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August 1, 2010

Business Cards

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: , , , — admin @ 3:53 am

Here are some tips for business cards.
If you are a notary, your business card is one of your best marketing tools. Business cards help existing customers remember who you are and how to contact you. Additionally, it is smart to hand out business cards to co-workers of customers, and other people in any building where you have done a notary job. The fact that they have seen you and know you do notary work makes them ten times as likely to use you rather than someone else. Additionally, you can mail business cards with flyers to title and signing companies who are prospective clients. You can also hand out business cards at convelescent homes, jails, bailbond offices, and other business too, to make yourself known to prospective clients. Having the right information on your business card can make an extra special impression. Here is what you can put.

(1) Your commission #. You will appear more professional and official if your notary commission # is printed on your business card. Of course, when you renew your commission, you will have a different commission #, so you will have to redraw your cards.

(2) A picture of yourself ads personality to the card and this is popular with successful realtors and other professionals.

(3) Great artwork always is a great touch.
I have pictures of Yellow mountain in China on my card.

(4) A registered business name makes you look professional. Many notaries do business using their personal name, but “Ellen’s notary service” looks much more professional than “Ellen Smith, Notary Public”.

(5) A phone number, address, and email address are generally helpful

(6) A link to your social media sites is always good.

(7) Hiring a professional designer to do the layout for you could give your card a great look.

Your opinions are always welcomed!

Here are some forum posts relating to business cards:

Notary Marketing 102 – a free comprehensive marketing course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

Business cards
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1062

Do company names help?
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3731

Stealing a business name
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2660

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August 17, 2012

Stealing a Business Name

Stealing a business name 

One of our notaries was accused of stealing someone’s business name.  The notary went to a signing and said she was associated with some other gentleman with a particular name. I don’t remember the name, and would be confidential in any case.  The client was having some paperwork notarized that would be used to register a company name in Wyoming
 
I couldn’t figure this situation out, so I emailed the client, and they said that the notary name was registered the next day by the friend of the notary, but not the notary themselves.  They registered his business name before he could register it.  Why would someone go out of their way to steal someone else’s business name?  This poor client had already printed out business cards and mailing labels with his future business name, and now he couldn’t register it.
 
What a sad story.  The moral of the story is don’t print your cards until your business name registration is complete.  Someone else can register that name up to seconds right before you attempt to!!!

Notaries are encouraged to register their business names, and get a business license. Notaries with official business names get considerably more business than those that don’t have a notary business name!

Tweets:
(1) One of our notaries was accused of stealing a signer’s business name right before it got registered!
(2) One of our notaries registered a clients’ business name 24 hours before the client went to register it.

You might also like:

Compilation of posts about notary business names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21760

Funny sounding business names: Grandma’s notary service & more!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4231

Notary business names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2302

Business Cards for notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=36

Business Licenses
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=742

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February 9, 2012

Notary Business Names

Notaries often ask me, should I use a business name?  Do notaries need to register as a business?  Does a notary public have to get a business license? The answer is yes.  Any business, including a home-based notary business needs a business license, otherwise, you might be operating illegally. For a notary to get a business license is not hard, just contact your county clerk’s county recorder office and ask them what the procedure is.  It is generally under $200 and the paperwork is not difficult.  Getting a fictitious business name for your notary business can also be the prerequisite to getting a bank account with your company name on it!
 
But, what to name your notary business? Too many notary businesses have similar sounding names, and they all become one big blur.  We wrote a blog entry all about signing company names which sound similar which is a fun blog entry to read.
 
Yellow Page Names
It is common for notaries advertising in the yellow pages to want to show up at the beginning of their section.  Names like A1 Notary, AAA Mobile Notary, AAAA Traveling Notary, and Aardvark Notary are common. Unfortunately, your clueless customers will get mad when you are not the auto club and tell you to change your name!!!  It happened to me, I know.
 
Glamour Names
Then, there are those who want the glamourous names like Royal Notary, Elite Notary, On Time Notary, and other vanity names.  You could capitize on a character trait such as Integrity Notary, Rapid Notary, or Honest Notary.

 Geographic Names
Geographic names are very good for website optimization.  If your business name is Glendora Mobile Notary Service, then your website will show up very well for local keywords. 
 
 
Personal Names
We have one client who’s business name is Ellen the Notary.  That is easy to remember and very personable too!  Johnson’s Traveling Notary is another example of a personal type of a notary business name. Sam’s Meandering Notary is yet another.

