5 things I have learnt from building a business in a pandemic

When I look back to 18 months ago when I first launched Ignite Dating, I never could have imagined just how successful it would be after just one year. Even though we now have two offices – a head office in central London and a regional office in Rutland, a team of nine and accreditation from the Matchmaking Institute under my belt I still have to pinch myself as I can’t believe that this is real.

What a lot of people don’t know about me is that I suffer massively from imposter syndrome. Contrary to the evidence of all that I have achieved over the last year and a half (despite the pandemic), I still have those moments where I feel that familiar wave of self-doubt wash over me and struggle to recognise my competence and skills – and I know that I’m not alone in this.

As I reflect on all that I have achieved so far and continue to achieve, I feel so lucky that despite the challenges that have seen many industries and businesses suffer the Ignite Dating brand continues to go from strength to strength.

My secret? Staying true to my values for an ethical and moral industry, listening to my clients and what they really wanted and building a network of the most supportive, smartest, and passionate people who share my aspirations and dreams for the future of Ignite Dating.

1. Set your goals and stick to them

From the moment I decided to launch my own matchmaking agency, I knew what I wanted to achieve and how to get there. Having worked with one of the UK’s largest introduction agencies, I realised that the dating world was going through another transition. Educated and successful people were bored of labour-intensive online dating, had perhaps found that database matching wasn’t quite hitting the right note and wanted to be more prescriptive as to what they wanted in a partner. So, I set myself one rule, always listen to my clients and develop a personalised service that meets their needs.

If the pandemic taught me anything, it’s that not everything goes to plan. You can never fully know what is going to happen in the future, so it is important to remember that if the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never change the goal.

2. Never stop pushing no matter what challenges you face

When I set up Ignite Dating, I had no idea what was to come in just a few short months. Ten weeks after launching, the whole country went into lockdown. For an industry that thrives on personal contact and building relationships, there was no way of knowing the true impact that this situation was going to have on not only Ignite Dating but the industry as a whole and everyone seemed to have a bleak outlook on the future.

Faced with a situation where we couldn’t meet face-to-face to interview clients, and they in turn weren’t able to meet up to date, I was concerned with the impact this would have on the new business. However, rather than give up at the first hurdle I took a “push harder, work longer and build faster” approach.

When many people in the industry decided that they would concentrate solely on the clients that they had already taken on to see them through the pandemic, we took a different approach. Instead of waiting to see what happened as the pandemic unfolded, we embraced the opportunities of lockdown and the more traditional relationship approach that it necessitated. This determination to stay positive and swim against the tide allowed us to come out of lockdown stronger and in a better position than ever – something which looks set to continue.

3. Networking is the foundation to a successful business

Those first few months of launching Ignite Dating passed by in a haze of networking events and business meetings. From morning through to late evening, I would be meeting other matchmakers, potential ambassadors and clients that were interested in the unique way in which Ignite Dating works and the service that we offer. I networked relentlessly, and even to this day a huge part of my day is spent growing my network, seven days a week.

4. Don’t underestimate the value of sisterhood

Working in a very female-heavy industry, sisterhood and community are vital when it comes to building a business in the dating sector. Over the years I have formed fundamental relationships and a close-knit community, and we support each other with all aspects of growing a business. From collaboration on the services offered to swapping skillsets and supporting one another, those connections have been my driving force to achieve success, especially Genevieve Gresset our in-house coach who has been my ongoing sounding board and Peter Brodnicki who has had constant belief and passion in what we do.

Even in these modern times, only 1 in 3 UK entrepreneurs are female. This highlights the importance in increasing opportunities for women to be able to start their own businesses and it is something that I am deeply passionate about. To help combat this, we offer women a business venture that is truly their own, allowing them to fit work seamlessly around their personal life to give them time to focus on their children or give them a more balanced work and social life – something that can prove quite difficult when employed. After all, just because you’re a mum doesn’t mean you can’t also have your own successful business!

5. Build a supportive and passionate team

Not every day in a new business is going to be a good one – that is just reality. But with a strong team around you keeping you connected, focused and healthy you can face anything – no matter what life throws at you. This is something that is very important to me and part of the key building blocks behind the Ignite Dating brand.

To drive the team and keep morale boosted, we have implemented strategies to ensure that all Ignite Dating Angels maintain a happy and healthy work life. From a compassionate workplace to flexible hours, promotion of a good work-life balance to team building activities and small gestures on birthdays or when they achieve their first sale, these strategies make the world of difference to morale and encourages both employees and franchisees alike to achieve a happy and healthy work-life balance.


7 key signs you need to get a dating coach (and how to find the right one)

When you’re looking for a long-lasting relationship, there are certain challenges you might come up against. One of the biggest, but one you might not anticipate, is that you’re not in the right mindset to find love and genuine connections.

Being in the right frame of mind is crucial if you want to attract the right person. After all, if you’re putting out negative or cagey vibes, you’re likely to attract partners in a similar situation – and that is not going to result in a happy, healthy relationship!

People who are trying to date when they are not ready will only attract the wrong people, and they will continue to attract the wrong people until they break these patterns and reframe their way of thinking.

Often, finding a dating coach can be a helpful way to break the bad habits and patterns that haven’t served you well in the past.

