How to really grow your private investigator business.

If you own your own private detective agency and you need to make more money, you are not alone, and today I’m going to talk about something that can be a real game changer for you. It was for me.

In the private investigator industry, a lot of people honestly can teach you some of the nitty-gritty secrets about skip tracing, surveillance and the rest of the “real” work. But I want you to consider for a moment a big thing you might be missing when learning from them… have they ever done the really hard work of actually getting clients?

As I’ve said so many times, the hardest part of this business (and I’m convinced the hardest part of any business) is getting clients!

Initially I was a little bit naive about these things and I was going for “home runs”, trying to get big paydays with one big move. Maybe a big client or a big case. Maybe a certain contract that would pay me big-time and then I’d be set. However, in my experience, that’s just not the way it works.

This is how it really works…

The real game changer for me came with moving from trying to hit one-time home runs, and just working on getting “singles”. Just get on base.

When I started to concentrate on the small things that will be small wins over and over again (each day), that made the difference for me.

What trying for a Home Run looks like…

There are times when you might want to try for a marketing home run. But do it with a measured approach. Think it through and have a plan for it.

Maybe you say to yourself, you want to go put up a booth at a convention with attorneys. It’s going to cost $2,300 bucks for the weekend to get the booth. You’ve also got to pay for the display, drive there and print promotional materials. I don’t know where you are in life, but for me and for people in our industry, $2,300 is a lot of money! And really, you’re just rolling the dice, right?

You say, “Oh man, if I could just pick up one client” or “I hope I make a contact” and yes that can pay off. That could be a home run for you, but it’s kind of unlikely.

However, everyday you can step up to the plate and work on just getting a ball in play, get the first base, getting a single.

What a “single” looks like…

So what do those types of things look like? Maybe today the step is so small as to make a list of law firms in your area that you want to work for.

Maybe the small step, that single for you tomorrow is to write a letter to those law firms. What do I want to say to them?

Maybe the next day that single is just mailing those letters.

I’m not saying you have to take a small thing like that and drag it out for days, but what I am saying is every day be doing something!

Every day get up to the plate. Every day, swing the bat. Once I started going for the singles, once I started doing the small things every day, that’s where things changed for me financially, for business, for everything!

Concrete Actions…

I’m a snail-mail guy. For me, I had to mail a letter every day.

That was my philosophy. Mail (at least) one letter every day.

That’s not going to be a home run. That’s not going to make a world of difference. But at the end of the month, I’ve reached out to 30 potential new clients. At the end of the year, I’ve reached out to 365 possible clients.

Let’s talk about the odds of success. What are the chances that you get hired if you contact 100 potential clients (admittedly, repeatedly contacting them – maybe a letter each month)?

If I’m only hired by 1 out of 100 law firms I contact, that means at the end of the year, I’ve picked up three or four clients.

I should be able to make repeat business from those clients over and over again.

Again, small steps. You do it every day. You do it year after year and before you know it, you’ve got a handful or more of clients that you work for regularly and you got some nice steady revenue coming in!

That’s if you only mail one letter a day. But…

Here in the 21st century, maybe it’s not mailing a snail-mail letter, but are you putting up a blog post each week? Are you engaging in social media the way that you should for your company? Are you following up with clients that you’ve already hired you but you haven’t heard from in awhile? Maybe those are people that do need to get a snail-mail letter!

Look, step up to the plate every day. Go for plenty of singles and over time that will pay off and it’ll make a huge difference.

If you like that helpful info, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

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Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

Weird things on surveillance and “street news”.

I’m going to do something today that I never, ever do, and that’s share a piece of news with you about drug deals and surveillance.

This comes up, because of something I was working the other day that I thought was kind of interesting and I wanted to share with you. This goes back to a video I did previously for you talking about drugs and surveillance when you’re watching someone, in the winter time.

In that video, I talk about when you’re watching a drug corner in the winter time. I tell you to be aware when a person takes off a glove because a lot of times that can be them preparing to deal drugs.

They need at least one hand out of their gloves to count out the crack rocks or handle the money. When you see the glove come off in the wintertime, heads up, they are about to do something and maybe it’s a drug deal.

What about in the summer time?

I had the exact opposite thing happened to me the other day (in July). I was watching a guy at a bus top and it’s 80 degrees outside when he starts to put on gloves! And in fact, they were rubber gloves!

