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Family Business: A look at Notaries who work with their dads

Tie Cartoon Resized(From the June 2014 issue of The National Notary magazine)

In honor of Father's Day this month, The National Notary is sharing the story of two Notary dads who have created winning business teams with their children.Succeeding as a Notary takes a special combination of integrity and drive, and these fathers found the perfect partners for their mobile Notary businesses in their children.

Dave Hendron and Irene Grimsley — ID Mobile Notary

Dave Hendron, a retired law enforcement officer, was looking for ways to supplement his income when he discovered that his daughter, Irene Grimsley, a full-time nursing student and Federal Express employee, had a similar need. So they decided to start a mobile Notary business together, ID Mobile Notary (the “ID” stands for “Irene and David”).

“I see quite a few Notaries every day at work,” Irene said. “They all talk about how great an opportunity it is, the flexibility in their schedules, and they all have great goals and aspirations. It just seemed like a fun thing to get in to.”

“Irene approached me after I retired from law enforcement. She had recently gotten her commission and suggested I look in to it. After thinking about it, we talked about getting into business together,” Dave said. “I had the time to set up the business, where Irene did not because of school, work and being a mom to two kids. We liked the idea of setting up together, being our own bosses, and having a family business.”

Though their mobile Notary business is still new — both were commissioned in 2013 — Dave says it’s been off to a solid start, with the pair serving San Diego and Tulare Counties in California. Dave is a signing agent and handles loan document signings while Irene handles general mobile Notary assignments.

“Working with a family member — someone whose strengths and weaknesses I already know — gave us a great advantage,” Dave said. “We can work to our strengths and help each other with things one or the other of us might not be good at.”

David and Irene also said that working with a family member is an advantage because there’s already a bond of trust. “We already have an established relationship, and can depend on each other. Because this is a family business, it is more of a personal involvement in the other person’s success than there might be if we were just business partners.”

Both father and daughter agree that working together has been very rewarding, and they are even considering inviting other family members to join the business. “We have been having a ton of fun together running a very successful Notary business.”

James and Andreas Franklin — AllDone Notary

A longtime resident of Mississippi, James Franklin became a Notary signing agent in 2007 to supplement his work as a real estate agent. It turned out there was a lot of demand for notarial services in his area — in addition to loan documents, he received requests from schools, hospitals, libraries and other businesses in his area. As business continued to grow, James decided he needed another Notary on his team to help cover the workload, so he asked his son Andreas to join his company, AllDone Notary.

“I thought it would benefit both of us,” James said. “Since we live in two different areas, he handles his region and I handle the other.”

Together, father and son handle a range of assignments including loan closings and mobile Notary work in Gulfport, Biloxi and throughout the state.

“I really like doing this,” Andreas said. “I previously worked in customer service, and good customer service is what being a Notary is all about.” James’ knowledge of the real estate field proved to be a big help when it came to tutoring Andreas about the ins and outs of working as a signing agent. “All the experience my father has helps,” he said. “All he’s taught me has helped me to avoid making mistakes.”

Working as a father-son team has provided a lot of benefits for AllDone Notary, James said. Having two Notaries available allows them to be flexible and take on more assignments because they can cover each other when scheduling conflicts arise. In fact, says James, the only problem they’ve run into is that the business has been so busy, it’s difficult for the two of them to attend family activities at the same time, since one of them is often out on assignments.

Andreas also admits that he sometimes feels more pressure working for his father than he would working for someone who wasn’t a family member. But at the same time, he says he receives mentoring and training he wouldn’t get from a stranger. As he put it, “Who is better to learn from than your own father? As long as you can get along and make things happen, it works out.”

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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