Signs it might be time for you to get a dating coach

If you notice that you have any of these dating habits (and especially if you have more than one), then this is a sure-fire sign that you need some professional help.

A dating coach will work with you to change your mindset, and they will support you on your journey towards finding a happy and healthy relationship.

The seven key signs you need a dating coach include:

  1. Feeling anxious about dating
  2. Trying to fast track the dating journey and establish a relationship within the first three to five dates
  3. Always finding faults with those you meet and feeling like no one will ever be good enough
  4. Cancelling dates and even making up excuses for why it’s not the right time for you to date
  5. Obsessing over an ex and comparing everyone you meet to them
  6. Always going to your friends for dating advice and doing your own thing anyway
  7. Constantly seeking approval and validation from others about your dating life

If any of these signs sound familiar, it might be time to address the problem. But how can you go about finding a dating coach that will support you and help you get back on track?

How to find a dating coach

If you’ve never even considered a dating coach before, let alone hired one, it can be tricky to know where to start. The good news is, there are lots of simple ways you can find a dating coach and determine whether they’re going to be able to support you on your dating journey.

Firstly, do some research online to find out which dating agencies operate in your area, as this is the best place to start. After this, you should:

  • Check out their website to see what it says about them, and look out for their credentials and experience
  • Look at their blog (if they have one), as this can often reveal whether they are a knowledgeable and reputable source within the industry
  • Look for reviews and testimonials from other people they have helped in the past

If you do all of this, you should be able to get a good feel for whether a dating coach or service provider is right for you.

And don’t just settle for the first website you find. Getting the right coach is important, so do some looking around and compare a few agencies before you sign up. This will ensure you find the best possible dating coach for you.

At Ignite Dating, our expert team of matchmakers and dating coaches are on hand to help you reframe your mindset and champion success on your dating journey. They are there to listen to your needs and help you find the perfect partner. So, if you think the time has come to get some support, get in touch with our friendly team today to see how they can help you find love.


How to achieve a long-term relationship when you’re a successful businesswoman

Until very recently, women were always seen as the caregivers, who should stay at home and take care of the family. For most people, this has shaped our perceptions of gender roles and how we traditionally understand relationships.

And because successful businesswomen challenge these norms, they often struggle to find loving, long-term relationships.

Does this sound familiar?

If so, then this article is for you. Below, we are going to uncover the changing role of women in recent years and what they can do to achieve success in both their professional and personal lives.

We will share our tips and advice on how you can find love without compromising the life you have established for yourself or the goals you have yet to achieve.

You need to be able to switch off

One of the key challenges that businesswomen face is finding it hard to switch off.

What do we mean by this?

Well, for lots of women in the workplace, it is a common conception that they have to work harder to be taken seriously and to gain the respect they deserve.

As such, many continue to take this more ‘masculine’ energy with them into their dating life, as they feel they have to work hard to find love just like they do in their career.

But rather than applying this energy and coming across as overly forceful, driven and in control when dating, businesswomen need to learn to lead with their ‘feminine’ energy. It’s about realising that you are loved for who you are, not what you do, and instead allowing yourself to switch off, relax and be yourself – away from your professional persona.

Love requires a certain level of vulnerability

One of the things that many of us struggle with when it comes to dating is the ability to be vulnerable and to open our hearts to someone new. Even the toughest of us need to learn to be vulnerable in love in order to develop deeper connections with a potential partner, particularly strong businesswomen.

And this can be understandably hard when you’re used to having your guard up at work all the time and keeping people at a distance. 

So, although it can feel unnatural at times, it’s important that you’re able to let your guard down when dating and show that vulnerable side of yourself. Otherwise, you’re unlikely to form genuine, long-lasting relationships.

Look for love in the right places

A hugely important part of finding love as a successful businesswoman is making sure you’re looking in the right places. If you’re looking for someone that shares the same values, lifestyle and aspirations as you, it is unlikely that you will find them by frequenting bars, coffee shops, art galleries, etc. hoping that they will just walk in.

Instead, you need to be using the right platforms to help you look for a partner. For example, online dating apps are not likely to be the right place either, because let’s face it, the calibre of people on there probably aren’t quite what you are looking for.

And who has time to sit and swipe for hours on end anyway?

As such, dating agencies and matchmaking services like Ignite Dating are going to be far more beneficial for successful businesswomen. Working on a headhunting basis, they allow you to share exactly what you’re looking for in a partner and in turn introduce you to like-minded individuals who have similar aspirations and dreams to you.

Find a partner who’s going to support your success

Finally, it’s important that you look for and appreciate a partner who is willing to support and champion your success rather than compete with it.

This means holding out for someone who has similar career goals or achievements as you, or at the very least, someone who won’t be intimated by your success, even if they are yet to reach their own goals.

Working with a dedicated matchmaker means that you have someone that fully understands what you are looking for, not only in a partner but also in your future. They can use their intuition and expertise to find that potential match that supports your goals and aspirations and is willing to work towards them with you.

So, if you’re a successful businesswoman who is looking for love, don’t just settle. Get in touch with our talented team of matchmakers today to see how they can help you achieve a loving and long-term relationship.