Every year, millions of people are required to submit fingerprints for a variety of professional applications, licenses, or services. You can be a "fingerprint roller" that helps make that more convenient. In this episode of The SideHustle Lounge, Helmy El-Mangoury shares his story from being a one man show, to having over 600 fingerprint rolling centers.
Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
7:03 it's all about persistence, just not letting go of that goal - of that dream.
8:26 I'm a list-maker. So I'll make a list and I'll constantly look at this list and I'm like, okay, what should I work on first? Then I prioritize that list and decide what I'm going to work on today. I'll dedicate my efforts to the thing that's right on the top of my list.
24:20 To grow your business - If you're providing a good service - whoever used you is going to recommend you to someone else.
--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---
Helmy El-Mangoury (00:00):
What he did is he actually leased out an office that was right next to the county headquarters, where they do the orientations, and his volume, like went up 10 X!
Welcome to the SideHustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage and join your host. Founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon bestselling author of Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent, Bill Soroka.
Bill Soroka (00:50):
Cheers and welcome to my guests today, Helmy El-Mangoury. He is the president and CEO of Certifix Live Scan, a network of over 600 fingerprint enrollment centers throughout California and Florida. Helmy, thank you so much for being here.
Helmy El-Mangoury (01:07):
It's my pleasure.
Bill Soroka (01:08):
I have been looking forward to this conversation so much because in my little world of mobile notaries and loan signing agents, we hear about this fingerprinting opportunity and Certifix Live Scan is a name that I think most of our notaries have heard about because you have such a big footprint in the fingerprint world. Guys, what we're going to be talking about today is exactly what this fingerprinting opportunity is, how it works, why it works and how you can actually thrive at it. But before we get into that, I want to talk to Helmy a little bit about his origin story. So Helmy, I'm just so curious. I'd like to put a face to a company name and your, your brand name is known to us, but I want to hear more about the dream that got that company started. When did you decide that you were going to be an entrepreneur?
Helmy El-Mangoury (02:06):
When I was a kid. Yeah. Yeah. My dad was a, was a businessman. He was always passionate about business. So he influenced me to do that. Yeah.
Bill Soroka (02:19):
What kind of business was he in?
Helmy El-Mangoury (02:22):
He was just like in an import export business. He he's from Egypt, so that's where I'm originally from. And just watching him grow up, watching him travel and do his business was really kind of inspirational.
Bill Soroka (02:38):
I love that. So you had a good influence on it. And did that drive your education decisions? Did you go to college and did you go to college for business?
Helmy El-Mangoury (02:50):
I did go to college for business, but much like all immigrants, your parents kind of, you know, pressure you to be a dentist or a doctor. Yeah. so that's kind of how I started at Cal state Fullerton as a biology major. And then my second year I was just like, yeah, this is not gonna work out. I love bio, but I hated chemistry. And I was like, I'm going to switch over to business.
Bill Soroka (03:13):
How'd that go over?
Helmy El-Mangoury (03:15):
Really well, I, I loved business. I loved learning about it and it was actually in my second year at Cal state Fullerton that I started Certifix Live Scan.
Bill Soroka (03:28):
I love hearing that. So what triggered that though? What, how did fingerprinting become an idea for you?
Helmy El-Mangoury (03:34):
So back in 2007 the only people that really offered finger printing services was like your local police department. So I walked into one and I, I needed a fingerprinting for some license that I was getting. And he was like, we're fully booked up for the month. Maybe you could try this guy down the street. And he gave me like a flyer. So that's kind of like, I was like, Hmm, interesting. He just sent me to like some private service provider and this is law enforcement. I thought I was supposed to do it with law enforcement.
Bill Soroka (04:11):
Helmy El-Mangoury (04:13):
So I went into that business and it was just kind of like a small office and and he was just providing the fingerprinting service…
Bill Soroka (04:23):
And an idea was born.
