Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cash Flow and the Notary Entrepreneur

by Daniel C. Lewis



Cash flow is the net change in your notary business cash position from one period to the next.  When you have more cash than you send out, you have a positive cash flow.  You have a negative cash flow if you have more cash outflow than inflow.  Having a positive monthly cash flow is a key indicator of your notary business financial health.

Having a positive cash flow is critical to running an efficient effective business.  To establish a positive cash flow for your notary business there are a couple of key factors that you have to keep in mind.  Below are just a few key factors to keep in mind and habits to develop as you continuously develop your business empire.




Know what your bottom line is.  This is absolutely key to your success.  You have to know how much it cost you to produce your product or service.  This includes maintaining your vehicle and the internet, paper, ink, gas, insurance (including business, life, disability, identity theft), etc.

Make cash flow a priority.  Track what you are currently spending your money on.  For the next 30 days journal your spending.  If you never tracked what your daily expenses are to this point then this will be an eye opening experience for you.

Ask for direct deposit instead of having a check mailed(which is usually mailed on average about 45 days after the assignment).  If your existing clients are not doing this currently ask them to start for you. It is an extremely simple process and most businesses have picked up this practice.

Develop a system to make deposits quicker.  Most banks will allow their business customers to deposit checks through their banking apps that can be downloaded on your cell phone.  When conducting mobile notary assignments and you are collecting a check as payment this download feature makes it almost as safe as collecting cash for the assignment.  It also puts your cash in the bank faster.

Diversify your notary business.  Make sure you are not just conducting real estate assignments or just conducting mobile notary assignments.  Doing a mixture of both will keep your business finances health.

Properly vet your clients.  Prior to accepting assignments from companies do your research on them.  Ask questions about their methods of payments and when they pay after each assignment.  As a business owner this is basic information you need to know to run your business more effectively.

Be aware of daily inflation and adjust to it.  For Notary Signing Agents, this is a critical point to keep in mind with negotiating your next contract.  Inflation measured by consumer price index is defined as the change in the prices of a basket of goods and services that are typically purchased by specific groups of households.  Daily Inflation Index includes the prices of foods, gas, paper, ink and other supplies that notaries needs.

The reason why this should be is so important to the Notary Signing Agents (NSA) is in this example.  Let's say you accepted an closing assignment on June 1st for $100.  Upon completing the assignment it pays you the NSA 45 days later on July 15th.  Accounting for the Daily Inflation Index here is just one example on how this affects the $100 the NSA is to receive for the assignment.

June 1st price of a gallon of gas is $2.25 per gallon

because gas prices fluctuate daily by

July 15th the price of a gallon of gas is now $3.49 per gallon

In this example if the NSA car has a 15 gallon gas tank the NSA will lose $18.60 just on filling up their vehicle with gas.  The $100 is now worth $81.60.  This is just one product example of how the Daily Inflation Index can affect an NSA's business.  Buying fresh product is another example of how this works because fresh produce prices can double or even triple overnight.

 Developing a more efficient at developing positive cash flow habits doesn't happen overnight but it is possible.  Believe in yourself and know that it can be done.



  Daniel C. Lewis resides in Carmel, IN.  He was named in 2010 Notary of the Year by the National Notary Association.  He was also named in the same year an Honorary Secretary of State by the Indiana Secretary of State.  Daniel is currently serving as President of the Indiana Notary Association.  Daniel is an entrepreneur, writer, video editor and Managing Partner of Lewis Notary Services Inc.  Daniel is also a licensed Financial Advisor and specializes in helping notary entrepreneur with retirement planning.  If you wish to receive assistance with your business plan and receive a FREE financial review click here

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Community SHRED DAY 2018


INDIANA NOTARY ASSOCIATION

is proud to sponsor the 

2018 Community SHRED DAY

This Fund Raiser is for the Indiana Notary Association.  We hope this event will serve as a reminder to the public to stay diligent about protecting their private information.