 Unique Names
But, what about more unique sounding names?  I generally recommend either geographically recognizable business names or unique ones. A confusion between your business and some other business with a bad reputation can be crippling!  If it were me, I would really put a few weeks of brainstorming and asking your friends to find that perfect name for your notary business. After you have narrowed it down to a few names, reflect carefully to select the ideal name as you will be stuck with it for a very long time!
 
You might also like:

Compilation of posts about Notary business names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21760

Comedic slogans for Notaries listed on our site
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20410
 
Deceptive identities – Signing Companies with Similar Names

7 ways to use Facebook to market your notary services
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5396

Business cards for mobile notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=36

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March 24, 2019

So the Mobile Notary Well has gone Dry

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 2:51 am

I usually don’t date my scribbles. Rather, I try to write what I perceive to be “eternal” truths. Wow, that sounded pompous; even for me. Well today is March 11, 2019, and the calls are down. Not “down and out”, but significantly lower than a few months ago. I don’t know or care about your political leaning; and I’m certainly not going to share mine. Though it probably would result in some interesting comments!

What to do when the well has gone dry? Basically there are only two real options. Ya dig another well or move on to where water is plentiful. If you can think of a practical and creative third alternative please enter some constructive and informative criticism of my analysis.

Dig another Well

Very few of us are likely able to provide “revenue for a family” from mobile notary revenue. I’m not talking about the “higher ups” who get a slice of many pies. I’m referring to the “rank and file”, the troops in the field who actually stamp, emboss, administer the oath and sign. We are legions of “side gig” entrepreneurs eking out a modest supplemental income. I suspect many of us are retired and use the signing fee for a modest night out. Probably a goodly number are youth who eagerly expend major effort, using their endless energy for usually small rewards.

There are many ways to dig that supplementary well. You can knock yourself out distributing business cards and seek the direct calls. Some will take the gamble and pay highly per click. Many will up their visibility by seeking better placement on notary directories. But, as I see it; these strategies, while valid; are chasing the limited demand. Being different, or more accurately, doing different IS digging another well.

Most mobile notaries run their business the same way; no matter what. I have had emails that state “I enjoy processing loan packages and don’t want to do anything else”. OK, you have chosen to starve, certainly in the current notary signing agent environment. Diversify is the word. You have to use your notary standing to offer to do many things. Learn to do fingerprinting, to process Apostilles, Letters of Protest, obtaining birth, death, marriage, divorce and how to work with educational documents. There are many other “authorities” granted to you by your status as a notary. The more you know how to do, the greater your chances someone will hire you.

Move on to the Water

Your status as a notary is an “edge” you have making you more desirable in many functions. Of course you should still market yourself as a mobile notary – great extra income when it fits into your schedule. But, quite frankly it’s not a gold mine currently. That may change – but probably not soon. So, take a real job; one where your notary skills can be an advantage. Use some of the “real job” revenue to maintain your current advertising and directory listings. I can picture some rural lawn signs: “Notary Public and lawnmower blade sharpening”. IM(not so)HO probably the worst thing you can do is chase the 35 dollar edocs. Do the math; there is virtually no profit. Face the reality, be flexible, ADD a few additional skills; notary skills – of course; but don’t limit yourself to solely notary income. When you dig that new well you just might strike oil!

You might also like:

Snapdocs — are the jobs just too far away?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21003

The art of the decline to new jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15783

Will the next election help our Notary industry?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22267

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February 4, 2019

Compilation – Best blog posts from 2010

Filed under: Compilations — admin @ 6:10 am

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TOP

Funniest things that happen to signing agents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=55

Stories of Notaries who fail and what they did wrong
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=143

Confirming the signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19

Just say no Article 3
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=376

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MARKETING

Stories of Notaries who fail and what they did wrong
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=143

Bilingual Notaries – how often are they needed?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=238

Business cards for Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=36

Notary etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=300

2010 version – everything you need to know about notary advertising
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=30

Getting Paid the ins and outs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=27

.

SOCIAL

Welcome to the 123notary Blog
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1

Social Media – what we are doing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3

Funniest things that happen to signing agents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=55

TECHNICAL

Confirming the signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19

Just say no Article 3
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=376

Hospital Notary jobs from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=76

Everything you need to know about journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=70

Signature by X
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=203

911 and California Law Changes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=212

New laws for Notaries in Illinois
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=198

Jail Notary jobs from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=151

Credible Witnesses – When ID and docs have different names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=230

Typical Things Notaries do Wrong
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=58

Meeting clients at a jail
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=274

12 points on eNotarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=228

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October 29, 2018

Fix for – Your Phone Stopped Ringing

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 12:28 pm

Fix for – Your Phone Stopped Ringing
To understand why it’s not ringing you need to understand what makes it ring. Calls come from three basic origins. Repeats, Advertising, and “where you are known”. Repeats are great, and you will have them if you did a good job for a fair price. People like to deal with a known entity – especially when the prior work was great. Ads cost money, but wisely done have a good ROI
(Return On Investment). However “ads” can be free – the following link: http://kenneth-aedelstein.com

will be “picked up” by many internet “robots” – including Google. It costs noting to
post a blog, just some time to create content that is worth the readers’ time.