Helmy El-Mangoury (04:25):
And an idea was born. Yeah. I mean, I, I saw that business and I was like, cause my whole life, I used to think about, you know, different business ideas. Really corny ones too, you know? But this one was like the first time I went to my mom and I was like, what do you think of this business? And usually, usually she'd reject me, you know, she'd be like, no, you don't want to do that. But this time she was like, yeah, that, that might actually work
Bill Soroka (04:50):
It's legit. So was this your first business? Yes.
Helmy El-Mangoury (04:56):
Yeah. I started the business at 19 years old.
Bill Soroka (04:59):
Wow. All right. So and, I don't know how old you are now, but how long has Certifix Live Scan been in business -since 2007, 2008?
Helmy El-Mangoury (05:10):
Since 2007. I started planning for it in 2006. So it's been about 15 years or so.
Bill Soroka (05:20):
And when you started, did you just start out as a, a solo preneur? Just one guy rolling fingerprints?
Helmy El-Mangoury (05:27):
One guy, exactly. Just out of a small office in Garden Grove. And I remember I was like, so what am I going to do now? You know, I was like, I've got this office. What do I do? So I went to the garden Grove police department and I was like, Hey Mr. Police officer, I, you know, I do fingerprinting and here's some flyers, you know? And they just started referring people. The law enforcement - usually they're busy or they're by appointment only. So they like to kind of refer that business out if if someone kind of just like walks into the police department.
Bill Soroka (06:06):
Right. Well, and especially now these days during COVID, did that have an impact on anything?
elmy El-Mangoury (06:15):
COVID had a big impact on our business because you know, with fingerprinting we're actually rolling people's fingerprints. So, you know, there's like a lot of physical close contact between you and the applicant. So it definitely, at the beginning, people were freaking out, you know, it was like, I don't want to fingerprint anyone. I might catch COVID. But then we came up with you know, a certain process to kind of alleviate those concerns. You know, we kind of came up with this, what we call a social distancing live scan.
Bill Soroka (06:48):
Awesome. Awesome. Always got to find a way to work. So you've been in business for 14 years and I'm just curious, I mean, you, you sound, it's clear that you're really passionate about this. It sounds like you've got a real positive outlook about things, but over through 14 years of business, has it all been rainbows and unicorns or have there been some trials and tribulations?
Helmy El-Mangoury (07:16):
Yeah - It's, it's been a lot of ups and downs. I've literally faced every single challenge you can think of, you know and a lot of good, a lot of good memories, a lot of not so good memories. You know, and I kind of, for me, it was all about persistence, just not letting go of that goal - of that dream.
Bill Soroka (07:42):
How did you protect your energy and your mindset and that dream throughout throughout the years?
Helmy El-Mangoury (07:52):
It was a long time that I've been in business, so there's a lot of like different coping mechanisms throughout the years. But I definitely like to take time off on the weekends and I like to travel, you know, I like to stay in close contact with friends and family. And really a lot of that kind of gives you purpose and helps to fuel, you know, that goal of you wanting to continue on in the business.
Bill Soroka (08:26):
Yeah. It sounds like you have a pretty clear 'why' that helps drive you. Do you have … is there a particular habit or routine that you could attribute some of your success to?
Helmy El-Mangoury (08:39):
I'm a list-maker.
Bill Soroka (08:41):
Helmy El-Mangoury (08:43):
So I'll make a list and I'll constantly, you know, look at this list and I'm like, okay, what should I work on first? And I I've always, you know, that someone wants told me about that 80/20 rule. And I've always applied that to my list, making, you know, I'll make this big list of everything I need to do. And then I kind of, you know, prioritize that list and decide, okay, this is what I'm going to work on today. And usually in the morning, I'll, I'll dedicate my efforts to, you know, the thing that's right on the top of my list.
Bill Soroka (09:14):
How do you manage distractions, especially in a business where maybe in the beginning, Helmy, where you were still taking appointment calls and your phone's ringing and dinging, and you don't want to miss money, but you also want to move the needle on your business.
