New Year's "To-Do's" for Notary Professionals

As business owners, we are either winding down the current year or gearing up for the new year. As we do so, let's take some time out to make sure our businesses are ready for a productive 2017. Here's a list of items to review:

1- Check your business filings with your local government. Make sure your business is in good standing with the local and state authorities in your area.
2- Determine if there are any changes or updates to your state notary laws.
3- Evaluate your notary supplies. Is it time for a new business cards, notary stamps, journals, printer cartridges, or paper? Start the year off well stocked.
4- Create a marketing plan for 2017. Schedule time to promote your business at regular intervals via social media and other platforms.
5- Renew/establish your memberships with organizations related to your business.
6- Check your E & O insurance. This is a great time to consider whether or not to increase your coverage.
7- Research continuing education opportunities that will help you stay current and knowledgeable.
8- Review your goals for 2016 and set your goals for 2017. Evaluate what worked, what didn't, and what you want to accomplish in 2017. Write them down and develop a time line.
9- Take a look at your wardrobe. Make an investment if necessary to maintain your polished and professional look.
10- Take your car in for a checkup. Reliable transportation is essential for a notary. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.
11- Review your accounting and record keeping systems. Make sure that you are prepared to properly document your revenues and expenditures. There are many online apps you can use to do this for free or at a reasonable cost. Good record keeping is critical. Stay on top it.

2017 is sure to be an awesome year for notaries, and taking a little time now to start your business off on a solid footing will be a great benefit to you in the new year. You are your most valuable asset. Continue to invest in the habits that will help you be successful.

-- Enna A. Bachelor is a Contributing Writer with the American Association of Notaries

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss or consequential loss out of or in connection with the use of the information contained in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

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