This is happening on 

Saturday, April 14, 2018 

at 

10:30am till 12:30pm

at two convenient locations

Old National Bank                                                      Old National Bank
15941 Cumberland Road                                           900 South State Road 135
Noblesville, IN 46060                                                  Greenwood, IN 46143



Fees:  $4.00 per unit up to 8.5 x 14 case/tub
           $9.00 per unit up to storage tub
           $25.00 per vehicle/trailer

Receipts will be furnished on-site.

Donations are welcome.

Funds raised will benefit the INA Education/Legislative Committee.

The mission of the Indiana Notary Association is to promote excellence in notary services throughout the State of Indiana and to become a primary resource for notaries throughout the state through education, networking and legislative advocacy to support what is in the best interest of Indiana's citizens and Notaries public.

For more information go to www.indynotaries.org

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Notary Entrepreneurs Wanted

by Daniel C. Lewis

I am currently seeking at least 100 notary entrepreneurs that are interested in receiving financial coaching for the next 12 months.  I have been a successful Notary Entrepreneur for the past 18 years.  I started as a Notary Signing Agent and have built a very effective and efficient notary scheduling service.  I have also organized a grassroots campaign in my home state of Indiana and helped improved the conditions for notaries here by lobbying the General Assembly to pass new legislation for notaries which includes raising the general notary fees from $2 per notarization to $10 per notarization.  This new law will take effect on July 1, 2018.

In 2018 I would like to help at least 100 notary entrepreneurs get to a comfortable level of financial security with their notary business.  My focus for financially coaching notary entrepreneurs will be in six areas:


  • Cash Flow
  • Debt Management
  • Setting Up an Emergency Fund
  • Developing Proper Protection for your business
  • Building Wealth
  • Preserving Wealth



I am a licensed Financial Advisor and will conduct this service at no charge for the notary entrepreneur.  After conducting a Financial Needs Analysis with you, I make a few recommendations that should put you in a better financial situation.  If you agree with the recommendations than I am paid from the marketing reserves of the financial institution recommended.

I have an expertise in notary entrepreneurship and would like to share that knowledge with other notary entrepreneurs.  It is my goal to help other notary entrepreneurs become financial secure with their notary business.   

If you are interested in this opportunity click here.

Looking forward to working with you.

Daniel C. Lewis resides in Carmel, IN.  He was named in 2010 Notary of the Year by the National Notary Association.  He was also named in the same year an Honorary Secretary of State by the Indiana Secretary of State.  Daniel is currently serving as President of the Indiana Notary Association.  Daniel is an entrepreneur, writer, video editor and Managing Partner of Lewis Notary Services Inc.  Daniel is also a licensed Financial Advisor and specializes in helping notary entrepreneur with retirement planning.  If you wish to receive assistance with your business plan and receive a FREE financial review click here

Saturday, January 20, 2018

4 Financial Reasons to be a Notary Entrepreneur

by Daniel C. Lewis



Notary Entrepreneur?  What is that?

A notary entrepreneur is a business owner that has developed a successful business plan around helping his community as a notary public.  Notary entrepreneurs are the drivers of innovation in their field.  They organize, manage and assumes all the risk of their notary business enterprise.  If you have considered becoming a notary entrepreneur here are 4 financial reasons that might just sway your thinking. 


Tax Advantages

Without a doubt there are several tax advantages to being a notary entrepreneur.  Being notary entrepreneur means keeping track of these different types of  expenditures.  Even through you don't have an employer matching your savings you are able to put aside a lot of money in tax deferred accounts and can choose a retirement plan that works best for you.  Some of the most common tax deductions for business owners are meals, entertainment, travel, transportation, home office, internet & phone, health and business insurance.  To gain a better understanding of each deduction see a tax professional. 




Opportunity for Increased Retirement Savings

Being a notary entrepreneur allows you many options and incentives as far as financial planning.  Since self-employed individuals must fund their retirement completely on your own, the contribution limits are far more generous than the limits placed if your were working as an employee. 

