Free "How To Start" Notary Signing Agent Book
by Brenda Stone of TexNotary.com
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How much money will it take you to get into business?
I have been on the inside of planning start up businesses in the corporate world.
What you do not do is start spending money on the new
business by buying a franchise, or taking classes
to get certified, or licensed before
it is determined if you have a viable business!
There are about a zillion real estate agents where I live. No matter how good I am, how smart I am, or how high my marks were in high school, I would need about three years of income to support me before I could start profiting at selling real estate.
The competition is too stiff without about a $100,000 budget per year for marketing and advertising. I would love to start selling real estate but there is zero, no, none, notta chance in the hot place for me to get a toehold here.
Assuming you have already studied your market to see if your service will be used, and assuming you need to start figuring out the cost of doing business, this is what you need to know next:
Recognize you need about 18 to 24 months worth of income to fall back on to support yourself.
Start setting up a budget immediately before you begin your business. Here is a list for initial cash needs off the top of my head.
Computer and back up computer. ($300.00-$500.00) - Your old computer is fine for now, but running a business without a computer back up is just not very safe. Invest $300 and get another one to use when your old one crashes, because it will crash eventually. I consider this a requirement. Do not attempt this business without a back up computer.
Computer back up system. ($100.00) Get an external hard drive to back up your computers. $100 should purchase a decent one.
Fast Laser Printer PCL Compatible ($300.00)
Laser cartridges - if you do not refill your own toner cartridges - depending on the volume of your work, ($75.00/Month to $300/Month) Laser cartridges can be refilled and it would reduce your toner/laser cartridge costs down to about one quarter of that.
Scanner ($79.00) - This is a must in my opinion. I have both flat bed (cheap Lexmark) and one with a sheet feeder in my HP 3015. You can forego the fax machine if you have a scanner and a fax service.
Faxing Service ($15.00/Month) - I do not think it's best to receive faxes on a regular fax line. If you use a fax service you will be less likely to lose important documents such as confirmations or other documents which come in to you from companies.
Alternative to Fax Service is a fax line. ($19.95/Month)
Fast Internet ($60.00-$95.00/Month) Dial up internet connections are not sufficient in most cases. You'll need DSL, cable modem speed, or satellite internet.
Cell Phone plan with MANY minutes. ($60.00/Month)
Second Cell Phone - ($60/Month) if you are "rural" like I am. I have both T-Mobile and Sprint. I can almost always get service on one of them when I am out in the sticks.
Legal size paper $20-$40/Month
These are bare bones costs without factoring in the costs related to marketing or travel.
Consider that each mile you travel should be considered as costing you approximately $.44 per mile. This would include your tires, oil changes, gas, insurance and depreciation.
Then you need to think about marketing tools such as business cards, advertising, and signing up with places such as I have listed here.
Do not start this business without
setting up a budget.