Working as a mobile notary is an attractive option for those who find the idea of clocking 8 or 9 hours daily at the same location with the same people more than a little stifling. Mobile notaries get to work with a diverse group of people and aren’t stuck at one location constantly. Of course, the drive is only one part of the answer to being a successful mobile notary. Read on for some key tips on turning that dream into a practical reality.
Develop a Plan
People don’t open a restaurant or even launch e-commerce stores without making a plan first. Being a mobile notary isn’t a traditional business, but it most certainly is a business. You should treat it that way and make a business plan.
You can find templates for business plans in many places online, such as the Small Business Administration. Minimally, you need some ideas about what services you’ll offer, the service hours you’ll keep, your expected expenses, and a fee schedule.
Give particular thought to where and how you’ll market your services. Will you get yourself listed in an online notary directory (you should) or focus more on local publications to advertise your services? You’ll probably want a mix of online and offline marketing.
Diversify Your Service Offerings
Many new mobile notaries will focus all their attention on the loan signing aspect of notary services. While these assignments can prove profitable, the payment timeline is extended. You can wait up to 45 days before you see any money.
Consider offering other services directly to consumers in your community. For example, you can offer signature witnessing or copy certification, assuming there is enough work and you can charge enough per notarization to justify it. If nothing else, these other services can help you maintain a positive cash flow
Make Strategic Alliances
New notaries often view other notaries or businesses offering notary services as their competition. There is a kernel of truth in that, but it also limits your business unnecessarily. For example, you’ll want to limit the distance you will drive to offer your services. You can set up an informal agreement to recommend that people use a different notary if they’re outside your driving radius and vice versa.
Pick Your Customers
A common mistake that many new business owners make is that they assume every customer is good. That’s not always the case. For example, a customer that wants you to make a long drive two or three times a month for a low-paying service isn’t a good fit.
As a rule, you must balance your costs and the value of your time against what you get from a customer. Spending an hour round trip for a job that only pays $25 isn’t profitable. You want customers who make it worth your while to make the trip by getting higher-paying services or bundling together several lower-paying services.
How to Be a Successful Mobile Notary
The question of how to be a successful mobile notary requires several things from you. Minimally, you need a business plan to focus your efforts. You’ll want to offer a mix of services to capture immediate profit from consumers and higher-paying work like loan signings. Think about making strategic alliances. Finally, pick customers that value your time and make it worthwhile to make the trip.