Would you like to start a business with no money?
Would you like to start a business with no money? And what about a business that costs almost nothing to market? Then read on, because becoming a self-employed notary may be just the ticket for you.
This is especially true if you want to escape the 9 to 5 grind. Do phrases such as “inter-office synergy” make you want to bury your head in the sand? Do fluorescent lights give you the shakes? If you answered “Yes” to these sorts of questions, then you might have a severe case of Office-Intolerance.
Don’t worry, there’s a cure! It’s called “solopreneurship,” it's called self-employment, and millions of Americans with office allergies are finding freedom and relief as members of the growing freelance economy.
Starting a business with no money is not only possible, it's doable!
For some of us, “freelance” isn’t just an adjective, it’s a way of life. We would rather dabble in a dozen different careers as a solo entrepreneur than spend a single day inside an office.
If you are a born solopreneur, then you’re always on the lookout for new ways to supplement your income, develop your network, and connect with clients. More often than not, that means nurturing multiple streams of revenue, cultivating new skills, and juggling two or three careers simultaneously.
Whether you’re looking to make a little extra money on the side or build a stable, lucrative small business, you can find your niche in the booming freelance economy.
So today we’re going to take a look at two careers that are at opposite ends of the freelance spectrum: Notary public and property manager. The great news is that you can start either business with little money.
A Cheap and Easy Way to Begin Your Freelance Career
Can you really start a business with no money? Almost.
Training as a registered notary public is an excellent way to pad your freelance income and build your business network, whether you are working full- or part-time. A notary public is a common law officer who serves the public in non-contentious legal matters, such as the administration of oaths and affirmation, and the authentication of affidavits, deeds, and wills.
Notary service is distinct from the practice of law, and notaries are forbidden from providing legal counsel or preparing legal instruments. Essentially, a notary is a certified witness. The majority of legal documents, such as deeds, property titles, bank documents, and court summons need to be signed or witnessed by a registered notary public, so notaries are always in demand, and a notary can find work almost anywhere.
To become a certified notary, you first need to complete notary training. Training requirements vary from state to state, and courses can be completed either online or in person.
Contact your local Secretary of State’s office to find out how to register for courses. For more information on training as a notary and taking the notary exam, check out the website of the National Notary Society.
Next, complete an application for an appointment to become a registered notary and submit it with the required application fee to your state notary commission. Typically, once the state accepts your application, you will be asked to swear an oath in order to acquire your notary stamp.
Now it’s up to you to find clients. Spread the word that you are a bonded, certified notary public, and market your business on social media. As a notary, you will be expected to travel frequently to meet your clients, so make sure that you have a reliable pair of wheels.
One of the best ways to get new notary business is through Craigslist. By posting your affordable rates, and mobile services, every few days (so as to stay near the top of the listings) you can get clients almost free!
Making Money as a Property Manager
Another option in the self-employment world is that of a licensed property manager. Whereas notaries can work part- or full-time as independent contractors, property managers typically work long and unusual hours—essentially, you’re always on call.
In order to become a certified property manager, you will need to undergo a fairly extensive certification process that includes several education, experiential, and examination requirements, including the acquisition of a real estate management certificate.
Certificates are awarded by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). The final examination will test your proficiency in financial operations and asset management, human resources, legal and risk management, and maintenance and operations. So hit the books and get enrolled in classes as soon as possible!
If you’re planning to offer your services as a freelancer, then it’s best to start making cold calls and building your business network right away. As you proceed, you might it useful to define your niche: Are you interested in managing large apartment complexes? Single-family homes? Commercial properties?
One of the best (and cheapest) ways to get started as a property manager is to offer yourself as an apprentice to a commercial realtor or real estate agent. Contact a professional property management association such as the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) to find opportunities for continuing education or internships in your area.
Have you got any experience in either of these two fine freelance careers? Leave us a comment in the fields below, and let us know how it's going!