Who is it suited to?
If you wish to set up a prototype site, you can probably get by without strong IT and web development skills - resources such as DIY Dating allow interested parties to set up a basic website quickly and cheaply, and you can also engage the services of a specialist web developer.
However, as time goes on, you’re going to need to update the site on a regular basis, and potential investors aren’t going to be impressed if you don’t understand the software on which your product is built. So, in the long term, an online dating business definitely favours people who are experienced in IT and web building.
You’ll also need to be the kind of person who understands what members will want. You need to be able to put yourself in the user’s shoes; what will they be looking for from your site? What sort of search options will they require? And, if they’re slightly self-conscious, what sort of functions will ensure they feel comfortable chatting to complete strangers online?
As the owner of the site, it’s unlikely you’ll be talking to members directly; however you still need to be able to empathise with them, and maintain a subtle, tactful tone. Some members may have been hurt in the past; others may lack confidence. You must be capable of creating a welcoming environment, which doesn’t pre-judge and allows users to express themselves.
Julian says: “People skills help to a degree. We have to be conscious of the people who are going to be using it from the other end, the sort of concerns they have, that they want to portray themselves in a good way. You’re not totally removed from the end user.”