Welcome to Startup Story, a six-part series in which we will follow a new business through its startup and the trials and tribulations of a new venture over the course of a year. This is a collaborative venture between Venture Kamloops’ VK Accelerate Program and Kamloops This Week. This is the fifth instalment. The featured business has purchased an advertising package in Kamloops This Week as part of its participation.
Franca Muraca Notary Public has had a busy year and the neophyte business is leaning on estate planning to keep it that way to close out 2020.
Business owner Franca Muraca, who launched the firm a year ago with the help of Venture Kamloops’ VK Accelerate program, feels like its come full circle.
The initial uncertainty in starting a business was followed by an unexpected surge in work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Muraca Notary Public headed into the fall — a typically slower time of year due to a cooling off in the real estate market — anticipating a slowdown.
Muraca, however, is focusing more attention on the estate planning over the winter.
“Some practices, when real estate is super busy, they’ll stop their estate planning and put it on ice until the practices are slower during the colder months, but we never did that,” she said. “We continued to offer that as part of our services.”
Muraca hopes this decision will be one that pays off by maintaining a customer base through the winter.
“That’ll be an interesting last chapter of this year, to get an accurate sense of what the business is like in the fall, winter, sporing and summer,” she said.
Muraca started her business in January and 2020 has been like no other year, with the pandemic impacting myriad businesses.
But the real estate market, Muraca noted has been as hot as ever.
“I anticipate next year’s going to be as busy as this year, for sure,” Muraca said, noting 2021 will likely start off slow, which is typical for the month of January.
What has made Muraca Notary Public so successful in its first year is the fact it has welcomed many repeat customers and clients who have been referred by others.
Muraca noted she recently dealt with one client who is on her third visit and referred Muraca to her daughter and son-in-law for estate planning.
“That speaks volumes, I think, to the service we’re providing and that we’re doing a good job,” Muraca said, noting the team had to build every aspect of the practice from scratch.
It’s been a short trajectory upwards for Muraca Notary Public.
Muraca said there are a number of factors for that — the market warranted it and she credited her staff for being able to hit that milestone, despite being a small team.
“We’re trying to build a sense of community,” Muraca said, pointing out that is why she believes the business has secured return customers.
While she has taken just a single day off to date in 2020, Muraca is planning to enjoy some time off with her daughters over the Christmas holidays.