Author: The Process Server Center | PROServerCENTER is a legal professional organization whose mission is to set a national standard for the process service industry in the United States.
It is with great pleasure that we introduce PROServer James Wheeler, Jr. from the state of New York. Jim is the owner of Here to Serve, LLC, a process service business that provides professional and reliable process service in Otsego County, state of New York, as well as parts of Delaware, Schoharie and Chenango counties. Jim is both a certified and pre-screened process server with PROServer List which means he has successfully passed the Certification Exam, administered by the Process Server Center and has been pre-screened by our client members. "Jim Wheeler is by far one of the best and most professional process servers", shares one of our PROServer List clients, Andrew Watson with Associated Legal, "Our company works with more than 4,000 process servers nationwide, and Jim from Here to Serve definitely stands out. He is knowledgeable and proactive, professional and goes beyond his duties to investigate and many times obtain a new address for difficult to find respondents. Jim is extremely reliable when called upon to serve legal documents and handles rush services fast and with great diligence. I would say he truly deserves the designation of a PROServer, one who is 'the best and most reliable [...] selected among many process servers to be fully equipped to serve process correctly the first time'".
Jim Wheeler Jr. has over 17 years of experience and more than 42,000 papers served and counting ...! Here to Serve in New York State utilizes the latest technologies in the process service profession, including GPS stamped photos upon request. When asked what differentiates him from many other process servers, Jim shares that he is obsessed "with improving and perfecting the process with the ultimate goal of amazing my clients. I strive to work twice as hard as my competitors who are often half my age. " In addition to process service, Here to Serve helps legal professionals with document retrieval, court filings, record searches, notice postings, foreclosure sales attendance/representation as well as occupancy inspections.
Paralegals, attorneys and pro se clients are all eager to share their experience with Jim Wheeler's work. He is one of very few nationwide process servers committed to proper service and thorough due diligence. Jim is knowledgeable, investigative and persistent with fair pricing, quick service and always a correct and timely affidavit. "My very first service of process was in October of 2003. The moment I completed that service, I knew this was my future. So for the next four years, I slowly grew the business while holding down a full time day job. Then in the fall of 2007, I left my day job and went 'all in' on serving papers full time. It has been the most rewarding career imaginable. I love my job!", Jim Wheeler shares. And loving his job truly shows when you hire Jim from Here to Serve to help you with your process service. Jim always goes the extra mile and is eager to continue to learn more and acquire new skills, a trait the Process Server Center highly encourages by offering free online programs to its PROServer List members.
The Process Server Center has a twofold purpose. On the one hand, clients needed an easy way to sift through the many listings of process servers in the United States and quickly find a reliable process server they can trust. On the other hand, PROServer List is the first group of exclusive process servers who stand out among their peers with their highest professionalism. It allows servers to differentiate themselves and be awarded for their hard work and persistence in this difficult profession.
PROServer List is not for everyone, but it is definitely the group for process servers like James Wheeler, Jr. who, in addition to their professional skills, are a pleasure to work with. Jim not only serves your legal documents, and delivers the correct affidavit on time, but watches out for court dates, serve by dates, follows up to clarify on client's instructions, asks questions before attempting a service in order to make sure he has the best approach to successfully serve a defendant in a lawsuit.
In his years of experience, Jim has many process service stories to share. "The thing about process serving is I never know what's going to happen on the job. Some people chase me off their property. Others invite me in for dinner. Once I served a person who then asked me to stay for a cup of coffee and a slice of pie. Still others have asked me to keep them in my prayers. One man I recently served reached out to me online a few days later and we have now become friends. He even made me some homemade apple sauce and a loaf of banana bread. In addition he became a client when he hired me to serve someone else..."
When you need legal documents served in Otsego, Delaware, Schoharie or Chenango counties in New York, do not hesitate to reach out to Jim Wheeler from Here to Serve. "Process Serving, when done with compassion and understanding, can open new doors for relationships and mutual respect.", Jim adds. When you hire Jim Wheeler, your process will be handled properly every time, and who knows, you may even become friends. Learn more by visiting Here to Serve website.
Author: The Process Server Center | PROServerCENTER is a legal professional organization whose mission is to set a national standard for the process service industry in the United States.
"I lost 80% of my process service clients...", John is telling us his story in a phone call.