Now on to “where you are known”. I have often suggested the distribution of several hundred business cards. Sure, it’s work – but has the advantage of making a good face to face impression. Well, to be honest it can take a lot of low result legwork. But, it can also be done with a strategy for low effort and high return. One good potential future caller source is doctors. They often need their statement about a patient’s health notarized. You could plan a route to cover 50 doctors in one trip. It would be an inefficient plan. Sure you would leave a card (and perhaps a brief letter about your services) with the doctors; but the narrow focus would miss other potential clients – in the same building.

A better, perhaps more efficient approach would be to visit an area. Doctors might be prime candidates – but the hardware store adjacent to the doctor should also receive a visit. Think of everyone as a potential client – why not visit an many as possible, as efficiently as possible?

This is a very generalized approach. It works for notaries, realtors or plumbers. They might not need you now, but might require your type of service in the future. Can you picture them thinking “now where did I put that card” – I vaguely recall that person seemed competent.

Don’t feel like making a special card distribution trip? You don’t have to. Just be sure to carry about 50+ cards with you at all times and distribute them where you go, and to places nearby.

It’s a numbers game – the cost is very low, and to be frank – the response rate is also low; initially. But some will call, perhaps becoming repeat customers. Unlike the hated “spam” email, you are delivering your card personally; perhaps starting a relationship.

One final tip. Be sure to use the back of the card to make your card a “keeper”. I have a street guide to finding buildings in Manhattan. Some have conversion charts between English and Metric measurement, some Federal holidays. Whatever you choose make it a “long term” keep. Probably the worst is a calendar – into the trash you go on New Year’s Day.

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You might also like:

Notary – what would you do?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21037

Situations where you can ruin a loan out of stupidity
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19987

A list of things Notaries goor (or might goof on).
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19427

Life at the bottom of the food chain
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19419

Get off your butt — and start marketing yourself
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19408

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September 17, 2017

Get off your Butt

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 12:11 am

Get off your Butt
Ever listen to Bolero? It’s basically the same musical note strings repeated over and over. There is minor variation but the major effect is that the music stays the same but gets louder and louder. Sound familiar? That’s the way the Forum here (and on similar sites) seems to be going. A constant repetition of the same old and tired gripes. Of course you have a right to feel slighted when screwed about no/low/late payment. But are you venting your frustration in the right direction? Perhaps you are your problem.

The single most cost effective form of marketing your services is business card distribution. Did you miss that? OK, for those that are not the brightest bulb in the chandelier – go back and reread the first sentence of this paragraph. Good, now we both know the secret to digging out of the signing swamp. You need a broad base of customers, hundreds of them. Hanging on with a few clients = financial doom. Yes, I said hundreds. Why? Because most of the time they do not need your notary services. But, with several hundred knowing about you, some will call. To them you are “the one” not one of many to underpay.

So, exactly what is business card distribution? It involves getting off your tail feathers and actually SELLING YOURSELF. Get a local map, draw a circle with the radius of the circle ten miles from your home location. That covers a lot of territory. Probably includes many, many business locations. You need to visit them individually and present a few (half a dozen works for me) business cards. They are cheap. I order 5000 at a time from VistaPrint, specifying their slowest service – and the cost is pennies per card. Make the card a work of art. Don’t forget to put some “keeper” information on the back. No, not a calendar; something forever useful.

Want to give your card even more impact? Write a cover letter that describes your services and make sure to include useful information. You might cover the requirements for someone to be notarized, your experience, your availability; and a bit about the person that you are. Perhaps you will choose to put a bit more into your face to face contact – a small gift. A pen, a letter opener, a keychain – something. See http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19345 for one way to build a repeat relationship – surely you can think of more and better ideas. But you have to DO them.

I’m a payment first kind of guy. I used to have “dun the turds day – the last Monday of the month” – that’s history now. Virtually all of my work is prepaid via PayPal, especially with signing services or structured settlements. They don’t like to pay. I have a BBB A+ rating and will extend credit to strangers who have the same. But back to business card distribution.

