Name: Jonathan Bird
Position & Company: Owner, Singles Warehouse
Period of time in the role: 4 years
Twitter ID: @singlewarehouse
Can you describe your role and what you do in one sentence?
I manage all aspects of Singles Warehouse and The Warehouse Dating Group.
What is your personal style in business in three words?
Friendly, honest and direct.
How did you get into the online dating industry?
When the recession hit in the UK I looked to diversify my business portfolio. Online dating seemed like a really great (and easy) idea at the time. How wrong could I have been!
What are you most proud of in your role?
I think it’s the #SWEXPERTS. The Singles Warehouse Expert team are a group of dating bloggers, experts, coaches and matchmakers who (daily) write articles about everything dating. It’s huge – with over 300 contributors now – and it’s great fun watching all the brands develop. I never dreamed we’d make it that big – but we did.
What are the biggest challenges the industry faces?
We need (and are calling for) some regulation. We’re possibly in the best industry in the world – helping people find love. However that does mean people are exposed and some take advantage. We can all do more to make our sites safer, better and more secure but I am ashamed of some sites in the industry that data is very easily taken from. We’ve got a tough year ahead of us and it’s time for us all to pull our socks up.
What do you believe is the most exciting opportunity facing the industry?
Love on the go! It’s what we call the mobile revolution in the office. It’s going to be huge and any site that does not have a mobile presence is in deep trouble. This will grow, evolve and probably replace the traditional “online dating” model in time.
What do you love most about the online dating industry?
That’s simple – getting to know everyone. I’m a happily taken man but being in this industry is a little like dating actually. We get to meet some great people and develop the industry. We’re a warm bunch once you get to know us.
Which service or company do you admire in the online dating industry?
Wow there are so many out there but I’m actually going to say you guys – and no I’m not sucking up. I think that the online dating industry can be quite secretive and that’s a shame. We don’t like sharing our best practice or helping each other. Any site that offers great news, top tips and more deserves an award in my eyes.
What sets your company apart from others in the industry?
I’m going to have to say it’s the bloggers (which is quite a large group). Why? Well now with the web people are talking about their love life more than ever. I admire everyone “having a go” at online dating. We give them a larger voice via our online dating Ezine.
What does the rest of 2013 hold for your company?
LOTS – we’ve been opening more sites worldwide and focusing on our Great Dating Blogs site – showcasing some of the very best dating blogs on the net. It won’t be long before Valentines Day 2014 either so we’re busy stringing cupid’s arrow!
Visit Singles Warehouse here.