Bail Bond Confessions Blog

PBUS Convention

July 23, 2009
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So I attended the PBUS convention, but only for one day.  I was torn between attending the whole event or only the one day.  I decided to save money and go the one day, but was disappointed when I showed up bright and early only to find out that by choosing to attend the one day and not the whole convention, I was locked out of attending the morning events.  I arrived at 8am and effectively had nothing to do until 2:45pm when I could attend a seminar on collections.

I puttered in and out of the exhibition room.  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but there were less than a dozen exhibitors there.  It was nice to talk to 3 different software vendors and it helped me decide which software I want to use, but c’mon…I paid $100 for this privilege?  I also met a great guy, James Peeler of American Spirit Processing, who sold me on his company for my credit card processing needs.

Since I was new, I didn’t have anyone to eat lunch with, so I asked a bellhop to direct me to a nearby restaurant for good food.  It wasn’t all that great and I really hate eating alone.  I made my way back to the hotel slowly and had plenty of time to spare to make it into the Collections seminar.  The seminar started out OK, but after about 20 minutes, the speaker turned it into a commercial for his company.

In the seminar, I zoned out and looked around me.  Overwhelmingly, the population in the room could be described as older white male.  As in 50 yrs+ older.  It just served to reinforce my decision to enter this business.  a) I’m young and these guys are going to start retiring and dying off in the next 5 years.  Over the next 20 years, I should be able to absorb a great amount of market share, b) This is a job that can’t be outsourced overseas, c) I see strong parallels between the casino business in Vegas over the past 50 years and the bail bonds business in America over the past 50 years.  I think there is a lot of good opportunity here and many younger folks are avoiding it and going into IT/Legal/Medical jobs.

-bbc


Things to do and things done

July 18, 2009
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I spent a good portion of yesterday picking up my 1st run of business cards and doing research in the law library at our local university.  I found a book that attorneys pay to be in that lists their information.  It’s like Who’s Who of attorneys and it is organized by state/city!  This was an awesome find for me and I was able to compile a list of about two dozen attorneys and build brief profiles of each of them.  I’m going to take this information and use it for sales leads.

At the same time, however, I decided to hold off on the campaign until I have professional stationary, thank you cards, letterhead, etc printed up.  If I’m going to differentiate myself on the basis of professionalism, it doesn’t make sense to have the hodge-podge off-the-shelf stuff.  So right now I’m targeting the first week of November as the start of my campaign.  That will give me time to ease into the business and learn my way around the paperwork and courthouses.

I’m looking forward to the PBUS convention so I can check out various software packages and credit card processors.  I need to have a decent database management system and the ability to accept credit cards, right from the start.

-bbc


Kinko’s FTW!

July 17, 2009
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So I’m lying in bed about to fall asleep when I realize the PBUS convention is in just a few days and I don’t have business cards. I haven’t gotten all of the information gathered that I want printed on the cards, so I sort of procrastinated.  Anyway, I called my local Kinko’s and they told me that they can have a small run of basic business cards using my artwork printed and ready by Noon.  This is good.  I know the cards are going to be kind of cheap quality, but again, something is better than nothing.  Once I have my license # and my 800 number, I’ll get final artwork and spend the big bucks for a nice card stock and large run of cards.  For now, 100-500 cards on basic card stock for $25 or less rocks!

-bbc


Tests and Meetings

July 7, 2009
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I took my license test yesterday and passed with flying colors. 90th percentile, yay!  I scheduled my 2nd and last test for Thursday morning.

Today, I drove 2 hours to meet with a “local” Surety company about signing on with them.  They basically offered me 13% bond cost + 10% buildup fund and acknowledged that over time, the bond cost will come down.  They took me out to lunch, though the restaurant they picked had a “B” rating by the regulatory department…hope we don’t get sick!

Anyway, I received lots of excellent information from them and updated my business plan and financial projections accordingly. They suggested an alternate strategy which is growing on me:

Our local urban areas are filled with long established bondsmen, however if I am willing to drive an hour in any direction, there are around a half dozen rural counties that have far less competition (granted, far less crime too).  So in the begining, my focus will be on these rural areas and than I can expand into my local area.  Its counter-intuitive, but has an elegant sort of logic to it.

-bbc


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