A NOTARY ENTERS THE SHARK TANK
ENTREPRENEUR: Hi, Sharks. My company is called Good Sign, and I’m seeking an investment of 2 million dollars for 15% of my company.
The sharks laugh derisively at the inflated value he’s assigning to his company.
ENTREPRENEUR: Good Sign will revolutionize the entire signing industry. We will hire notaries around the country and have their sign loans. There are many other companies out there doing exactly this. However, the quality of the work performed by these companies is either sloppy, or they micromanage their notaries to ensure proper work. Micromanaging, fax backs, and other annoying tactics are commonplace.
Our strategy is to keep a database of the track record of the notaries we hire. If they get through a certain amount of loans with no errors, we will eliminate the requirement of fax backs so they will be more willing to work for us in the future. Additionally, we could attract notaries who are favorable by paying them up front via paypal.com
ROBERT: This is an interesting business model. But, how do you intend to get contracts?
ENTREPRENEUR: In this business, we solicit Title companies. They always need hundreds of loans signed per month. We can offer them an affordable rate, and an even better rate if they give us volume.
BARBARA: What if the Title companies don’t pay you on time and the notaries who aren’t “favorable” as you put it want to get paid? Surely you won’t pay everybody up front.
ENTREPRENEUR: This is true. The really good notaries like Ken will be paid up front because he’s so knowledgeable. But, the other notaries will have to wait to get paid. But, worry not. Notaries are used to not getting paid on time. Some wait months. Some check the forums to see who pays on time while others don’t. There is an endless supply of new notaries who are too unseasoned to read the boards, and the minute they wise up, there will be another batch of suckers.
MARK CUBAN: I’m gonna clear the field here. That isn’t particularly ethical, but from what I hear of the other signing companies, they aren’t exactly a dream come true either. And for that reason… I’m out.
MR. WONDERFUL: Let’s get to your ridiculous valuation. You’re asking for 2 million dollars. You’re not a business yet. This is pie in the sky notion. And do you know what pies in the sky do? They fall down and land – splat – on your face. Only clowns are interested in pies in their faces… I’m out.
ENTREPRENEUR: This is a dog eat dog business, and we intend on being the biggest dog, dawg. All we need is $2,000,000 so we have salaries for our schedulers, marketing department and rent in a swanky part of town.
DAYMOND: I have a connection with Jeremy at123notary.com. And he tells me the signing companies who didn’t pay their notaries are mostly out of business by now. And the survivers who didn’t pay up are getting a lot of heat, and barely making it. It’s a dumb idea… I’m out.
ENTREPRENEUR: Well, our dumb idea is the same dumb idea that the other signing companies have.
BARBARA: Yes, exactly, and 80% of the ones that were in business in 2007 are out of business now! I’d be too scared to put my money into this, I’d never see it come back. You’re too early. But I will give you a little advice. Consider starting a signing company on a micro scale in your local area so you learn the ropes. Then, if your business model is superior to the others, come back and talk. But for now… I’m out.
ENTREPRENEUR: I accept your lack of an offer. However, I have one small request for you.
ROBERT: We’re listening
ENTREPRENEUR: Your statement of declining our offer, well, can you fax that back to me? I’ll need this 50 page form filled out and faxed to me. Think of it like a giant fax back request — like what we put the notaries through!
MR. WONDERFUL: You’re dead to me!
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