Helmy El-Mangoury (09:33):
To me it was it was all about providing the best quality service. A lot of times I'd get phone calls that it felt like it wasn't very productive because here I am just dealing with this one customer and I've got all these other customers that I need to service, but somehow I always tried to focus on, on the task at hand, you know, if someone's calling me and he's, he's frustrated I'm not just gonna give him the cold shoulder, I'm going to give him my time. I'm going to listen. And I'm just going to take it one step at a time and provide the best possible service that I can to each person that I interact with.
Bill Soroka (10:10):
And I love that. Yeah. I'm sorry. Go ahead.
Helmy El-Mangoury (10:13):
And, and like, you know, in that process, you actually tend to learn a lot more about like the customer profile, you know you know, why they chose you as a provider. It gives you a lot of valuable feedback. So I think, you know, sticking to the roots is important.
Bill Soroka (10:30):
Yeah. There is something about being 100% present for the customer in front of you that opens doors, that a lot of people - or a lot of opportunities that other people miss, because they're thinking too transactionally in their heads somewhere else. The I know there's going to be many of us that are listening that don't fully understand the fingerprint opportunity. So can you share with us what this looks like? Like for somebody like me, who's looking for a business, why is fingerprinting a good decision?
Helmy El-Mangoury (11:07):
Fingerprinting is a value added service, so it's something that you add on to your existing business. So it's a service that you can offer that can generate additional revenue for your business.
Bill Soroka (11:19):
What kind of businesses work well in this?
Helmy El-Mangoury (11:24):
So in the beginning it was just fingerprint rollers. You know, we had our own little offices and that's what we did. And kind of like the story of how I got started in Certifix is I actually, you know, I was looking for, you know, how can I make this more efficient because you know, opening up an office, you know, there's a lot of overhead costs. So I started looking at partnerships, you know, and just partnering with other businesses and that worked out well. So now what we do is we're specialized in, you know, giving businesses, the fingerprinting equipment. And then in turn we do the marketing, we help to drive the business in to them, and then they actually, they do the actual fingerprinting. So that, for me, it was a good formula. It's kind of like teaming up with other businesses.
Bill Soroka (12:21):
Yeah. Then you both have skin in the game and invested in each other's success.
Helmy El-Mangoury (12:25):
New Speaker (12:27):
So I think there's, it's probably people listening right now that think, well, do enough, people need to get fingerprinted to use this business. What's your experience there? Who, who needs fingerprinting services?
Helmy El-Mangoury (12:39):
There it's a huge list. I mean, in California alone, there's 12,000 different application types that require fingerprinting. And you know, a few years ago it was like, you know, 2 million people every year that need fingerprinting in California. And that number is constantly growing every year. There's always some new law or or legislation that requires a certain license or type of profession to get fingerprinting.
Bill Soroka (13:08):
It blew my mind when I heard that, I think, is it teachers, attorneys, doctors, all of them have to be fingerprinted. Is it annually or every two years or something like that in California, too.
Helmy El-Mangoury (13:21):
It varies by application type. But you know, generally it's once, you know, when they, when they get their initial license and sometimes if it's, you know, if it's a teacher and if, if they're moving from one district to the next each district will require them to do fingerprinting again. So the funny thing about the fingerprinting businesses that, you know, the fingerprint results can't be shared between different like licensing agencies or employers, right? So that school - that that teacher might be working for district a, and if she wants to work for district B, she has to get another fingerprint scan.
Bill Soroka (14:00):
Oh, wow. So a hassle for them, but a huge opportunity for people in this business.
Helmy El-Mangoury (14:06):
Exactly. Anytime anyone's getting a new license and your job you know, new employer, they're always having to go through that fingerprinting process again.
Bill Soroka (14:17):
To what is that like a day in the life of a fingerprint roller look like what's the actual work like?
Helmy El-Mangoury (14:27):
The most important thing is fielding phone calls, you know, and being friendly over the phone you know, and, and answering their questions, being knowledgeable. And, you know, once you've answered the phone, people actually start to come into your business to do the fingerprinting. And they feel, you know, safe knowing that you're knowledgeable and you're going to take, you know, a good quality fingerprints, and you're going to collect all the information accurately and submit it to the state. So a lot of it is just, you know, answering the phone, being there for the applicant. And then being available, you know, during business hours to these people that are scheduling appointments and they're walking in to get their fingerprints done.
