The only reason a lot a process servers get into this business is that they think it has ease of entry and hey, anyone can serve papers. Well, they are right in both instances. Yes, some places you have to get a license or be appointed but still in most places an easy profession to get in.
They throw a website up, work out of their house, a UPS store, apartment, car or my favorite a P.O. Box. The slick ones use the physical address of the post office and put the P.O. Box as a suite number. Their advertising budget consists of putting ads everyday on Craigslist. And hey they think they are in business!!
Another of my favorite is the cops who during their career in law enforcement made fun of process servers. They use to rib the other cops that, “You can always serve papers”. Then they retire and open up a PI firm to make them feel like they are still a cop and they get to carry weapons too. Good for you. See Process Server Just Shoot Em!
Some personal injury firm pays them to sign up prospective cases and get paid any where up to a couple hundred bucks. When that doesn’t work out to their satisfaction they throw in process serving as a side line.
I am going to guess that over 90% of these yahoos did not develop a business plan, has no idea about marketing, sales, payroll, HR and all the other facets to running a business. They all “rent” the same software for next to nothing and BAM, they are in business.
It seems the only way they can compete is to undercut every legitimate process serving company. Their website material is almost copied word for word from the legitimate ones as well. When they do talk to potential customers or pitch their services all they talk about is professionalism and we charge half as much as the competition.
In our office they are all under the category of “Renegade Exes and Ex Cops”. Ex cops I think is self explanatory. Renegade Exes is any Ex something. Ex Laborer, Ex Real Estate, Ex Contractor, Ex whatever. I see them all over the place, online, groups, chats and etc. asking the most mundane questions. Do you serve on holidays? How to you serve someone who doesn’t want to be served? How do you price your service? Do you wear disguises? How do you dress? How do I find more papers to serve? Wholly Cow! Give me a break.
Now, most of us are ex something. But the good ones come into the process service industry with a business plan, well funded and we know about payroll taxes etc. We have at least read the rules of process, understand them, know the rulings, understand customer service and HAVE AN OFFICE or two that is not located in our home, car or a 5′ X 5′ post office box!
Do you want to know if you fall into the above category or not? Do you have your own proprietary software developed in house? Can you PREPAY 50-100 services going out of your area a couple of times a month? Then wait 45-90 days for payment month after month after month, for years. At the same time cover your payroll and I mean payroll and 1099 instances and your office overhead? All this with no L&T, no collections and no foreclosure work? Have you had attorneys and law firms as loyal clients for decades. Is your @email the same as your website? If not, you are a poser!
Now, I know that some process servers and agencies work in smaller markets, serve part time and do not do out of areas services, that is fine. I know some of you have no ambition to have a lot of employees and like working out of your house or car.
Some of you will make it to the top of big law. You will have growing pains, disappointments, theft, your internal law firm contacts will leave and you may lose that client, but no worries, wherever that contact lands he/she will work you into the new client. You will work late and the spouse will be all over you to stop working so hard but you know what you are working toward.
Then something amazing happens, you get flooded with new clients because the word is out! You have proven yourself to the marketplace, they trust you and they give you more and more work. Then a whole new set of problems comes to light.