As with just about any profession, creating a successful mobile Notary business requires hard work — every day.
Beyond a willingness to work hard, there are a number of things anyone trying to succeed as a mobile Notary should consider. These activities have worked for me and the many Notary entrepreneurs I have mentored through my business, At Your Service Mobile Notary.
1: Know your ‘why’ and write a plan
Take the time to document your mission for being in business. This will be your guide for making future decisions about how you run your business and what you are willing to do or not do. Each time you market, advertise, network, etc., it should take you closer to achieving your “why”.
Your plan should include basic business requirements such as hours of service, specialties, expected expenses, how your service fulfills a niche that other Notaries do not, and what your goals are. This, too, will give you direction in building a successful business.
2: Find a coach or mentor
Depending on your circumstances, you may need a Notary-specific mentor, a small business expert, a life coach, etc. Be sure to choose wisely, especially if you pay for the service. Check their credentials to verify that they have the expertise in the area you need.
If you’re seeking a Notary mentor or coach, make sure they understand the Notary laws and any special requirements in your state.
A good Notary coach also should be actively earning income either by leveraging his or her commission or finding complementary non-notary services. In addition, social media savvy is important. Do they have a seasoned website that generates leads/revenue?
Many mobile Notaries put all their energies into getting loan-signing assignments, but this is risky. It’s better to build a solid revenue stream through a suite of services — especially if they have staggered income cycles.
Consider what other Notary specialties or services beyond Notary work that complement the service you provide. Different receivables cycles help keep cash flow steady.
- NSA/Loan signings are typically 30 – 45 days after completion of job, while general mobile Notary work direct to consumer is paid at completion of job.
- Are there assignments that require a specific skill set or qualifications beyond being a Notary that would differentiate you from other Notary services?
4: Consider strategic alliances
Don’t automatically view other Notaries in your market as competition. Instead, finds ways to make them strategic partners in order to broaden your reach.
Do they have skills or offer services that you do not (i.e. offer bilingual services or work 24/7 or are attorneys)? And vice versa?
This even applies to retail businesses. For example, if you refer clients who do not need mobile service to your local parcel shipping store, the store will refer clients who need Notary services after normal business hours to you.
Another way to build strategic alliances is by networking with local professional and business associations, interest groups and charitable organizations. This is not necessarily about getting direct work. Instead, it’s about building relationships with people in your community who can spread the word about your services. In other words, turn them into your marketing team. It will take you from being a stranger to the inner circle, and that is who we do business with, those we know and like.
5: Identify/evaluate your client base
As you look for new clients, remember not all clients are the right fit. For example, customers who offer assignments that do not produce a profit for you means you won’t stay in business long.
Customers, such as signing services and title companies, who pay long after the work has been completed should be evaluated for credit worthiness. How many jobs will you do while previous work has not yet been paid? Research clients on Notary registries, LinkedIn sites, Yelp and other sources for recommendations or warnings.
Do they fit your fee structure? Remember, as an independent contractor you determine your costs and what your profit margin will be. Make sure you know what your bottom line is.
Then monitor, measure, adjust. If the prospective client does not meet your requirements, let them go. It is better to have fewer, revenue-generating clients than 50 who lead you to bankruptcy. That’s doubly true of clients that do business in a way that goes against your own philosophy or raises compliance concerns.
Always keep an eye on your “why”. In other words, regularly ask yourself if you are meeting your mission, then make adjustments as needed.