Bill Soroka (15:14):
Well with an operator have to have a physical location or just be done mobile as well.
Helmy El-Mangoury (15:20):
It could be done either at a physical walk-in location or mobile. So as an example the, the fingerprinting equipment that we have is it's basically just a laptop and a fingerprint scanner. So they can have that in their office. And if someone contacts them and wants them to go and fingerprint people at at at an event or to fingerprint and executive, they could actually take the equipment out of their office or their home office and take it out and do mobile live scan fingerprint.
Bill Soroka (15:51):
I think that's why this has been so attractive to so many from my community, the mobile notary and loan signing agent community has really embraced this fingerprint opportunity because of that mobile component. What does it take to get started in a business like this?
Helmy El-Mangoury (16:13):
To get started at, it varies by state, but generally you have to get approval from the state. You also have to find out if your state accepts you know, digital fingerprinting, or if they're still going through the traditional ink card fingerprinting. So in California, as an example, you have to get like state approval. So there's a certain application process that you have to go through to get approved. And then once you're approved, then you go back to a Live Scan vendor who then sells you the equipment that you could that you can use for offering the service.
Bill Soroka (16:47):
And can that be done? So remember hearing a similar interview where we were talking about open and closed states, is that what you are talking about here?
Helmy El-Mangoury (16:57):
Yeah. There's, there's certain states that are closed. So like Texas and New York for example, are closed states. So they work with like one giant fingerprint company. And there's other states that are open like California and Florida.
Bill Soroka (17:14):
So if somebody was looking to start a venture, whether side hustle or a full-on business with this, they'd have to make sure that they're, it was open.
Helmy El-Mangoury (17:23):
Yeah. That's the number one thing, if, especially if it's a Live Scan state they have to check if the state is open to doing that. But the good news is that there's a lot of states that still accept ink fingerprint cards could still offer the service you know, and, and give the cards back to the applicants.
Bill Soroka (17:42):
What is the difference between ink and Live Scan?
Helmy El-Mangoury (17:47):
So ink is the traditional of a fingerprinting. It's something that's been around since the 1800's, early 1900's. And it was only in like the 1990s that we actually started this live scan process. The difference is ink is just like ink and paper. And you're mailing it to the law enforcement, whereas live scan, you're scanning the fingerprints on a fingerprint scanner, and you're then sending that to the law enforcement electronically,
Bill Soroka (18:17):
Super simple, but not every state does the live scan part or the digital fingerprints.
Helmy El-Mangoury (18:23):
Yeah. Not every state does it, but a lot of states have invested in, in that because there's, you know, there's clear benefits, you know speed of processing, less manual processing on the state's part. You know, they don't have to scan all these cards and, and store them.
Bill Soroka (18:39):
Is there a trade-off and quality of fingerprints? Is that like, is, is digital higher quality than the old fashioned ink or is it pretty comparable?
Helmy El-Mangoury (18:49):
Well, the benefits to a live scan system is that it'll actually provide you with feedback. So it'll tell you, you know, this print is good or this print is bad. So we have like a color grading system, green, yellow, red. So we kind of give you feedback as to whether that print will be accepted by the state or not.
Bill Soroka (19:08):
And what about training? Like how does somebody learn how to do this? Is that something that Live Scan teaches or Certifix teaches or do they, or are there independent training?
Helmy El-Mangoury (19:20):
So fingerprinting is something that you know, a lot of our operators are trained remotely, so we'll actually do like a zoom session with them and we'll, we'll train them remotely. And you know, we'll give them feedback, but really like in this business, a lot of people learn by doing.
Bill Soroka (19:41):
Yeah. All right.
Helmy El-Mangoury (19:43):
So, you know, they, they get these people coming in and they kind of just learn and they build up that knowledge and that technique over time. But we do give them a lot of guidance on that.
Bill Soroka (19:54):
Love that. It sounds like you could be practicing a lot with your friends and neighbors too, right?
