There are a number of dating services on the market right now. If you are ready to jump into this exciting yet sometimes complicated business, you have to differentiate yourself to be successful. For example, there has recently been a jump in the number of interracial matchmaker sites in response, to the trend toward interracial dating. There are even sites that specifically match young women to rich men. You can either set up a local dating service in your town (from home to start), or set up a dating site to capture memberships from people all over the world.
Contact your local state commerce office to ask about licenses required to operate a dating service in your town or city, though it is likely that you will only need to register for a standard business license with your state (see "Resources" for a link to find your state's website).
Decide on the specific theme of your dating service business--interracial couples, millionaires with good looking men or women, divorced women with divorced men or busy business people. The more specific your dating service business is, the easier it is to target and draw in customers.
Start off by fixing up a few of your single family members and friends with other people in your community on blind dates at no charge. This will establish your reputation as a matchmaker and help your name spread through word of mouth if the matches are successful. In the future you can charge a reasonable fee for making matches and grow from there.
Post colorful flyers targeted for single people in your town in local stores and businesses with your 800 number listed (you can get one for as little as $2 per month for your business calls--see Resources below) advertising yourself as a local matchmaker. Make sure the flyer is specifically addressing people from the demographic you are targeting--for example "Divorced Men for Divorced Women" would be a good headline. Hand out professional business cards that identify you as a matchmaker and offer special deals for matchmaking services.
Hold a free speed dating event at a bar or restaurant in your town. Advertise the event in your local newspaper, on your city's Craigslist site and on your local radio station. If the event is successful you may get callbacks from the participants for more dating help. At future speed dating events charge a small admission fee and negotiate with the bar for a share of drink and food sales at the event.
Set up a dating website. There are services online that work specifically with people who want to set up a dating oriented site (including membership capabilities, forums, chat rooms and other features). Some hosting accounts also give you what are called content management systems, or CMS options (see Resources below).