On top of some of the obvious elements key to your investigative business, i.e. the appropriate licensing, the legal structure decided upon  (LLC, S-Corp, Partnership or other), the location, etc. ….as a reminder (and if you have not done so already), you may want to also consider the following…

Determine the markets you are serving and identify future markets

Focus on an underserved niche or market where you believe your skill sets and interests are a good fit. That market could be based on geography and/or specific services / type of investigations (e.g. litigation support, divorce investigations, workman’s comp investigations etc.).  Developing a track record and an expertise in a specific niche or two initially will help in your marketing efforts, reputation and could even facilitate the number of referrals you receive.

Be certain you are sufficiently capitalized

Do you have the money for 6 months of rent? You may need to front certain costs (travel expenses, third-party investigators etc.) earlier in the process than you collect the receivables that accompany your client billings (which can sometimes take 60 days to collect).  Do you have personal savings to fund your day-to-day life outside of business for a while?  Be prepared financially for contingencies

Position yourself to prepare for growth

This can take on many forms but includes not only adequate financial resources as addressed above, but also should include a game plan to subcontract work if case volume spikes (to pre-qualified outside investigators) as well as detailed policies and procedures as to how to handle, process, delegate and report back to clients on the investigation findings. Growth will always be easier and possible if an evolved process is in place from the start.

Marketing Materials

Whether the form of marketing material is a website, handout or sales presentation, it is important they are all consistent, clearly relay the services you provide and your strengths / how you differentiate yourself. Do not be afraid to be brief and to the point.  Reinforcement of key attributes can help you establish the desired reputation

Choose the right investigation and business management platforms

The “right” case management system can assist in many areas such as efficiencies to handle growth, controls to ensure professional work and the protection of your reputation, management tools, professional reporting…..and the ability to interface with everything from email, Quickbooks, etc. The “right” case management system can to some extent provide you with peace of mind.

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