Helmy El-Mangoury (20:01):
Yeah. You can practice on your friends, your neighbors, your family. So like a live scan system has practice mode, so you can practice all you want until you're ready to actually do a real transaction.
Bill Soroka (20:14):
Is there any risk of liability for the actual operator? Like, are they responsible for the quality of that fingerprint?
Helmy El-Mangoury (20:24):
Yeah. There's so the state will actually grade you. So in California they have a system that will actually look at the fingerprint image and they'll, they'll grade the quality. So if it's if it's a bad scan they have a system called APHIS that will automatically drop that, that fingerprint into a manual queue for review. And every time you know, a fingerprint transaction drops that counts against the operator.
Bill Soroka (20:56):
So incentive to really take this seriously and learn how to do it. Right.
Helmy El-Mangoury (21:01):
Yeah - Like you know, in this business, it's all about accuracy of data entry and good fingerprint quality. If you can do those two things right. Then it's, you know, and, and that's the same thing with the notary business, right? I mean, you have to have a good documentation. You have to follow the exact process, the same thing with live scan.
Bill Soroka (21:21):
Yeah. Another reason it's such a good fit. So you mentioned earlier that this is kind of an add on business. Do you see in your experience, are there people who only do fingerprinting, can they build a business and a lifestyle doing this?
Helmy El-Mangoury (21:38):
The vast majority of people do it as kind of like an add on service. Okay. But some people actually, you know, make it full time and it just depends on their ability to drum up the business. You know, you can have a certain contract and you can make it a full-time job. So it just depends on the business that you have and the business that you're able to generate.
Bill Soroka (22:05):
Well, let's talk about that. How do you generate business doing this?
Helmy El-Mangoury (22:09):
So that was the question that I asked myself 14 years ago. Yeah. And there's, there's really like several ways to get the business up. One way is to just to have a good online presence. So as an example I started investing into the Certifix website and to, you know, started doing paid advertising. And I started doing search optimization and really, you know, building up that site and getting people to visit that site. And to me that was the easiest. More, it was the most clear way for me for how I could get business you know to get people to kind of, to walk into my fingerprinting site.
Bill Soroka (23:03):
So SEO and paid advertising. I love that you're even talking about this because I'm passionate about the power of search engine optimization. It helped drive traffic. Where do you … or did that stimulate some of these larger contracts as well with these organizations that have, you know, hundreds or thousands of employees or contractors that need fingerprinting, or do you do something else to make those, that level of connection?
Helmy El-Mangoury (23:31):
So, so to me it was, I was always the outsider coming in. There was always these, you know, there were always bigger companies that had these state contracts, you know, and you felt that you couldn't really compete with them. So I kind of focused on the online marketing side. And as we focused on the online marketing we got the leads, you know, slowly but surely they came in and sometimes it was certain accounts that we thought were good. So we'd set up billing services for them. And then we treat them just like we would any other applicant, you know, give them good quality service be attentive to their needs. So that's how we were able to start to build kind of like, I wouldn't call them big contracts, but smaller regional contracts.
Bill Soroka (24:19):
Yeah. Yeah. And so once you, if you lay the foundation for a relationship that could last beyond that one appointment do you find that you get lots of repeat business?
Helmy El-Mangoury (24:31):
Definitely. Because if you're, if you're providing a good service whoever used you is gonna recommend you to someone else, or most importantly, they're going to recommend you to their employer. And that to me is a big way, you know, of, of getting bigger accounts.
Bill Soroka (24:51):
Yeah. Treat them right. And then they refer you to the big boss that makes decisions for everybody. I love that. What at what point do you think, or is it possible to, to grow a team in a business like this?
Helmy El-Mangoury (25:07):
It's, it's definitely possible to grow a team. That's what I did. As you get those, you know, larger events, you could, you could hire someone that can do the fingerprinting for you. So, you know, if you have a large recurring mobile event, you could get a series of mobile operators that can work for you. Or if you have an office you can train someone to kind of manage those walk-ins or those appointments as they come in.