CHECK THIS OUT:  401k and IRA Contribution and Deduction Limits for 2018

I recommend you seek out a financial professional and receive as much advice about securing your financial future.  There are many tax deferred programs as well as other programs that will help you grow your investment in your future rapidly.  As a self employed person you can prioritize your retirement planning and create a nice healthy nest egg.  Programs like a SIMPLE IRA, a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA and a Solo 401(k) can really help you to hit your financial goals.  To setup a retirement saving program for yourself contact a financial professional by clicking here 



 Unlimited Income Potential



One of the greatest rewards of being a notary entrepreneur, as with any business ownership, is that it gives you the opportunity to make an unlimited amount of income.  Your income grows as your ability to be creative as a business owner grows.  You have direct and complete control of how much income you ultimately make. Remember the greatest asset your business has is you.

It is definitely possible to earn millions of dollars from a typical 9 to 5 job.  Operating at this level means you are competing against a number of people that want this same level of income.  As a result in today's job market the employer company will either get brought out, go out of business or downsize the business before you get an opportunity to hit your financial goals. 

When you are a business owner and/or notary entrepreneur you can earn as much money as your talents, ambition and energy levels will allow.  Your income depends on your growth as a business professional.   

Better Career Security than a Job

In the early 1990's I began working for AT&T in middle management.  I remember the first day after being hired the training manager came into the room and said this will be the last job you will ever have.  Two years later that same training manager was laid off in a company wide management layoff.  Needless to say job security is a thing of the past. 

When you run your own business, no matter what it is, you may never face unemployment again.  There will be times when your revenue may come in a bit slow, however, you will control who you do business with and for how long. 

Are you ready to become a notary entrepreneur?

Other articles by this Author:

Notary Bonds and Insurance

How the massive Equifax Data Breach affects Notary Signing Agents

How to find a Notary Public in Indiana

Daniel C. Lewis resides in Carmel, IN.  He was named in 2010 Notary of the Year by the National Notary Association.  He was also named in the same year an Honorary Secretary of State by the Indiana Secretary of State.  Daniel is currently serving as President of the Indiana Notary Association.  Daniel is an entrepreneur, writer, video editor and Managing Partner of Lewis Notary Services Inc.  Daniel is also a licensed Financial Advisor and specializes in helping notary entrepreneur with retirement planning.  If you wish to receive assistance with your business plan and receive a FREE financial review click here

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Notary Bonds and Insurance

by Daniel C. Lewis


Everyday someone is jumping in, feet first, starting a new notary business.  They have checked out some websites, joined a couple of local and national organizations and took the time to write out a business plan for their notary business.  One question that should come up at the very beginning of this new venture is....

What type of insurance do I need to properly protect my business as well as my personal assets?

Most online website will give some basic information about Bonds and E&O  Insurance.  If this was the year 2001 that would be great protection but since we are in 2018 this definitely won't be sufficient coverage for the professional notary entrepreneur.  Let's take a look at some of the different protection available for the notary entrepreneur.

Bonds

What is a Notary Bond?  A notary bond is a legally binding contract guaranteeing the notary will complete tasks ethically and in adherence with the local laws.  Notary bonds are required because notaries and notaries public are entrusted with a great deal of legal authority and are appointed as witnesses who ensure signatures on important legal documents are valid.  Bonds are usually required in each jurisdiction (check your local requirements).

