Are you about starting a private investigation company? If YES, here is a sample private investigation business plan template & FREE feasibility report.
If you want to become a private investigator or to operate a private investigating company in the United States, it is mandatory that you apply and obtain a license or else you will be working against the law. Due to the technical nature of this business and the need to understand what you are getting into from the business aspect, it would be wise to consult a business consultant.
The consultant will go through your business concept and advise you on whether to proceed with the business or not. If your business concept is a great one, the business consultant would offer you tips and suggestions on the way forward that will be helpful to you during the course of running your business.
Below is a sample private investigation services business plan template that can help you successfully write your own with little or no stress.
A Sample Private Investigation Business Plan Template
Table of Content
- 2. Executive Summary
- 5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
- 6. SWOT Analysis
- 7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- 13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
1. Industry Overview
The Private Detective Services industry is made up of companies that offer domestic and family investigation services, legal investigation services, insurance investigation services, corporate investigation services, pre-employment services, including background checks and other investigation services. Operators in this industry do not provide patrol or security guard services.
A recent report released by IBISWorld shows that overall, the industry has performed relatively well over the five years to 2019, as the improving economy has enabled businesses and consumers to enlist the wide range of services provided by industry operators.
Corporate profit and per capita disposable income growth have enabled businesses and households to boost spending on discretionary services like those provided by industry operators. Over the five years to 2019, IBISWorld expects industry revenue to grow at an annualized rate.
The Private Detective Services Industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in most developed countries of the world.
Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 25,031 registered and licensed private detective companies scattered all across the United States responsible for employing about 6,242 people and the industry rakes in over $7 billion annually.
The industry is projected to grow at 3.0 percent within 2014 and 2019. It is important to state that no company can boast of having more market share in the industry. The private detective services industry is one industry that is growing despite the fact that the government of various countries are not relenting when it comes to providing investigation services.
One thing is certain, the private detective services industry is an evolving one and new technology and approaches are being employed when it comes to delivering standard and safer services. The industry can’t be said to be oversaturated because there are different areas (niches) a private investigation company can specialize in and if you are good with what you do, then you won’t struggle much to attract clients.
Starting a private investigation company requires professionalism and good grasp of how the industry works. Besides, you need to get the required certifications and license and also meet the standard security expected of players in the industry in the United States.
2. Executive Summary
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. is a licensed private investigation company that will be based in North Charleston – South Carolina.
We have been able to secure all the required security clearance and office facility to run a private investigation company in the United States. We are aware that to run a standard private investigation outfit can be demanding which is why we are well trained and equipped to perform excellently.
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. is a client-focused and result driven private investigation services outfit that provides broad-based private detective services at an affordable fee that won’t in any way put a hole in the pocket of our clients.
We will offer services like pre-employment screening, litigation investigation, locating missing people, intelligence gathering, spousal investigation, due diligence security advisory and consultancy services.
At Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc., our client’s best interest would always come first, and everything we do is guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire professionals who are experienced in a wide variety of private investigation services.
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.
We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.
Our plan is to position Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. to become one of the leading brands in the private investigation services industry in the whole of South Carolina, and also to be amongst the top 20 private investigation services outfits in the United States of America within the first 10 years of operation.
This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely come to pass because we have done our research and feasibility studies and we are confident that North Charleston – South Carolina is the right place to launch our private investigation service.
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. is a private – partnership business that is owned by Stevenson Murray and his friend and business partner Gabby Larry – White. The organization will be managed by both of them. Mr. Stevenson Murray and Gabby Larry – White graduated from both The University of California – Berkley (First Degree), and University of Harvard (MBA).
Stevenson Murray is a Certified Security Project Manager (CSPM), Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP), Certified Security Compliance Specialist (CSCS), and Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), while Gabby Larry – White is certified and license private investigator.
3. Our Products and Services
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. is going to offer varieties of services within the scope of private investigation services industry in the United States of America. Our intention of starting our outfit is to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the US to achieve our aim and ambition.
Our business offerings are listed below;
- Domestic and family investigation services
- Legal investigation services
- Insurance investigation services
- Corporate investigation services
- Pre-employment services, including background checks
- Other investigation services
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to build a private investigation service company that will become the number one choice for clients in the whole of North Charleston – South Carolina and throughout the United States.