Bill Soroka (25:35):
Beautiful. And as far as an initial investment, what can people count on if they're interested in doing let's break it out for people to, if they want to do a live scan experience versus ink, whether the ballpark startup costs.
Helmy El-Mangoury (25:54):
So with the ink it could be a very low startup costs if you're just buying an ink pad and, and, you know, the FBI 258 cards, right. That's in the lowest possible cost to getting into the business. And then, you know, they have, you know, different types of fingerprints pads that you can buy some small, you know, you've seen those notary stamps, right - or those notary pads they're like tiny. So those comes in all shapes and sizes. So you can get bigger ones with more that that can actually be used to offer the service. And there's there's also a fingerprint card holders that you can buy as well. That kind of make it easier to keep that card in place on the table. Okay. and then there's more stuff we just came out with a system where you could actually do a live scanning, and then you can print on the fingerprint cards using the Lexmark printer. So there's more investment in that you have to get a laptop, you have to get the fingerprint scanner, you have to get the Lexmark printer. But once you've got that, you can actually scan the fingerprints type in all the information and then print it onto the fingerprint card. And what that does is it eliminates all the, you know, the ink and paper and all the mess.
Bill Soroka (27:16):
So if they chose to use that, that would basically be ink fingerprinting available in all 50 states, but you're still doing it with the digital tools.
Helmy El-Mangoury (27:26):
Exactly. You're using the live scan software to scan the fingerprints and then you're printing it onto a fingerprint card.
Bill Soroka (27:34):
Oh, that's huge. Great idea.
Helmy El-Mangoury (27:37):
Yeah. We came out with it maybe about a month and a half ago. We announced it to our California sites,
Bill Soroka (27:45):
Can Certifix Live Scan. Can they make that available to entrepreneurs in all 50 states? Or are you limiting that technology to just California and Floriada now.
Helmy El-Mangoury (27:57):
That that print the card technology is available in all 50 states? So as long as your state accepts fingerprint cards, or even if you have an applicant that needs something fingerprinting printing for some federal job, like through the IRS, or they need to submit for an FBI background check they could use these ink fingerprint cards.
Bill Soroka (28:20):
So what's, what's somebody looking at to start up if they wanted that technology.
Helmy El-Mangoury (28:27):
Good question. So let me tell you here.
Bill Soroka (28:32):
Helmy El-Mangoury (28:34):
So the laptop you know, we'll sell them a Lenovo laptop. It's about $650, and then it just depends on the fingerprint scanner that they, that they go for. So we give them like a menu of different options of fingerprint scanners to choose. So the scanners can range anywhere between $1,200 to $4,000. So there's lower level scanners that are more affordable. And then there's higher level scanners that are more used by like the law enforcement
Bill Soroka (29:08):
Excellent. So somewhere between $2,000 and $6,000 probably to get started with Live Scan equipment.
Helmy El-Mangoury (29:15):
Yeah. And then in addition to that, they they'd get like a Lexmark printer if they wanted to do the print card. And then there's and then we, as a company, we charge you know, there's a software license fee, either software maintenance and we're available, you know, whenever they need us, so they can call us and we're always available to help to maintain that system.
Bill Soroka (29:41):
Yeah. Helmy, I'll tell you, I love your reputation for customer service. That's one thing consistently through the years, you know, as I've been talking to notaries around the country that actually do this with Certifix Live Scan they swear by your customer service and your availability and support so well done on that. And I think that is of critical importance, especially when you're starting out with a new business, you gotta have somebody who can walk you through stuff. Can you, can you give us, like, if I was trying to calculate my return on investment here and I was going to go all in with this, even if I'm in this closed state, let's say, I'm not going to close state. I can't use the digital fingerprints, but I still want this technology to print out the, the ink prints. What's a typical appointment. What's the revenue in that look like? Can you ballpark that or does that very, too much?
Helmy El-Mangoury (30:37):
Well when I started the business you know, the standard scene was $20 is what you would charge. And you know, in the last, you know, 14 years, that's, that's gone up. So now they're charging, they're charging about $40 for offering the service. Okay. And depending on the state, there's additional government fees that they're collecting because the state themselves, they have a fee to run the background check, or the FBI has a fee to run that FBI background check.