You want to get your card into the hands of people whose time is more valuable than yours. Or, to put it another way: their time is more valuable than your fee. A doctor is not going to make a trip to the bank to have a “qualify for adoption” statement notarized. Paying your truly trivial fee allows the doctor to meet a patient and earn much more than your fee. A manager at a big store does not want to go to a notary; they can call you (IF THEY KNOW YOU EXIST) to come to them and simply make it a business expense (it’s not coming out of their own pocket).

It’s work. Make a route – visit hundreds of locations with your 6 cards, cover letter and perhaps a small gift. General Notary Work is easier and payment is immediate. You just have to get off your Butt, Please. I’m tired of all the griping about signings. Also, with a good revenue stream from your General Notary Work you can tell SSS (Sleazy Signing Service) to prepay or go away. Be prepared for a surprise. SSS will often prepay if you stand your ground. Many have called me back a half hour later to submit to MY terms.

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You might also like:

I just got two jobs & they said they found me on 123notary, what now?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15857

The 24 hour icon and what it means
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19455

Which Notary directory is getting the high priced signings?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19201

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March 6, 2017

How do I advertise as a Notary Public?

Filed under: Advertising,Popular on Linked In — Tags: — admin @ 9:34 pm

General Advertising
If you are a Notary Public or a Mobile Notary Public, it is critical that clients know how to find you. Some Notaries have a store front. In such a case, you just put a large sign saying Notary Public. You could put a sign on your car saying Notary Public and a phone number as well. It’s generally a good idea to pass our business cards to people in the neighborhood or your town so they know where to go if they need a Notary. Additionally hospitals and nursing homes need Notaries regularly.

Yellow Pages
The yellow pages online and offline sometimes get good results for Mobile Notaries although not always.You can gets out various yellow pages and see which ones get results.

Online Directories
These days, the way mobile notaries get most of their work is through online directories. 123notary, Notary Rotary, and Snapdocs and the three most popular in 2016. 123notary offers free listings, but also has paid listings where you can be at the top of the list in your area. Notary Rotary also has free and paid listings and lists Notaries in order of proximity to the zip code being queried. Snapdocs charges the Lender or Signing Company a small fee ($8 last I heard) to seach for a Notary and send docs using their system. Snapdocs pays Notaries the least and has cattle calls via text to alert mass amounts of Notaries for each job. But, on a brighter note, it is a great opportunity for newer Notaries to get work.

Websites
A Notary website of your own can be a huge money drain. On the other hand, it is a great way to show the world you are serious about the business and show all of your specialties, contact information, and more.

That is pretty much it as far as how you advertise as a Notary Public. If you have any further questions, email us at info@123notary.com

.

You might also like:

Additions to policies regarding listings, certification and elite
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19431

Notary Marketing 102 – a comprehensive guide to marketing your services
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

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August 18, 2015

Notary – Your Signature – Needs Work

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:34 am

No, I’m not referring to that strange squiggle you have on file with your notary commission. I’m talking about your “other” signature. It’s the one that your email program adds at the end of virtually every email that you send. Jeremy hoots and hollers about having a good “notes section” in your profile on 123notary.com. Well, I’m willing to bet that at least a hundred times more people see your “email signature” than see your notes section. So, why is your email signature, either non-existent, or, to put it bluntly: junky?

The automatically generated “signature” is a great source of advertising. In addition to complete contact information, you should have a graphic; and a bit about the services you provide. This is totally free advertising, and it makes it much easier for people to call you. They don’t have to hunt thru several of your emails to find contact information – it’s in each and every one you send.

And, they can do much more than call. Your signature should have a link to your web site! A real “click here” (without those tacky words, of course). Mine informs recipients that I am available for: Mobile Notary Public, Apostille Processing, Embassy/Consulate Legalization & Fingerprinting. It’s the simplest thing to use, once set up. Just click “reply” to an incoming email and your signature is generated at the bottom – there’s nothing to it. MS Word allows for at least two different ones; one for a new outgoing email, one for a reply. Depending on your email program, the signature can contain various fonts, text, pictures, logos, and links. A goldmine!

Your email signature probably “needs work” and it will be a bit of work for you to configure the signature if you never accessed that part of your email program. Read the related help section, there are probably examples and/or step by step instructions. It’s also possible to get “fancy” and have a variety of signature files and select the appropriate one for each specific email. One processing tip, for users of MS Word: I found it easier to use the full “word facilities” to create the signature, then to just copy and paste it into the signature entry facility.

