Should I Start a PI Business

Intro Click Video

While this scenario may not fit your current situation the conversation may hold one of the keys to your success or failure in the PI business.  Conducting proper preliminary research to determine if a business will bring in the desired revenues needed to support your desired goal.  Your first step is to decide if your new business is going to be to a part-time venture to supplement your pension or is this a business you would like to take from start-up, to profitability to potential acquisition? Lets explore this in greater detail below:

For training purposes we have designed a fictitious scenario and the proper steps one must go through to properly evaluate the pros and cons of a business in the private investigation field. This should be done whether you are just starting out or have been licensed for many years and looking to enter a new investigative niche. Too many people blindly go into business or add services not knowing the extent of time and money it costs to start, grow and maintain a business. The answer to this question should be determined by the research you conduct. The more data you have the better you can evaluate your particular situation.

Your decision to go into business or change business services should be a combination of many factors, What type of specialization? What kind of resources do I need to start? Equipment? Special training? Is the geographical area conducive to my specialization? Is there already a market? Can I develop a market in the area? Is my specialization an emerging specialty or is is dying? What is my appetite for risk? These are some of the many questions you should consider prior to starting a P.I. business or adding additional services to your existing business. A basic SWOT analysis is available for the above scenario. It is an abbreviated version of the study that should be done for every service you plan on providing:

Lt. Wood’s SWOT Analysis for his initial specialization:

Download the PDF file of the Video

Members can conduct their own SWOT analysis or hire to assist them in determining if their specialization is worth pursuing in their geographic area. A thorough feasibility study helps to objectively decide whether to proceed with a proposed project/idea. Timing, market conditions, experience of the aspirant, total market value, competition and trends are some of  factors researched.  A properly done study can provide you with the data you need to green light your idea or nix the project. Research and analysis is completed by a management consultant along with a licensed private investigator who has experience in the particular field (not all specializations are available).

Some recent analysis conducted include:

  • Feasibility study for a retired police chief in Virginia- Specialization – TCSM
  • Feasibility study for a former loss prevention district manager – POLYGRAPH
  • Dual feasibility studies for a retired ATF agent who was considering buying a franchise (non-investigative) vs. starting a PI Agency

Other Specializations to consider:

Accident Reconstruction
Alarm Investigation
Arson Investigations
Assets Locating
Auto Investigations
Background Checks
Bounty Hunter
Bug Sweep TSCM
Canine Handling/ Searches
Child Abuse Investigation
Child Retrieval
Civil Investigation
Closed Circuit TV
Commercial Investigations
Computer Forensics
Computer Security
Corporate Intelligence
Counter Espionage
Counter Terrorism
Courier/Escort Service
Crime Scene Analysis
Criminal Defense
Criminal Investigations
Custody Cases
DNA Analysis
Document Examination
Drug Testing
Due Diligence
Elder Abuse
Electronic Surveillance
Employee Theft
Event Security
Executive/Personal Protection
Fire/Explosion Investigation
Firearm Training
Forensic Investigation
Fraud Investigation
General Investigation
Guard Dogs
Guard Service
Homicide Investigation
Identity Theft Investigation
Industrial Investigation
Mining Investigation
Handwriting Analysis
Infidelity/Cheating Spouse
Insurance Investigation
Internet Fraud
Judgment Recovery
Litigation Support
Loss Prevention
Marine Investigation
Medical Malpractice
Missing Heirs Investigation
Missing Persons
Mortgage Fraud
Mystery Shopper
Patent Violations
People Locate/Skip Trace
Polygraph/Lie Detector
Pre-Employment Screening
Probate Investigations
Process Service
Public Records
Questioned Documents
Risk Assessment
Security Systems
Spy Shop Sales
Threat Management
Trademark Violation
PI Training School
Trial Preparation
Undercover Investigation
Underwater Investigation
Video Depositions
Video/Photo Surveillance
Voice Identification
Voice Stress Evaluation
Watchman Service
White Collar Crime
Witness Interviews
Workers Compensation
Workplace Violence
Wrongful Death.

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