Bill Soroka (31:09):
I got it. So the operator would just pass that on to the customer. So they have their fees say $40 bucks plus whatever the government fees are for processing all of that, they would up front.
Helmy El-Mangoury (31:21):
Bill Soroka (31:22):
Okay. And I'm assuming that if we started tying in a mobile component, you know, the, the fee for the convenience of coming to your office or your home might justify higher fees too, would that be correct?
Helmy El-Mangoury (31:39):
Definitely. Yeah. There's there's a, there's Al there's always a travel fee that you can charge you know, $40 is the rate that they would pay if they were to walk into your office. But in addition to that, if you're offering them that added convenience of going out to them, you could definitely charge an additional service fee or travel fee.
Bill Soroka (32:00):
State mandated fees at all, or is it just more, whatever the market will bear,
Helmy El-Mangoury (32:05):
Whatever the market will bear. So there's no cap on these fees, so you can charge whatever you want. I mean, sometimes, you know, we'll get you know, executives that need it, like in a few hours, and sometimes they even want us to fly out, you know, and we'll do it for, you know, the right price.
Bill Soroka (32:25):
Right. And you get to decide what that price is. Right.
Helmy El-Mangoury (32:28):
And when we decide what the price is. Yep.
Bill Soroka (32:31):
I'm curious about - that just sparked a question about jurisdiction. When you're, so you get all approved. Is there anything that says you can only take fingerprints in the state you're based in, or can you being in multiple states?
Helmy El-Mangoury (32:48):
So good question. And in California, they, they, if you're doing a California live scan, they require that you keep that live scan system in California, unless you have special approval from the state. But in other states they're more lenient and they'll allow you to fingerprint outside of the state. One example is Florida. You know, we we have one provider in Illinois that gets more Florida requests than they do Illinois requests.
Bill Soroka (33:17):
Interesting. And so that Florida has the flexibility. So I guess it's just state by state, which we're used to, even in the notary world. So do you have just off the top of your head, do you have an interesting story about somebody who really thought outside the box and found a creative way to either build a relationship or find customers that changed everything for their business?
Helmy El-Mangoury (33:41):
Definitely. Yeah. There's this gentleman in in a city and, you know, in California, we have IHSS, which is like in-home service providers. And they go through these orientations, you know, that are run by the county. So, what he did is he actually leased out an office that was right next to the county headquarters, where they do the orientations, and his volume, like went 10 up X! When he did, he put these signs outside, you know, like live scan, fingerprinting, and, and people just started walking in. So that, to me, he was a standout for doing that. I commend that.
Bill Soroka (34:28):
Yeah, no kidding. That is well thought out. I love that. Well, they go in there for orientation and it says, oh, Hey, go get your fingerprints. And then they walk out the door and there he is.
New Speaker (34:38):
And there he is. Yeah.
New Speaker (34:40):
That's brilliant. I love it. I love it … on the other side of this. And this is a question I like to ask when it comes to opportunities like this is in your experience who fails at this business?
Helmy El-Mangoury (34:55):
The, the number one reason for failing at the business at least in California, where there's all these government fees that they're collecting they're not turning around and paying it to the state. So if the state doesn't get their fees naturally they're going to disconnect your account and you lose your business. So that's the number one way to, to, for the people that I've seen that lost it, that's, that's how it happened.
Bill Soroka (35:20):
What do you think that's all about? Is it, is it integrity issue or is it just cash management issue?
Helmy El-Mangoury (35:26):
I think it's cash management. I think people just they go into the business with, with good intentions and, you know, they receive all these government fees and they're not maybe separating fees, so they end up spending the money and then they don't have the money to pay the state. So it's kind of like this vicious cycle that they get into. And then they lose their license because of it.
Bill Soroka (35:47):
Yeah. What, I'm sorry, go ahead. What were you going to say?