Now I know from experience, and you may know from common sense, the only reason somebody at a bus stop is putting on gloves in 80 degree weather is because the next thing that’s going to happen is a felony.

Sure enough, the gloves went on and the guy sitting next to him pulled out some money. The guy who put on the gloves reaches into his pants, pulls out a baggie and passes some drugs to the guy with the money.

I honestly have no idea why he put on gloves to handle the dope. It’s was a weird thing. The guy who was buying dope didn’t seem to have any concerns.

At first, I thought maybe it was a fentanyl thing, he didn’t want direct contact and overdose, but honestly, if you’re storing a baggie of dope in your pants, probably contact is not going to be prevented just by putting on gloves! And the buyer wasn’t too concerned about handling the dope.

I thought maybe he’s had an experience where fingerprint evidence sent him to prison before and he wanted to keep his prints off the baggie.

Again, didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but you know, they call it “dope” for a reason. Maybe it wasn’t meant to make sense to somebody who’s sober.

The point for you is not why he put on gloves before he dealt dope, but when you’re doing surveillance, look for things that are unusual!

Somebody wearing gloves in 80 degree weather should catch your attention!

The News:

I don’t know how widespread this is, but I’ve started to see it happening in my area…. Crackheads breaking twigs off of trees or bushes and using that twig as a pushrods in their crack pipes.

I don’t know if this is something that’s been going on for years and I’ve just never noticed before. I don’t know if this is something that’s happening all over the country and it’s just now making it’s way to my area, but it’s interesting and I wanted to share it with you.

Unusual behavior should be catching your attention. If you see somebody in the city going into the bushes, that should raise your awareness that something is going on. And if they reach up to a tree that’s growing out of the sidewalk and snap off a twig that’s not just idleness! That’s not just some kind of really small, inconsequential vandalism. There may be more to it than that, so heads up! Now you have a clue as what might be coming next.

If you have any little things that you think might be newsworthy, drop them in the comments. We can all learn from each other.

Also, if you like this helpful tip, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

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Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

3 Common Background Check Mistakes.

Today I want to share with you three things that commonly go wrong in background checks.

1. Wong Location

This is a subtle mistake and you don’t think it will happen to you, but it happens more than you might suspect.

It seems like an impossible mistake to make because the person lives in this city and they work in this city and their mom lives there and this is where they grew up so it’s got to be the right place to run a background check, but…

When you’re doing a background check, it’s very common to miss things from where the person was outside of the city or county where they are now.

For example, a person is born and raised in the county where you are doing the background check. But what if he went to college out of state? If that’s th case, there’s four years (or more!) where there could be a criminal or civil issue and if you only check locally, you’ve missed it!

A very common variation of this is when a city overlaps two or more counties.

This commonly happens with cities that have rivers that run through them. Sometimes that’s the dividing line between, not only for the counties or cities, but even states!

One side of the bridge will be one state, the other side will be the other state and this is the type of thing that can be hugely problematic when conducting a background check.

And a lot of background check mistakes have the potential to make a life or death difference…

Not long ago, down south, a young mentally disturbed man (and I could use much stringer language to describe him), went into a church prayer meeting, pulled out a gun and shot and killed a bunch of people.

It’s a tragedy. It’s straight up evil.

One of the first things everybody asked, no matter what side of gun control you’re on is, “Where did he get the gun?”

Did he steal it? If so, the pro gun lobbies, sigh a deep breath of relief because they say, “Look, even if we had greater regulation, it wouldn’t have stopped this guy — he stole the gun!”

If we find out that the person bought the gun legally, then people start to ask, “Should there be more restrictions on purchasing a gun?” And of course that freaks out the pro-gun lobbies!

In this particular case I’m talking about down south, the person purchased the gun legally. However, there was a flaw in the background check.

He lived in one of those cities where (and I can’t remember if it was the county line or the city line), but I believe the county line runs through the middle of the city. And the background check was run for the county on one side of the city, but the other half of the city was missed!

Let’s face it, if you live someplace like that, you’re crossing over the county line all the time. Maybe you’re going to dinner across town, maybe you work across town. Heck, maybe the mental health facility he attended was across town. I don’t know. But what I can tell you is essentially half of the city was not checked to see if this guy had a disqualifier for buying a firearm!

And guess what? He did have a legal disqualifier. And it was missed because of a poor background check (preformed by a Federal Agency)!