"I drive around every day, leaving cards at law firm offices, wasting gas and all, and then nothing, absolutely nothing! I don't hear back from them! What am I doing wrong?" Frantic calls like this one are an almost daily routine at the Process Server Center. There are many process servers like John who have lost a large percentage of their process service clients and they all need help. We tell John that he is not doing anything wrong. But there is a huge difference between not doing anything wrong and not doing the right thing to help your process service business, particularly during hard times.
Process servers belong to the service providers industry that has been hit particularly hard by the current pandemic. According to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, conducted in August 2020, 21% of business owners say they will permanently shut down if the economy does not improve within the next six months.
As a process service professional, you servers need to acquire multiple revenue streams to weaken the financial risk, given today’s economy. It is also critical to operate with the right mindset about one’s work. You are the absolute proprietor of your own labor, and particularly during these hard times, it is important that you see yourself as the owner of your own professional process service firm. Your name, reputation and brand are inseparably tied to your process service quality and professionalism. As the CEO of Process Server, Inc., the following are four quick, yet effective ways process servers may use in order to acquire new clients:
1. Connect to a hidden job market
Many process servers regularly mail out, email or drop off business cards and brochures to paralegals, attorneys and other legal professional. Unfortunately, this marketing approach rarely works. Process servers who randomly send introduction letters are at a huge disadvantage. Small and particularly large law firms are also going through the current difficult times, many working remotely or with limited resources. Lawyers and paralegals struggle to find time to review the cards and brochures process servers send them, and instead opt to merely discard the majority of the all-too-popular time-wasters in a digital (or literal) trash can.
A better approach for process servers is to tap into undisclosed opportunities by instead speaking with social-media contacts, business associates, friends, family members and people who are already in your existing personal and professional circles. Networking is a powerful tool for finding new business opportunities or expanding your current process service customers.
In addition to law firms who do not have a process server and are actively searching for one, the majority of process servers clients actually come from customers who are not satisfied with the quality their current process servers provide. Unlike the open and active customers who sometimes even advertise openings for process servers, the hidden ones represent a much larger approach in acquiring a new process server. In fact, a LinkedIn poll from the end of 2020 found that unposted or hidden opportunities represent 75% of all new service industry opportunities. Leveraging this hidden market through networking makes it more likely you will find new customers for your process service business.
2. Touch base with past clients
If you are like most small process service businesses, the bulk of your revenue comes from a few clients while the rest only provide infrequent work or one-off projects. The 80/20 rule says that 80% of the effects (i.e., revenue) come from 20% of causes (customers). Because of this, there is a natural temptation among process servers to ignore past clients who did not previously provide consistent cash flow. However, times and circumstances change. Remember, decision-makers are also routinely replaced and hidden opportunities to grow your process service business are abundant if you know how to hustle for them.
There is a popular saying in marketing that goes like this: “The money is in the list.” That is an email list.
Do some digging in your inbox or process server software and create a mailing list that allows you to touch base with former clients and associates. Remind them of who you are and what services you offer. It only takes one or two resurrected accounts — in addition to current clients, of course — to create a new pipeline of work that will keep you busy year-round. When reaching out, personalize your email and show what you have done for similar clients in the past. Focus on what differentiates you from other local process servers: consistency in quality, excellent turn around time, additional education, industry designations like PROServer. Since former customers have paid you once, assuming they had a positive experience, they will be more likely to pay you for your services again. Slowly but surely, some of your past clients will come back or remember your process service business when an associate asks them for a referral.
3. Fight for strategic accounts
As a process server, it is a good idea to separate regular clients from potential high-value clients, like large law firms, government agencies and nationwide process service management companies. High-value targets are ones that make you very profitable, have a large volume of process service and if they are the right one, then they are also easy to work with.
In contrast, struggling process service solopreneurs work with low-margin accounts which often supply more in the way of migraines than actual revenue. Bad customers imprison service professionals in a cycle of service-to-service dependency, as they are unable to devote enough time to landing more lucrative accounts.
4. Stay connected with decision-makers
In many cases, it is a matter of timing. You may have a shot at landing a lucrative large law firm client but just not right now. Paralegals with whom you have built a relationship routinely go on maternity (or paternity) leave or vacations, attend weddings or come down with an untimely illness — any number of things, really. By constantly networking with decision-makers, you can be first in line when decision makers change. A hidden opportunity to grab this new large process service client may just be around the corner.
