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How to Start Your Own Private Investigation Business

Starting a business in the criminal justice industry is challenging, and many obstacles need to be bypassed in order to make it a success. However, it can be done, and although it’ll take time and patience, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed. Here are a few steps you should take to get your private investigation business moving in the right direction.

Ensure You’re Qualified

Different states have different requirements for private investigators, so your best bet is to contact your local offices to see what the requirements are. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old for a start (21 in some states), and most states will require you to have criminal justice experience. Therefore, obtaining your online CJ degree (masters in criminal justice online) via the University of Cincinnati will give you a solid foundation in terms of experience.

Register Your Business

To operate legally in your state, you’ll need to register your business. Again, different states have different processes in place to register a business, so contact your local offices and get in contact with a business advisor to ensure your business is legal.

Invest in the Right Equipment

If you’re just starting out as a private investigator, you’ll need a budget set aside to invest in equipment to make your job easy. You’ll need a good quality camera for a start so you can always provide proof to your clients. A good laptop and various software products would also be a wise investment so you can investigate your takes. It’s recommended to only invest in what you need when you start in this industry and then add to your equipment once you attract new clients. It could also play to your advantage if you invest in second-hand goods so you have more money left over to invest in marketing and advertising.

Advertise Your Business

Both social media and PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising are methods to look at when it comes to advertising. Neither guarantee any results, but they do guarantee visitors that could turn into high-paying clients. Both options can be expensive if you want to target the top paying clients, but they’re still worth considering if you’re serious about getting your business off the ground. Starting a blog and creating a professional website using these steps would also play to your advantage.

Contact Local Lawyers to Offer Your Services

Many local lawyers are always interested in hiring private investigators to help them dig up dirt on their clients and/or victims/criminals. Private investigators are always in short supply, so contacting lawyers could help you build your much needed first relationships.

The hardest part in making a private investigation business a success is when it comes to building new relationships. If you offer a niche service it’ll give you a better chance of securing clients that are specifically looking for that service. The best advice to follow is to start off small and refrain from investing in tools/equipment you don’t necessarily need – it’ll give you more capital to use for advertising and marketing purposes.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.