Please keep in mind, however, bonds actually protect the public and not the notary.  The reason why that's important is that if there is ever an issue and your notary bond is called to pay damages, the notary would need to repay the bond back to the bonding company.  Click here to get a quote on a Notary Bond     




Errors & Omission Insurance

E&O Insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that protects the notary entrepreneur from mistakes resulting in financial loss by the customer.  If a customer makes a claim for damages against a Notary Bond, E&O Insurance will protect the notary's assets up to the chosen coverage amount.  Without E&O Insurance notaries are personally liable for damages caused by a mistake made while acting as a notary, which is why this coverage is so important.  It is important to remember that E&O Insurance does not cover mistakes deemed to be intentional in nature.  E&O Insurance is highly recommended.  Click here to get a quote on Errors and Omission Insurance




Signing Agent E&O Insurance

Signing Agent E&O Insurance (also called Signing Agent Liability Insurance) is designed to fill the gaps not covered by traditional Notary E&O Insurance.  Signing Agent Liability Insurance is specifically designed for notaries who assist with loan signings.  The policy fills the gaps left with traditional Notary E&O Insurance, which only provides coverage for the actual notarization in loan packages.  Signing Agent E&O Insurance covers unintentional errors or omissions while the notary is acting as a "signing agent".  In addition to the notarizations, this insurance covers such things as getting all other signatures and initials, correctly dating the documents, completing the signing in the time period specified, and promptly returning the signed documents.  Defense costs are also covered within the coverage amount.  Click here for quote on Signing Agent Errors & Omission Insurance




Identity Theft Protection

I was recently in a room full of seasons professional notary entrepreneurs and asked two questions.  The first question was how many of you ever had to use your Errors & Omissions Insurance because of a claim for damages?  Keeping in mind the average years experience was about 7 years, not one hand went up.  Then I asked how many of you ever been a victim or knows a victim of identity theft?  All the hands in the room went up.  Having identity theft protection is one of the most under rated forms of insurance that the notary entrepreneur can have.  I am not referring to some watered down version of identity theft protection from a bank or as an add on to an insurance policy that will not properly protect the notary or his/her business.  I am referring to a comprehensive plan that not only protects against the notary from credit card scams, drivers license identity theft, passport scams, and medical fraud but even protect the notary's social media post from being hijacked.

Since some notary entrepreneur assignments deal primarily with real estate transactions and require the notary to submit to annual background screens, having comprehensive identity theft protection is critical to operating a efficient effective notary business.  Click here for identity theft protection

Other articles by this Author

Will the Indiana ID fly?

What states gives the most speeding tickets?

What is Internet Catfishing?

Daniel C. Lewis resides in Carmel, IN.  He was named in 2010 Notary of the Year by the National Notary Association.  He was also named in the same year an Honorary Secretary of State by the Indiana Secretary of State.  Daniel is currently serving as the President of the Indiana Notary Association.  Daniel is an entrepreneur, writer, video editor and Managing Partner of Lewis Notary Services Inc.  Daniel has recently obtained a license as a Financial Advisor.  If you wish to receive assistance with your business plan and receive a FREE financial review click here

  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Will your Indiana ID Fly?

WILL YOUR INDIANA ID FLY?

by Daniel C. Lewis


Did you know that as of October 1, 2020 a Real ID-compliant driver's license, permit or identification card will be required to fly commercially in the United States and to access the following:


  • Military Base
  • Amtrak train
  • Secure Federal facilities


Alternative documentation such as a passport or Common Access Card (CAC) will also be accepted.

So, what is Real ID?

Real ID is a secure form of identification that meets federal security standards for state-issued licenses, permits, or identification cards. 

Real ID is indicated by a star in the upper right hand corner of a license, permit or ID.



How to obtain a Real ID

Visit any BMV branch with the required documentation to upgrade to a Real ID.  You cannot become Real ID-compliant via phone, mail or online transaction.
What is a Non-Compliant Driver's License or ID Card?

A non-compliant credential indicates you have not provided the documentation necessary to validate your identity, lawful status, Social Security number, and/or Indiana residency.  Only individuals with a current Indiana credential are eligible to apply for a non-compliant credential.  A non-compliant credential will allow you to drive and/or vote, but may not be acceptable for federal identification purposes.


What if you already renewed your license and it isn't Real ID-compliant?

If you already renewed your non-compliant license or identification card, you should visit a BMV branch to become compliant, even if your permit, license, or identification card doesn't expire before the 2020 deadline.  You can only obtain a Real ID by visiting a BMV branch and presenting the required documentation in person. 