With social media, connecting with decision-makers is more convenient than ever. As a process server, it is never a bad idea to become well-acquainted with popular networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, which allow users to connect with high-value prospects, as well as join relevant industry groups like the exclusive PROServer List. LinkedIn is the top choice of social media platform for legal professionals of all sizes, large or small. Join LinkedIn as a process server and also join process server groups, like the PROServer Center. Or join process servers Facebook community groups, like PROServer Center. But don't just join and browse and waste your valuable time as a process server solopreneur. Make your voice be heard, be an active participant and provide regular value. The more fellow entrepreneurs, paralegals, lawyers, managers within your industry view your profile and the expertise you readily share as a process server, the greater the chance you will be considered as their preferred process server. And isn't that the ultimate goal of most process servers, all of whom are chasing a limited number of clients.
Yes, putting in the effort to be top-of-mind can seem daunting, but not everything you do has to have an immediate return. Being predominant with legal industry decision-makers can lead to securing a contract or landing that large new law firm as a client when a business or online acquaintance is suddenly in need of the process service you offer, even if your relationship may not seem very strong at the time.
Will each of the above methods immediately lead to a constant influx of new, exciting work for all process servers? If that is your expectation, prepare for a letdown. What is more likely to happen, instead, is that one or two of the people you have networked with will at least give you a shot and choose you as their preferred process server. From there, it is your job to keep your new client satisfied. Really satisfied! Fortunately, your growing process service business bank balance will be proof of the right, targeted effort!
Author: Brani Andreev, MBA, is an expert in nationwide management of process service, consultant, speaker, and developer of the breakthrough Management Model of the 4Ps™ that ensures the consistent quality of process service.
Is it possible to start a process service business with no money? It is not easy, but for certain type of businesses like process service, the answer is yes, and here is how it is done.
Process service is one of these service businesses where in most cases, you spend money only when you make money. What it means is that if you have organized your business frugally (you have not rented an outside office and have not hired an office assistant before you have even served one process), then you spend money only when a client hires you to deliver legal documents. The "secret" to launching your process service business with little or no money is to get creative and be determined. Contrary to the cliché, it does not always "take money to make money." There are plenty of process service business owners who started their businesses with little or no cash.
Here are 11 strategies that work to start a process service business without capital:
1. Recognize and Use the Assets You Have as a Process Server
If you are reading this article, chances are you have little or no cash to invest in a business. But you do have assets and abilities that you can use to get a process service business started. Most likely you already have skills and knowledge that would help you launch your process service business. Perhaps you are a retired law enforcement officer, a former military, have worked as a courier or even a delivery guy. Many skills you have developed while working other jobs could be applied and used as assets when starting your process service business. Using those skills and assets - in other words, using what you already have – is the key to getting your process service business started when you have little or no money.
Begin by making a list of things you already know how to do, are good at doing and like doing that are related to process service. Do not limit this initial list. List even the simplest tasks like delivering pizza or mail, as well as more difficult or skilled things like analyzing financial data or creating software.
Next, think about the physical things and money you do have that could be used in your process service business. For instance, if you are reading this page on a computer or a mobile device that you own, you already have a piece of equipment that you can use to get your process service business started. You can use your word processor (or other software if you have it) to keep track of your services or prepare affidavits of service or even write up promotional materials and distribute them by email to paralegals or attorneys who want information about your services. If you have an inkjet or laser printer, you can print some of your initial promotional materials in very small quantities. Once you know what works and want to print, say 100 copies, it may be cheaper to have a local UPS or Staples or an online printer run them off for you. Your smartphone can be used to create snapshots or videos to publicize your process service business to people you know on Instagram or other social media platforms. And if you own a reliable vehicle, then you already have one of the most important physical assets to launch your process service business, particularly if you do not live in a metropolitan area with regular and reliable public transportation.
2. Make Money by Saving Time While Launching Your Process Service Startup
To increase your chances of success with your business, consider getting proper process server training through online or in-person programs. Your investment in such programs ensures that you have the right skills and knowledge to serve legal documents in the most efficient way and cut time spent per service. Why do things the hard way, particularly if you have little or no money to invest in your process service business? Wasting time while attempting to serve a respondent or getting affidavits ready translates into wasting money. The better equipped you are, the more efficient you become and the more money you will make as a process server. Learning and acquiring process service know-how teaches you to pay attention and minimize spending. It also helps you keep business costs down once you get your process service business going.