Don’t let this happen to you! Don’t be the investigator who runs the background check in the wrong location or missing a location!

2. Wong Database

The second common, very common(!) mistake I see people make with background checks is they don’t understand the proper database or databases to check even when they are in the right location.

I see this all the time. I think, most commonly I see people do it with different courts.

They don’t understand there are different criminal courts. There’s upper courts (sometimes called Common Pleas Court) where the felonies or large dollar civil cases are handled. Then there are lower courts (sometimes called Municipal Court) where misdemeanors and low dollar civil torts are handled. Small Claims Court is in this lower or Municipal court system.
Amateur investigators stumble around online. They find one criminal court, they type the subject’s name and nothing comes up so they say, “Oh, this person doesn’t have any criminal history!”

It drives me up the wall. Yeah, they checked in the misdemeanor court, but they missed the felonies that this person has against them because they didn’t check the right database (Common Please Court).

They checked the wrong database even though they were searching in the right location.

3. Database Limitations

The third thing I want to warn you about is the limits of the database.

This is so common, even among professional, licensed private investigators.

Licensed investigators have access to databases that most people don’t, but as a licensed investigator, you have to understand what’s really in that database and (more importantly) whats not!

For example, you may have a database that’s the arrest records for your state. But you have to understand where those records are compiled from. Usually, the database will collect the records from the different counties and jails in your state. However…

Some of those county records may only go back two years.

Some of them may have a gap where they’re missing a couple of years.

Even in this day and age, not every county will have the ability to electronically submit or be electronically searched so some counties may be left out completely!

This may not be a deal-breaker for you. If it’s a largely agricultural county with a low population that’s far from your location, maybe that’s not a big deal to you, but… you need to know that that’s a blind spot in the database.

Don’t miss this…

Also, these things change! In my state, you used to be able to go to the Department of Corrections website and bring up everybody who’d been in state prison (even after they’d been released). And that’s a valuable thing for an investigator.

But then… with no real warning, no public announcement, no press release… the database change to only currently incarcerated inmates.

So if you’re not following closely, if you don’t understand that sometimes databases change, and you think you’re running a statewide prison records check for somebody who’s done time in your state, but the database changed last week to only reflect currently incarcerated people, you’re going to miss a ton!

I don’t even want to think about the liability on something like that. Let alone the fact that it can be very costly to a client who’s relying on the information you found!

So what can you do?

As near as I can figure, there’s only two ways to fix these problems.

One is with training and the other is by experience. And experience is a terribly painful way to learn because you only learn when you make those mistakes!

And when I say training, I don’t have any skin in the game on this one. I don’t have anything that I’m selling right now that teaches you about doing background checks!

I mean The Investigator’s ultimate Guide to Process Serving has a good section on skip tracing and a lot of that overlaps when you’re looking at a subject’s background. But I’m not selling you a background training course so you can just take money off the table as any kind of objective I’d have for sharing this information with you.

I want you to know this stuff because the consequences for failure are so high and the results can be so dire.

So keep learning whether it’s from free online videos, blog articles, books, paid training or from working under an experienced investigator. Just do whatever it takes to be able to do the job right. It reflects well on everybody in our industry and it can save someone in your world (a client or family member that you’re helping out) a lot of pain and grief.

How about this… let me share with you some more free training with my special report If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

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Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

Prepper Private Eye talks about the value of Surveillance Training.

Prepping for the end of the world (or maybe just a power outage or loss of water for a few days), is a good idea and I suggest that 1 hour of prepping now is worth 100 hours of work during the emergency!

And if you make a wise choice about what to buy, the 1:100 ratio also applies. One dollar invested now into the right piece of gear is worth $100 during the SHTF (Stuff Hits The Fan) scenario.

I am passionate about the value of my training courses so please forgive me if today (as I talk about the value of prepping), I also talk a bit about the value of surveillance training.

I’m just trying to save you from being burned on surveillance and all the awfulness that comes with that.

If you stick around to the end, you’ll hear me ask this question…

What is a thing you can do, learn or buy now (something inexpensive!), that will pay off with 100 times the value if you need it?

Got your answer?

Now… what are you going to do about it?

If you like these helpful tips, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. If not, you can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

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Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – If you do nothing else… the next time you empty a jug of milk… clean it out and fill it with some clean water and put it on your shelf for an emergency.

Seriously. Do it.