enjoyed
  • Interests
  • Sports
  • Hobbies
  • Age
  • Education
  • Religious preferences
  • Occupation

Market Analysis Summary

CompuDate has identified two distinct market segments: 20-35 year olds and 36-60 year olds. Each group has different goals and responds differently to marketing messages. CompuDate will target each group separately, with the elder group having more potential customers.

CompuDate faces competition from three types of competitors: online personal classifieds like Yahoo! Personals, non-Internet-based platforms relying on newspaper ads, and traditional matchmaker services like Date MatchMaker, which use agencies to gather information and make matches.

4.1 Market Segmentation

CompuDate has segmented the market into two groups based on age. Demographic details include:

  • Incomes of $35,000-$85,000
  • 53% have at least some college education
  • 23% have a graduate degree
  • Enjoy spending time with friends
  • Have difficulty meeting interesting single people despite having friends
  • Prefer not to meet people in bars, the typical meeting place for their age group
  • Incomes of $55,000-$100,000
  • 65% have a college degree
  • 41% have been married once
  • As they grow older, they struggle to find others their age
  • Have tried numerous methods to meet people, but generally without success
  • Willing to try new methods of meeting people

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Market Analysis:

Market Analysis
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Growth CAGR
9% 54,996 59,946 65,341 71,222 77,632 9.00%
11% 64,009 71,050 78,866 87,541 97,171 11.00%
10.09% 119,005 130,996 144,207 158,763 174,803 10.09%

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Recognizing the distinctiveness of the two groups, CompuDate will adopt different strategies for reaching each. The younger age group is often reluctant in using a dating service due to the perception that meeting people shouldn’t be an issue. CompuDate needs to appear as the hip and cool new thing, not a last resort for singles. On the other hand, the older crowd sees it as an effective way to find companionship. Additionally, each group has different relationship goals, with the younger crowd seeking short-term commitments and the older crowd looking for long-term relationships.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

The matchmaking industry has experienced a revival in the past three years due to the rise of online dating services like Yahoo! Personals. More people consider dating services as a viable and exciting option. The online services have helped legitimize the industry as an effective way to meet quality people, leading to its positive impact on the entire industry.

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4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

  • Online services: kiss.com and Yahoo! Personals are competitors in this segment. They have taken the paper-based system online to reach a wider audience and achieve economies of scale.
  • Newspaper-based personals: Competitors in this segment have personal classified systems where individuals write ads about themselves and others respond accordingly.
  • Traditional matchmaker services: CompuDate’s closest competitor doesn’t use a computer for making matches. They rely on questionnaires filled out by users.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

CompuDate’s strategy will focus on its more predictive matchmaking system that analyzes various variables to find the most suitable match. Other systems rely too heavily on shallow factors like appearance, which often leads to temporary relationships. CompuDate recognizes that a stronger long-term relationship requires consideration of other variables. Although most people initially prioritize physical attractiveness, they understand it is not ideal. Trust and comfort are established when a service chooses matches based on multiple factors. If individuals could recognize this and act accordingly, they would be more effective in selecting suitable partners. However, knowing what is right and acting on it are often disconnected.

5.1 Competitive Edge

CompuDate’s competitive edge lies in its sophisticated computer analysis program. It analyzes a wide range of variables to make accurate match predictions. The program’s proprietary technology gives CompuDate an advantage over its competitors. Appearance is important, but relying solely on it leads to temporary relationships. By considering multiple factors, CompuDate aims to foster stronger long-term relationships.

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5.2 Marketing Strategy

CompuDate must market itself distinctively to each market segment. For the younger segment, the service must be seen as the hip choice. Advertisements in trendy magazines will create awareness and convey that CompuDate is not a last resort for singles, but a fun and helpful service to connect with like-minded people. To appeal to the older crowd, CompuDate must position itself as a logical and effective system for choosing mates. It will emphasize the accuracy of its computer system and highlight the detailed information collected from applicants to make informed choices. CompuDate will also showcase its success rate, which exceeds the industry average at 45% for long-term relationships.

5.3 Sales Strategy

CompuDate’s sales strategy focuses on acquiring a large number of first-time users. The company believes it will be easier and more cost-effective to grow its user base from existing clients rather than from new, unrelated customers. Customers who try CompuDate will be impressed by its effectiveness, regardless of whether their first experience leads to a long-term relationship. They will also recognize the commonalities between the matches suggested by the computer. Additionally, satisfied customers will spread the word and generate referrals. First-time customers may receive incentives as part of this philosophy.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

CompuDate anticipates relatively slow initial months of operation as it strives to generate awareness. However, profitability is expected to be achieved by month 10, with substantial sales growth by year three.

Dating Matchmaking Service Business Plan Example

Dating Matchmaking Service Business Plan Example

Sales Forecast:

Sales Forecast
2003 2004 2005
Sales
20-35 $26,924 $65,907 $84,379
36-60 $43,363 $75,755 $96,987
Total Sales $70,287 $141,662 $181,366
Direct Cost of Sales 2003 2004 2005
20-35 $1,885 $4,613 $5,907
36-60 $3,035 $5,303 $6,789
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $4,920 $9,916 $12,696
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5.4 Milestones:

  • Business plan completion
  • First 100 customers
  • Profitability
  • Sustainable revenue

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Milestones:

Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Business plan completion 1/1/2003 2/1/2003 $200 Suzie Operations
First 100 customers 1/1/2003 5/1/2003 $0 Suzie Sales
Profitability 1/1/2003 10/1/2003 $0 Suzie Accounting
Sustainable revenue 1/1/2003 4/1/2004 $0 Suzie Operations
Totals $200

Web Plan Summary:

CompuDate will primarily use the website for informational purposes. Users cannot sign up or fill out surveys online; this must be done in person at CompuDate’s offices.

6.1 Website Marketing Strategy

CompuDate will generate increased traffic to its website through two methods. First, the website address will be included on all printed materials, encouraging more people to visit the website. Second, the website and keywords will be submitted to popular search engines, ensuring that the CompuDate site appears in relevant search results.

6.2 Development Requirements

CompuDate will hire an Internet development consultant to complete the site.

Management Summary:

Suzie Butterfly earned her Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College before working at Yahoo! as employee number 234. She initially worked in their search engine division as a project manager, where she successfully increased sales by 333%. After three years, she moved to Yahoo! Personals and excelled at developing the site to provide maximum value to users.

After two years with Yahoo! Personals, Suzie decided to take a break and start her own business. She traveled for eight months and then settled in Denver, where she believed she could create a successful matchmaking business. She developed a business plan to verify the profitability of the venture.

7.1 Personnel Plan

Initially, Suzie will work exclusively, but she plans to hire a part-time worker to assist with administrative duties. She will also hire a consultant to develop and maintain the website. Suzie will be responsible for operational activities, marketing activities, and some accounting tasks. In terms of operations, she will manage vendor relations, customer service, and business development. Suzie will handle marketing activities, including guerrilla marketing, where she will interact with potential customers to promote CompuDate’s services. Suzie will set up the accounting system on QuickBooks Pro. The part-time employee will handle bookkeeping, customer support, and clerical tasks, allowing Suzie to focus on value-added activities.

Personnel Plan
2003 2004 2005
Suzie $30,000 $40,000 $50,000
Part time employee $21,000 $36,000 $36,000
Total People 3 3 3
Total Payroll $51,000 $76,000 $86,000

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