The story of 123notary.com
It was late on a Friday night in 1999. I was at a Title office waiting for documents to be ready for a late night signing. It was up in the valley, perhaps in Encino, CA. In the mean time, the title officer was trying to find a notary in Pagoso Springs, CO. We were using signingagent.com since that was the only signing agent directory we knew of at the time. The problem was that there was only one notary in that county who didn’t answer their phone, and there was no way to find notaries in neighboring counties unless you knew the names of those counties. At that time, you could only look up by county on signingagent.com.
The birth of a vision
This was the birth of my idea to build my own database. I was going to figure out what all the problems were with the other sites, and create my own with some new and practical features. The feature that stuck out in my head was neighboring counties. Its hard to know what counties border a particular county unless you have memorized the geography, or unless you have a good atlas. These days with mapquest and google maps, that problem is much more easily surmounted, but even those sites are not always easy to use. The concept of links to neighboring counties is easy for the browser.
Every county on 123notary has links to neighboring counties. That way, if you can’t find someone to do your job in Lemon county, then you will find a few links to nearby counties such as Lime and Cherry counties. Sometimes we’ll have up to five links, while other times we will only have one. Remote areas might only have one link, because there is only one county where you would be likely to find anyone based on its higher population.
These days we do even more
For the last few years, I have personally gone beyond just listing links to neighboring counties to help people find notary services. I will list notaries from surrounding counties who service the county being searched for. I’ll just put them below the locals in the search results, so you find people in a rough order of proximity. Of course, someone in a neighboring county might be two miles from the notary job, while someone on the other end of the same county might be twenty miles away from the notary job. But, in the notary business, availability is more important than exact proximity, so this rough system functions well enough.
123notary was only for me when it started
The first year 123notary was around, it was designed to promote my personal notary business for a few counties in southern California for me to advertise my personal notary services. Yellow Pages were getting too expensive, and I wanted a more cost effective way to advertise. After a while, I thought it would be better to have others share the cost with me, so I started offering listings to other notaries in Southern California. Then, we covered all of California. By 2001 we decided to cover the whole United States and started populating the central and eastern states with notaries. It was grueling hard work to build 123notary, especially since I was doing notaries fifty-five hours a week, and spending another fifteen building 123notary. I had no knowledge of the web business back then and had hardly any money. All I had was an amazing drive and some great ideas.
Its easier now
Now, when I create new web modules for my sites, or do new promotional programs, I have a decade of experience. I know what to do, and when, and what the most efficient ways of doing everything are. Nothing beats experience. But, I’m much more tired these days, and can not do the daily thirteen hour shifts that I used to do back in the day!
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The story of 123notary