Special Note:  If your name has been legally changed and now differs from your identity document(s) proof of the name change must be provided in order to obtain a Real ID.  Acceptable documents supporting a legal name change include a marriage license, divorce decree, or court order.  In all cases, the documents must show a clear trail of name changes from the name on the identity document to the current name.  For more information, visit REALID.IN.gov.



Other Articles by this Author:




_________________________________________________________________

Daniel C. Lewis resides in Carmel, IN.  He was named in 2010 Notary of the Year by the National Notary Association.  He was also named in the same year an Honorary Secretary of State by the Indiana Secretary of State.  Daniel is currently serving as the President of the Indiana Notary Association.  Daniel is an entrepreneur, writer, video editor and Managing Partner of Lewis Notary Services Inc.  Daniel has recently obtained a license as a Financial Advisor.  If you wish to receive assistance with your business plan and receive a FREE financial review click here  

Friday, September 15, 2017

How the massive Equifax Data Breach affects Notary Signing Agents

by Daniel C. Lewis

How the massive Equifax data breach affects NSAs?

By now you should have heard the news and/or seen all the coverage about the massive Equifax data breach in the US.   If not here is a short recap:


  • Equifax is one of the largest consumer credit reporting agency
  • Equifax discovered that on July 29 a massive data breach occurred
  • Data stolen include names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases, driver's license numbers
  • 3 Equifax managers sold stock before the hack was revealed to the public
  • This is the 3rd major Equifax cyber threat since 2015
  • Going to the Equifax website to see if you were affected could cost you your rights to a class action lawsit


People are being asked to go to the Equifax website to find remedies to their own data breaches.  According to technology lawyer, Mark Grossman, when you click on the Equifax site for help you could be giving away other remedies to help yourself with this issue, including being able to participate in a class action lawsuit. 

How does all this affect professional Notary Signing Agents and what can they do about it now?

First, assume that you, the Notary Signing Agent, are one of the 143 million consumers that was affected by the data breach.  Remember the exposed data includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases, driver's license numbers. 

Second, as a business professional you should take immediate action (if not sooner) to protect your business.  Being a Notary Signing Agent it is critical for you to take the proper steps to protect your identity.  I would recommend using a credit monitoring service such as IDShield


Third, review how you handle sensitive information.  Do you have procedures in place that ensures you are not exposing private information?  Does anyone else have access to your workstation at home?  Can someone who is visiting your home for the first time gain access to your computer?  Do you leave sensitive information in your car unsecured?  Are you able to explain your chain of custody procedures when it comes to sensitive information you come into contact with?

Breaches like the one Equifax has had will seriously affect all aspects of how you do your job as a Notary Signing Agent.  It will affect how title and signing companies handle their clients information and how the information is shared with you, the NSA.  It will also affect regulations in the future in the real estate industry. 


1.  Assume that you are one of the victims of the massive data breach

2.  Protect yourself with IDShield by clicking here and signing up (less than $10 per month and should be tax deductible - check with your CPA/Tax Professional)

3.  Review how you secure private information and update your procedures

4.  Update all your professional notary profiles on various site to let your clients know that you have updated your procedures and take privacy and security very seriously
 

Since as a Notary Signing Agent it is required to have a clean background screening each year it is critical to have a professional monitoring service monitor every aspect of your information.  This can ensure no delays in receiving assignments from your clients.  Remember, in terms of being a victim of Identity theft, you are guilty until you prove you are innocent.



Other Articles by this Author:




Daniel C. Lewis resides in Carmel, IN.  He was named in 2010 by the National Notary Association the Notary of the Year.  He was also named in the same year by the Indiana Secretary of State as an Honorary Secretary of State.  Daniel is currently serving as the President of the Indiana Notary Association.  Daniel is an entrepreneur, writer, video editor and Managing Partner of Lewis Notary Services Inc.  If you wish to have Daniel help you with a notary business plan and financial review click here