- Our mission is to provide professional and trusted private investigation services that assist individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. We are to position the business to become the leading brand in the private investigation services industry in the whole of South Carolina, and also to be amongst the top 20 private investigation outfits in the United States of America within the first 10 years of operation.
Our Business Structure
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. intends to start small in North Charleston – South Carolina, but looks to grow big in order to compete favorably with leading private investigation outfits both in the United States and on a global stage.
We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the kind of business we want to own.
At Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc., we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, creative, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all our stakeholders.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company. In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Chief Investigator / Manager
- Private Detectives
- Admin and HR Manager
- Marketing and Sales Executive
- Customer Services Executive
- Security Guards
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Office:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Manages the overall activities of detective staff members and equipment
- Achieves maximum profitability and over-all success by controlling costs and quality of service.
- Schedule employees as necessary to ensure adequate and consistent levels of investigative service.
- Supervises weekly schedules.
- Responsible for security control policies
- Co-ordinates the general execution of private investigation services
- Perform undercover operations such as evaluating the performance and honesty of employees by posing as customers or employees.
- Question persons to obtain evidence for cases of divorce, child custody, or missing persons, or information about individuals’ character or financial status.
- Search computer databases, credit reports, public records, tax and legal filings, and other resources in order to locate persons or to compile information for investigation.
- Expose fraudulent insurance claims or stolen funds.
- Testify at hearings and court trials to present evidence.
- Conduct background investigations of individuals, such as pre-employment checks, to obtain information about an individual’s character, financial status or personal history.
- Confer with establishment officials, security departments, police, or postal officials to identify problems, provide information, and receive instructions.
Admin and HR Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.
Marketing and Sales Executive
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Represents the company in strategic meetings
- Helps to increase growth for the company
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the company
- Serves as internal auditor for the company
Client Service Executive
- Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries
- Responsible for prevention of unauthorized activity or entry in a specified perimeter
- Handles traffic regulation services
- In charge of access control
- Responsible for fire and theft prevention and detection services
6. SWOT Analysis
Because of our drive for excellence, we were able to engage some of the finest business consultants in North Charleston to look through our business concept and together we were able to critically examine the prospect of the business and to access ourselves to be sure we have what it takes to run a standard private investigation services outfit.
Here is a of what we got from the critically conducted SWOT Analysis for Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc.;
Aside from the fact that all our private investigation company is of world – class standard and the business is well positioned and equipped to meet the 21st century demand, we have a team that can give our clients value for their money; a team that are trained and equipped to pay attention to details as regard detective concerns. We are well positioned and we know we will attract loads of clients from the first day we open our doors for business.
As a new private investigation services outfit, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance in the already saturated private investigation industry; that is perhaps our major weakness.
As the number of businesses in the United States increases, demand for industry services rises because the pool of potential corporate clients grows. Corporate clients are the largest market for private detectives and are vital to the industry’s success.
Businesses use industry services to protect trademarks, collect information on competitors and perform pre-employment screenings. In 2019, the number of businesses is expected to increase, representing a potential opportunity for the industry.
Private detective service operators investigate a wide variety of insurance fraud claims, including theft and arson. When crime rate increases, insurance companies are more likely to use industry services to identify cases of insurance fraud. In 2019, the crime rate is expected to decline, representing a potential threat to the industry.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
The private detective industry is highly regulated so as to prevent costly security breaches. So, if you are looking towards starting a private investigation services company, then you should acquire international detective certifications; it will give you an edge amongst your competitors. The truth is that, the more relevant detective certifications that you and your team have, the easier it is for you to convince people to patronize your services.
Although if you are able to build a successful brand, you can pitch your business in any part of the world and still be successful, especially if you intend working for international clients. But if you are just starting out; especially if you are a newbie in the private detective services industry, it is important that you locate your business in an area with healthy business activities.
As a matter of fact, social media has now become one of the most important tools private investigation services outfits leverage on to disseminate information about their concerns, solicit feedback, and create year-round engagement with their target audience.
Furthermore, new software apps and emerging technology have made it easier for private investigation services outfits to gather information that will help them plan and project for the future.
8. Our Target Market
Although Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. will initially serve small to medium sized business, but that does not in any way stop us from growing to compete with leading private investigation services companies in the United States.
