February 28, 2023

GPS for Business Building

When you are starting a business where do you start?

I, personally, am directionally challenged so I rely on GPS. Having a business plan is just another form of GPS. It shows you where you started, how to get to where you are going and the end point: SUCCESS! Your plan can be as formal or informal as you’d like, but it should cover these key points:

What You Do 

If someone asks what you do for a living, what do you say? Make this a short synopsis of your company’s history. When and how did you start? Where are you located? What made you decide to start your business? Include a mission statement, if you have one.

What Services You Offer  

Just write down what you do, who your customers are and the benefit of your service.

What Your Company Will Look Like In The Future 

This paragraph should be about what success looks like to you. Remember that it’s important to have SMART goals so that you know when you have achieved them.

SMART goals, flat style vector concept
  • S – Specific (or Significant).
  • M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
  • A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
  • R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
  • T – Time-bound (or Trackable).

What services you offer 

Do you want to do more real estate signings? I-9 verifications? General Notary work? Inspections?

Knowing what type of work, you want to do will help determine how you market yourself and who you reach out to. In this section write down all the additional services you want to offer, who the ideal customer is and what the benefit might be of this service. Remember you don’t want to be a jack-of-all trades and master of none. Add on what seems to be realistic without being overwhelming. You can always add more services later, if you choose.

Knowing your market  

It is crucial to understand who your target audience is. Is it signing companies or collection agencies? Do you live in an escrow state where title companies are acting as settlement agents? Do you live in a state where attorneys are handling the settlement? Or is it both? Can you get auto loan signings direct from a dealership? Where can you get more inspection work?

Make a list of who you need to market to for each service you plan on offering. If you are extremely savvy, take a look at your competition and determine how much market share you can obtain by adding these services. Once you have a solid understanding of your target audience, create an advertising strategy that is within your budget. Add a brief synopsis of the industry and where it’s heading along with what will help and hinder your business. You can also set your fee structure in this section.

Setting Your Market Timeline 

Time can get away from us. You may have every intention to reach out to three potential customers a week and before you know it, it’s Friday and you haven’t even reached out to one.

It is important to decide what day you plan to market yourself, how much time you plan to spend and how often. If you want to devote every Monday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. to marketing, block that off on your calendar. I know it’s hard. No one wants to turn away work and lose money, but if you don’t put in the time to market your Notary business, it won’t grow. And neither will your bank account.

How You Market And To Whom  

Here is where you really lay out your plan. “I will sign up with 100 national title companies this year. I will visit XYZ Title and leave my business cards and some pens. I will call Ellie Escrow Officer and take her to breakfast to discuss how I can help them grow their business. I will go to General Hospital and speak to the social workers about my mobile general Notary services.” The list is endless.

Putting Your Plan In to Action 

You now have a road map to your success. Keep a few things in mind as you go along.

Sometimes, you may have to take a detour. That’s okay. You may have avoided a giant pothole. The road to success always has construction.

Don’t be so quick to get there that you don’t enjoy the scenery because you won’t be happy at your destination if you aren’t happy on your journey.

Every flat tire, speeding ticket and traffic jam is an opportunity to express gratitude. Not everyone gets to experience this journey.

And lastly, It’s so much more fun in the carpool lane. When we help one another, we lift up the entire industry. Take someone along for the ride.