As a newer Notary, you tend to get pushed around by more experienced companies. They set the terms, they give you the run around, make you fax back far too many pages, cancel jobs at the last minute, and then don’t pay you. Seems like you get a raw deal. Unfortunately in this business, as a new Notary, you have to pay your dues and work for the less than wonderful companies. The question is, how soon can you start being pushy for payment terms?
Ken in NYC is very aggressive for payment terms. He makes people pay up front. He is not a bank and he does not lend money to the signing companies. He charges more than others because he is the most solid Notary in town and people know that. But, he has thousands of loans under his belt. How much experience do you need before you start setting terms? There is no set answer.
You can test your terms out and see how much work you lose. If you demand that the signing company sign a contract with you for your terms, you can see if they sign it. The terms might go over last minute cancellations, printing fees for cancelled jobs, or incomplete signings, second trips, etc. You could even fine them for paying late.
How much experience do you need to bill people up front? Or what if you reduced your fee a bit to charge up front? Would you rather get all your money up front but get less? If you wait to get paid, you will have bookkeeping expenses, lost time doing collections and not get paid part of the time, so giving 10% off seems like a reasonable arrangement for me.
Or perhaps signing companies who don’t have a reputation with you yet would be asked to pay up front. Different terms for different companies. There is another approach. If you trust a company more, few terms or no terms, but if they have a bad rep or you don’t know them then more stringent terms.
In short, there are many ways to manage your terms. It is up to you how you do it. My suggestion is not to have any terms until you get 1000 loans under your belt as well as certifications from three companies. At least that shows you are not fooling around. If you don’t know your job up to my standards in my opinion you don’t merit terms! (ooh, that was mean)
You might also like:
Trip + Notary Fee = Payment
Payment terms set by buyer or seller?