Our target market cuts across people of different class and people from all walks of life, local and international organizations as well. Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically design our products and services for;
- Blue Chips Companies
- Insurance companies
- Corporate Organizations
- Political Parties/Politicians
- Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
- Sport Organizations
- Entrepreneurs and Startups
Our Competitive Advantage
Surviving in the business world as a private investigation services company requires more than your expertise, but also how to network with key people that matters. There are loads of big time investors that have a stake in the private investigation services industry, but one thing is certain, there is room big enough to accommodate both the big and the small private investigation services.
What smaller companies need to do to survive in the industry is to concentrate on providing detective services to households, and insurance companies et al before bidding for big contracts from corporations and government agencies.
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. might be a new entrant into the industry, but the owners of the business are considered gurus. They are highly qualified private investigators in the United States.
We are a world – class and standard private investigation services business that is well positioned and well – equipped to meet the 21st century detective demand of both high profile corporate and individual clients. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be amongst the best within our category (startups private investigation services companies) in the industry, meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
We are mindful of the fact that there is stiff competition amongst private investigation companies in the United States of America; hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing concerns.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization. We will also ensure that our excellent job deliveries speak for us in the market place; we want to build a standard private investigation services business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients.
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, insurance companies, court house, religious organizations, schools, households and key stake holders in North Charleston and other cities in – South Carolina
- Promptness in bidding for private investigation services contracts from the government and other cooperate organizations
- Advertise our business in relevant magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
- List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver quality private investigation services to them
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Engage direct marketing approach
- Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients
Sources of Income
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the private investigation services industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis. Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. will generate income by offering the following private investigation services;
- Domestic and family investigation services
- Legal investigation services
- Insurance investigation services
- Corporate investigation services
- Pre-employment services, including background checks
- Other investigation services
10. Sales Forecast
One thing is certain, there would always be clients who can’t afford to leave their private detective concerns to government security agencies. As a standard and world – class private investigation services outfit, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.
We are well positioned to take on the available market in North Charleston – South Carolina and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough profits from the first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base beyond North Charleston to other cities in South Carolina and other states in the U.S.
We have been able to examine the private investigation services market, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the sales projection for Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and the wide range of private investigation services that we will be offering;
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $350,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $750,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $1.25 Million
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and natural disasters within the period stated above. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our brand and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the private investigation services industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our outfit.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc.;
- Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our brand
- Install our Bill Boards in strategic locations all around North Charleston – South Carolina
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
- Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company’s logo et al.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
Just like in services and consulting business, hourly billing for private investigation services is also a long – time tradition in the industry. However, for some types of contracts or clients, flat fees make more sense because they allow clients to better predict the overall service charges. As a result of this, Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, will charge our clients both flat fee and hourly billing as long as it favors both parties.
At Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. we will keep our fees below the average market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. We are aware that there are some clients that would need regular private investigation services, we will offer flat rate for such services.
The payment policy adopted by Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment via POS
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payment for services rendered without any stress on their part.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
We have been able to pull cash that will be enough for us to successfully launch a standard private investigation services company in North Charleston – South Carolina. These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital on;
- The total fee for incorporating the business in the United States of America- $750.
- The budget for basic insurance policy covers, permits and business license – $2,500
- The amount needed to acquire a suitable office facility (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) – $150,000.
- The Cost for equipping the office (computers, software applications, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, security and safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $ 5,000
- The Cost of Launching an official Website – $600
- The cost for the purchase of 21st century security cum detective gadgets, software and cameras et al – $100,000
- Budget for paying employees for 2 months plus utility bills – $100,000
- Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,500
- Miscellaneous: $5,000
Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need about seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) U.S. dollars to successfully set up a medium scale but standard private investigation company in the United States of America.
Generating Funding/Startup Capital for Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc.
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. is a private – partnership business that will be owned by Stevenson Murray and his friend and business partner Gabby Larry – White. They may likely welcome partners later which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from the bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $150,000 (Personal savings $100,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $300,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.
One of our major goals of starting Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our services a little bit lower than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Eagles Eyes® Private Investigation Services, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.
We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry and they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts : Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Securing a standard office facility and reconstruction inclusive: In Progress
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating part of the startup capital from the founder: Completed
- Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed security cum detective gadgets, security software application, furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors and key players in the industry: In Progress