Helmy El-Mangoury (35:52):
So and the other reason is the you know, data entry errors, you know, they're not typing in the data accurately, or the fingerprint quality is not good. You know, they're taking bad quality fingerprint scans, eventually that will catch up to you, whether it's just, you know, disgruntled applicants that have to come in for a resubmission or or the state just says, you know what, you're just, you're not taking good quality prints and we're going to have to disconnect your device.
Bill Soroka (36:23):
Yeah. That would be, that would be disappointing for sure. I, you know, I'm a, I'm a subscriber of the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen that constant continuous improvement. And I personally - and I advocate - that every appointment can be used to get better and more efficient at our appointments. So in this case with fingerprinting, we're investing to $2000 to $6,000, maybe in this, what resources are there to constantly learn and improve in this? Do you, are there some industry resources or resources that people should know about?
Helmy El-Mangoury (37:03):
When I, when I started the business, there wasn't many resources. And until today there isn't many resources. Your only real resource I'd say is your Live Scan vendor. You know, that, you know, with us, you can call us anytime. And you've got people that have a lot of experience in dealing with this, so they can answer your questions, or they can remotely log into your live scan system to kind of give you some guidance as you're going through the transaction. So that's kind of like what we do to help guide them and give them that feedback on, on the quality of their operation.
Bill Soroka (37:40):
Mm, powerful. Now, we, I kind of went off on focusing on the the ink fingerprinting and the startup costs for that. And I just want to circle back to make sure that we talk about the digital side too, is the startup costs because it's similar equipment or the same equipment, is it the same startup investment if they happen to be in an open live scan friendly state?
Helmy El-Mangoury (38:07):
Yeah. It's, it's about the same cost. The main, the main price differences for printer, you know, if they're, if they're in an open state and they have a Live Scan system and they want to do the printer card, they just have to add on the cost of the printer to do that
Bill Soroka (38:23):
Ballpark printer, just the standard Lexmark printer, or, yeah,
Helmy El-Mangoury (38:29):
It's a specific model that is FBI certified. That model goes for about $500 or so.
Bill Soroka (38:37):
Okay, excellent. Now, if people are listening and they want to work with Helmy and Certifix, where can you help them?
Helmy El-Mangoury (38:47):
The, the best, the best thing to do is to visit our website and to you know, submit the form that you're interested in the Live Scan system. And we have people that will reach out to you. If you don't hear from us, just contact us and we'll try to work with you and and mention Bill Soroka and Helmy and they'll take care of you.
Bill Soroka (39:10):
Yeah. Awesome. And I'll, I'll make sure that we have you all set up with links inside the VIP room at https://www.sidehustlelounge.com/VIP as well. Now, I just want to clarify, we'll do our best to clarify here on the podcast is if when it comes to digital fingerprints using the Certifix Live Scan system, it's only two states, is that correct?
Helmy El-Mangoury (39:37):
Right now, yes. There's only two states that we do the live scan systems in. But we're, you know, we're coming up with a second generation of product that will be available in more states after that. But if you're in a state where it's open and they do live scan contact us anyway, and we'll try to kind of point you in the right direction.
Bill Soroka (40:03):
Beautiful. And then of course, if they want to do the ink fingerprints using the technology, what if they don't want to do the printing or using the technology, it can Certifix help get people set up for rolling ink fingerprints in all 50 states.
Helmy El-Mangoury (40:20):
Yeah, we can, we can help in doing the ink fingerprinting through live scan in all 50 states.
Bill Soroka (40:27):
All right. Well, how many this is expanded my horizons for sure. I'm pretty sure I've been looking for an excuse not to do this business for years and I can't find one. So I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be one of your operators or one of your fingerprint rollers here pretty quick. And I'm excited to finally get a chance to talk to you about that. And I look forward to working with you and your company as well. And for those of you that are listening, if you'd like to jump in and explore even more, we have additional resources for you inside the VIP room at https://www.sidehustlelounge.com/VIP.
Bill Soroka (41:03):
Helmy - thanks again for being here. i truly appreciate it.
Helmy El-Mangoury (41:07):
Thank you. It was my pleasure.
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This episode was produced and marketed by the Get Known Service