There are many in this business who want to create vast empires in record breaking amounts of time without knowing what they are doing and without having control over what they are doing. Then there are others who think small and never try to grow their practice. My advice is to grow your practice, but step by step.
There are signing companies out there who are nationwide. They have databases of tens of thousands of notaries. Their phones are ringing off the hook and if they can’t handle the pressure they crack. There are other signing companies that are too large, and don’t take responsibility to pay their notaries on time. Then, there are what I call boutique signing companies. Those are the companies that I like.
A boutique signing company is one that started out as a Notary, and then gradually started hiring more and more people on call. They often do most of the work themselves in the beginning. Then little by little a gradually higher percentage of the work is done by carefully selected staff. These smaller signing companies often charge more, cover a smaller area such as a handful of counties, and do a better job. The main thing in this business is to protect your reputation. You need people to feel safe giving a job to you. With some of these other signing companies, they might screw up!
Another thing to consider is where to pick your notaries and how to train them. Smart signing companies hand pick their notaries. Smart signing companies train people by hand until they are sure that the notaries will do the job the way they like it done. Sometimes it is easier to pick beginners and train them. Why is this? It is because experienced notaries already think they know it all, and are not receptive to new (or correct) ways of doing things. Regardless of who you pick, or how much experience they have (or how arrogant they are,) try to train, screen and then pick people who you are absolutely sure can get the job done right. Once people are working for you, keep them on a short leash. The minute you are not watching people, they will take liberties, and you could end up in a heap of trouble.
Many notaries complain about signing companies who micromanage. Unfortunately, they get a better result by keeping their notaries under their nose. I do the same when I hire people new. The minute the relationship gets distant, the quality of the work is likely to go downhill. There are exceptions to the rule. Carmen and I only talk from time to time, but she has 13 years of experience working for me and is a pro at what she does. I don’t need to babysit her. She has earned her right to autonomy — but, other people have not! So, watch what others are doing, or pay the price!
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