Question Answered by Maggie, the Process Server Helper | PROServerCENTER is a legal professional organization whose mission is to set a national standard for the process service industry in the United States.
Question from a process server: "How do I get rich from process serving...?"
Maggie, the process server helper, answers: "Rich people come from all types of industries and it is possible to get rich even in process service. What’s more, you do not need to be brilliant. You do not have to be a workaholic. You do not need to have some unique talent if you want to get rich, either. Here's the secret most process servers don't know: Getting rich is about how you live your life and run your business, and what you do with the money you make!"
The Process Server Center loves to help process servers with questions they may have in order to succeed in their business. We recently received a question from one of our community groups and we turned to Maggie to find out the answer. Here is what we talked about:
PROServer Center: "So what do you think, Maggie, can a process server get rich from process serving? You know, start off small, as a single process server, serving all documents yourself, and then grow enough where you become the boss and generate enough to make a good profit?"
Maggie: "Let's try and answer this question here. First of all, let's take into consideration the fact that our own perception defines what "Rich" means. One process server may consider making a profit of $3,000 per month to be rich. Yet another may need a lot more to even break even. There are different paths one can take in order to build his/her process service business. Depending on the path we choose, the goals and outcomes would vary. "
PROServer Center: "Well, Maggie, I know that being rich is mostly a feeling that depends on how much you want or think you need to feel rich. Let's set some parameters here and talk about what a process server can do if they are just starting out or have been serving for some time as the only process server in their business... How do they go from that start point to a point, let's say, where they now hire other process servers to work under them on a regular basis... And perhaps where this process server no longer needs to physically serve papers, but rather manages the business and grows it even more?"
Maggie: "A wise man once said: 'Show me how you run your business, and I will let you know if you run it for a long time...' Getting rich in process serving is about how you run your business. It is about, first of all, who you are, what your needs are, and what your goals are. Understanding these well helps you understand the resources you have and the results you want to achieve. Let's now try and help our community readers with 7 steps process servers can take to get rich and move themselves from being a solo process server to a process serving business with several servers that runs smooth and has the potential to grow... well, and in the process, make its owner get rich!"
1. Get Prepared
Maggie: "The first step will be, of course, to get well prepared. Process servers can get rich mostly by adopting good behaviors and money habits in their businesses and personal lives. They have financial discipline. They manage their money well. And that’s something any process server can learn to do. Before you embark on the endeavor to get rich as a process server, make sure you are well prepared and trained to serve legal documents yourself. Many of the rich people out there have started off from the very bottom in their now large corporations. And part of the reason for their success is that they know the ins and outs and every little detail in between in their businesses. As a new or solo process server, take the time to learn. Invest in your knowledge: take online training classes, work for other agencies, pay attention to the little details, see what others are doing well and what others are not doing so well, learn how other process servers do it in the field and how they are efficient about it. Don't forget to include business and organizational skills as part of your training as process serving is as much about delivering legal documents as it is about being organized and managing your business well. And if you want to get rich as a process server, you have to do it better than others!"
2. Gather Experience Under Your Belt
Maggie: "While getting your online training, put yourself out there and work for others or for a handful of clients. Don't think a job is too small for you. Take each and every one and don't fear diversity. There are many rules and regulations in process serving based on type of court, federal, state, county, town level, then based on type of legal action. There are many things to learn and as easy as process serving seems, it can quickly get pretty confusing. While getting experience under your belt, pay attention to the details and intricacies of each process and create strict procedures that your business must implement at each step of serving legal documents: receiving the paperwork, creating the record, getting the documents ready for service, making attempts, preparing the affidavits and getting paid. Each step in this process has its own challenges, so be sure to fully understand them and seek ways to perfect each step. The more you know and understand about process serving as a type of business, the higher the chance for success."
