By Alex Yvonnou—Being a successful notary signing agent under difficult industry circumstances has been challenging for many of us. But success stems from proper planning. And anytime is a good time to plan your course of action for the rest of the year. A basic business plan can give you a blueprint for success and allow you to measure your progress along the way.

A business plan doesn’t have to be intimidating and it doesn’t have to be something extensive and formal. But it is vital that you determine and document your goals and how you plan on attaining those goals.

For a notary signing agent, it may simply be determining your financial goal for the year and how you can reach that goal. My simple plan goes something like this: I determine what my financial goal is for the year. I then calculate what I have to average per week to obtain that goal. I take a look at my regular clients and what I make per closing from them and how many I generally average from them per week. So now I know if I need to add additional clients in order to reach my average weekly goal. If I do, then the next step is determining what kind of marketing I’m going to do to attain those new clients. That could be visiting local title companies, making calls, networking with contacts, or listing my services in additional places. For some, it could also be exploring other business opportunities such as inspections, general notary work, loan modification signings, application signings, reverse mortgages, and more.

The industry is ever changing; new opportunities can arise and areas that once provided you with a steady stream of income may have dissipated. Clients come and go. Many companies that were my top clients several years ago are no longer in business and have been replaced by new clients. Your plans have to evolve along with the industry. As a notary signing agent, planning while still allowing flexibility is crucial to success now and in the future.