While most people will just click “reply” to your email, it’s a good idea to specifically put your email address in your signature. That helps people to edit copy, edit paste your email address when forwarding email if they did not add you to their address book. A further step is to include Filename extension .vcf, .vcard. Internet media type, text/vcard … vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards. The .vcf allows instant addition of your information to the recipient address book. You can personalize the entry with your picture, logo or a graphic.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s true in person, telephone or via email. When you include an informative email signature you literally “display” both enhanced technical ability and your desire to be easy to contact. If you also take the second and more complex step, the .vef; you stand a good chance of being added (permanently?) to your client’s address book.

It’s also common to include, as the last line of the signature, a thought provoking quote; with proper credit to the author. It should represent your beliefs and philosophy, select your quote wisely. I chose a classic by Joseph Joubert: He who has imagination without learning, has wings and no feet.

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You might also like:

The Signature Name Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16298

How to get something notarized that doesn’t have a signature
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4695

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May 20, 2014

Dress British, Think Yiddish

Dress British, Think Yiddish
Long ago, about half a century (honest), I was given those four words as the secret to success in business. The same sage advice applies equally to both sexes; to all races and, well, to everyone. A very compact and easy to remember slogan – its simplicity hides a multiplicity of actions that you should consider. It’s time for me to delve into those four simple words.

Dress British – it does not mean that you need to purchase a wardrobe from the UK. The words acknowledge that the British are well renown for dressing impeccably. Clothes make the (wo)man. You do not need an expensive wardrobe to look like the professional you are. You do need immaculately clean and wrinkle free attire. Are you a fugitive from the barber shop? Is there something about your appearance that, at a glance, is highly memorable? When I was in the corporate environment we often had “dress down” days on Friday. However, management would remind us that “dress down” is not to be confused with “dress clown”.

I’m not going to insult you with a litany of the obvious. I also take offense when receiving a signing assignment that asks me to check if my finger nails are clean. But there are subtleties that are worth mentioning, especially if you aspire to dress British. Your attire should be subdued and somewhat bland, the borrower should be paying attention to what you are saying; not what you are wearing. Your professional “uniform” should be changed out of the moment you return home; replaced by “home attire”. True, you will change clothes often; here is a little tip on how to handle that. My work pants have two cell phone cases on the belt, wallet and billfold in the back pockets, business cards and tiny notary stamp in front left pocket, and my current promotional item in my front right pocket. I just hang the pants “loaded” rather than unloading the items. Thus, the pants are ready loaded to put on and I don’t have to look for items.

Think Yiddish – no you are not being asked by http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com to learn a new language. At the risk of offending some of my Jewish readers; the words translate to “keep an eye on the money”. You are working to make a Profit. Not just to receive revenue. Doing a lowball job that, after your expenses nets “chump change” is not working for Profit. Know your expenses and set a realistic fee for your professional skills, time and efforts. I used the term “nets”, it implies that you actually receive payment. Run your business as a business. The accumulation of toxic accounts receivables is to be actively avoided. Carry a “duds” list of firms that must PayPal (or similar) prior to printing – and within 15 minutes of their call to you. Strictly limit their “I’ll have to get back to you” to protect your calendar. If you later discover their last check was issued when Hoover was President contact them. Send them a screen shot of the bad reviews you found online; with the choice of immediate payment or you must relinquish the assignment. It’s valid to reply to “you took it you must do it” with “I took it prior to learning about your terrible reputation”. Unpleasant yes, but worse is dunning for your cash and being stiffed.

Some other types of assignments should prepay. The objective is to eliminate risk. A prime example is an assignment at a hospital. Make it clear that the payment received is for best efforts within the bounds of legality. If the patient is unconscious or not available; the fee was earned because you made the trip. Nobody, repeat nobody, else is looking out for your “bottom line”. It’s up to you to be wary of situations that might not proceed smoothly – shift the “risk” to your client; but make the rules very clear prior to accepting any money.

Thus, the ancient advice given to me of “Dress British, Think Yiddish” has served me well for a very long time. Few are the long drives only to find nobody home; as they found a cheaper notary and did not bother to call me. It’s interesting how diligent folks become about having government issued photo ID available when they prepaid for my visit. Again, it’s vital that you communicate the “rules of engagement” to your client. Neither giving nor receiving “surprises” makes for a smooth transaction, pleasant to all.

Tweets:
(1) Half a century ago, I was given these words as a secret to success in business! Dress British, Think Yiddish!

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You might also like:

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

Compilation of posts about notary etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20505

Would you accept a signing without a confirmation?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22588

How to negotiate signing fees like a pro
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19198

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