3. Market Yourself Carefully
Maggie: "When you are new as a process server, very few clients know you even exist. Growing your business takes consistent efforts to do your work better than others and to network. Don't market yourself without a plan. Instead set yourself some goals, craft a few marketing ideas and implement for a period of time. Then compare what works and what doesn't, and make a new plan. Growing a process service business takes time, of course, and being consistent in your networking is important if you want to see a positive outcome. Consider joining NAPPS, provided you have the required years of experience to be eligible for membership; they are the nationwide association and it matters to be one of many other process servers. Maybe also consider joining Serve-now, but consider they are an internet directory and the fact they recently were acquired by an Australian company?! If you are already experienced as a process server and want to stand out as one of the best in your area, join PROServer list. It is the exclusive place for top notch process servers, but it is not for everyone, rather reserved for the best of process servers."
4. Take Care of Each and Every Client
Maggie: "Oh yes! No exceptions! Take care of each attorney, paralegal, pro se client, as if they are your one and only client. It definitely pays off! Unfortunately I see so many of you spending time and money to market themselves, only to see you fail because you cannot organize yourself to take care of your clients. It is actually pretty easy to grow your process service business if you are the new kid on the block. The common talk among legal clients is how frustrated they are with unreliable process servers. So they are constantly on the lookout for the next process server. Once you get their attention, make sure you take care of them better, faster, with more diligence than the previous process server. The happier your client is, the higher the chance they will recommend you to others. Do you see what's happening? One, two, three, more... your satisfied clients will start hearing about you and you are suddenly on your way to get rich while doing process serving."
5. SAVE SAVE SAVE
Maggie: "While you're doing all of the above, do not use/waste, etc all of your profits, no matter how small. Make sure to start putting money aside until you have at least 6 months, preferably 1 year, of savings that you can live off yourself. Why that matters? Remember you wanted to get rich and be the boss and hire others? Well, when time comes to take this step, it is important that you focus on the growth, on managing your process servers, overseeing and training them. You need to be free of 'How do I pay my own bills?' worries, in order to build and grow your process serving business. During this growth time, in addition to managing, hiring, training people to work under you, you will continue to make sure that each client is taken care of 100%, no exceptions. Many servers fail during this stage as they continue to serve papers themselves, they lose focus and do not manage their business which should be there primary goal at this growth stage..."
6. Run a Tight Ship
Maggie: "In a small business, inefficient operating processes cost money in hidden ways. Sloppiness bleeds profits. Rich small business owners run a tight ship.
Be hands on as process service business owner. Inspect the little things. Broken equipment, lax schedules, incorrect affidavits, insufficient due diligence — all lead to a general air of carelessness that soon spreads like it is contagious. The flip side is, paying attention to details can transform your process serving business into a lean, mean, profit-generating machine. Details mean the difference between:
7. Get More Clients
Maggie: "While growing and training your process servers, be frugal and continue to save more of your profit margins for... no, not for a rainy day. Continue to save in order to get rich! Once your servers are trained and doing well to perform with minimum supervision, get more clients. It is time to get rich! You are well prepared, well organized and well run as a process serving business. It is time to look for large clients with high volume to help you get rich while doing process serving! Start with your local large law firms. Show them your knowledge and past experience. Let current clients talk about you. If you are a PROServer List member, ask to be featured in the monthly process server publication "In Focus" that features the best process servers in the country. While continuing to grow, continue to manage your business every day, while looking for inefficient processes. Eliminate problems, perfect each process, show your clients they can trust that every service of process will be done on time and without any hassle for them. Just to mention... that's when the time comes for you to raise your fees to reflect the highest level of professionalism with which you operate your process serving business."
PROServer Center: "I see now that growth in process serving requires perseverance and diligently following the steps to build and grow your one-man business to a solid one with several process servers. Maggie, what would you say as an encouragement to our readers who are eager to get on the path to becoming rich from process serving?"
Maggie: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Be prepared to take risks if you want to get rich as a process server. But, walk into it with eyes open and protect the downside by managing the risks carefully.
Dream and visualize... It would help you stay motivated when it gets tough!"
PROServer Center: "Thank you, Maggie! We will share your tips with our process servers."
Maggie: "You are welcome! Don't forget to Ask me Anything about process service!"