3. Work as a Process Server from Home
Many process servers complain that they are struggling to make ends meet, even though they have clients and they regularly serve legal documents. While the reasons behind this could be many, one key expense may be pulling you down and preventing you from seeing that profit. Renting office or retail space for your process service business is expensive and most times unnecessary. It is something you may want or need to do once you grow the business in the future and have solid savings in your business account. But when you are just starting out as a process server, find a way to work from home. If you work from home as a process server, your business will not need money for rent, utilities, and office furniture.
4. Conserve Your Cash as a Process Server
Yes, a faster computer might be nice. Or a new desk, a better camera, an expensive software package or cloud service. But make do with what you have and look for the lowest cost options for anything you need to acquire until you start bringing in paying customers for your process service business. Conserve cash by organizing your day better and being more efficient when setting your routine. Most legal documents need service attempts during the day if the address given is a business, or early in the morning or later in the evening if the address is a residence. In addition to making attempts to deliver the documents, process servers also need to dedicate time to prepare affidavits, to update their clients on the status of the services, to market themselves and in general, to run their business. Many process servers start making attempts early in the morning and work on their office work in the evenings. Such repetitive routine leads to deadlines being missed, affidavits and invoices being delayed, and ultimately leads to poor business outcomes. Instead, consider alternating your daily routine, where you work on your office and business duties in the morning, then begin attempts toward service at noon. Follow that with attempts early in the morning and office work in the afternoon the next day. Alternating your daily routine increases your due diligence toward service, maximizes your chances to catch a respondent home while it ensures that your office, marketing and business duties will not be neglected.
5. Use Free and Low-Cost Marketing Techniques
There are dozens of free and low-cost ways to market your process service business. Learn them and implement them before you start spending money on paid advertising via Google or any other search engines. Using free promotional strategies at first will help you gauge your marketing goals better, and it will help you start to understand what attracts or what motivates your customers to try your process services. Consider joining state and nationwide process service organizations and directories like PROServer list where competition for your local area is low due to its exclusivity which allows only three process servers to be included in each county served.
6. Do All the Process Service Work Yourself at First
Rely on your own sweat equity to start a process service business with no money. Expect long days and the need to learn how to do things you have not done before, such as marketing, selling, accounting or even building a website. You can learn how to do some of these tasks for free by searching the web or YouTube for “How to…” followed by the skill you need help with. Consider serving all legal documents yourself and hold off on hiring another process server until you have a good amount saved in your business account. Doing all these tasks yourself at first saves you money and will also help you understand what type of skills each activity requires when the business is making enough profit to hire office or process service help.
7. Start Simple
Your dream might include a pretty big process service business offering a wide variety of products and services and serving large-volume accounts, but for now, keep it simple. Focus on serving process and take excellent care of each and every client who trusts you with their legal documents. Build your customer base and later branch out into other products and services. One of the most expensive parts of running a process service business is acquiring customers. If you gain their trust with one service now, selling another one or attracting a new customer will become much easy.
8. Work for Somebody Else
Although they may not admit it, most process service business owners became entrepreneurs thinking they knew more than what they did. In fact, many process servers fail because the person was ill-equipped to build a successful business. Before you start your own process service business, make sure to complete what we call the 2 Factor Success Tools: know-how and field training. Know-how training builds your skills and knowledge necessary to build an efficient and successful process service business. Field training involves practical training of your know-how skills while attempting to serve legal documents. Working for someone else allows you to practice your process service skills while continuing to learn from other process servers' past experience. As a process server working for an agency, you will also gain insider knowledge of the industry that is valuable to the success of your own process service business.
9. Use Free Services
The Internet is full of high quality services you can use for free while launching and growing your process service business. Mailchimp is a powerful e-mail marketing platform that is free for the first 2,000 e-mail addresses. Wufoo allows you to make online forms, and although Facebook and other social media platforms will not put your ad in front of large amounts of people unless you pay, you can still gain some traction by telling people about your process service business or by joining Facebook groups and communities. There are also freelance platforms like Fiverr, Elance, and Upwork that have quality freelancers willing to help with logo and web design, and another service for cheap. You could get a logo made for $5!
Finally, go into your process service business endeavor with a hustling mindset. Be ready to do anything legal and ethical to get your business off the ground. Do not like cold calling? Do it anyway! Not a graphic designer? You can find templates online for just about anything. Do not want to do any free work? It might be worth it to get your name out there. If you do not have the money to pay for services, you have to do them yourself or find somebody who can and will do it for free.
Do not let a lack of funds discourage you from starting your process service business. You may have to work harder than someone with more financial resources, and it may take longer. But resourcefulness, creativity, hustle, and determination are often better predictors of success than money!