People ask, can my town support another detective agency or any private investigator at all? I get this question a lot and it’s a good question.
This is a great question because it shows that you’re thinking down the road. You’re thinking about the future. I mean, why put all the time and energy and effort into getting your private investigator license and opening a detective agency, if your town can’t support it, right?
Look, I did it, right? I started from nothing, from zero. My first job after I got out of the military was as a security guard. I put on the polyester shirt and cheap tin badge. I went around and tugged on doorknobs to make sure that they were locked.
I went from there to getting my state private investigator’s license, opening my own agency, and running it for nine years!
That was how I paid the mortgage, kept the light on and bought food. I took a shot and did it!
Now, I must admit, I was a little naive at the time. I just figured it would work and, by the Grace of God, it did. But, I’m going to tell you how you can determine if it’s going to be right in your town or your area.
It’s too easy for our brains to trick us into thinking our place isn’t the right place.
If you’re in a small town, you think your town is too small. It won’t support you. You have a county with a low population. So you think it just won’t work there.
If you’re in a big city or a populous county, you think there’s so much competition. There’s already five other detective agencies. Or twelve other detective agencies. How could it ever work in such a crowded market? You get in your own head about it.
Here’s the real question.
Here’s what I suggest to you: Ask yourself if someone else in your area is making it work.
Is there a successful detective agency in your area?
And I mean truly successful. By that, I mean are they ethically turning a profit? Not just have a good website. Not just a good social media presence. Forget all that “poser” stuff. That is fluff. That’s image and marketing. Are they truly successful or are they struggling like so many businesses?
Note: Don’t get me wrong. You need to project professionalism with a good website. And any social media you use has to be “on brand” for you. But, don’t judge the success of the “other” agency(s) by what you see online!
Here’s the thing… If someone else in your area is ethically making it work (being profitable), why shouldn’t you be able to do it as well? Their success proves it can work!
There are some towns that will only support one business of any given type. Maybe one ice cream shop or only one movie theater. I see it all over with specialty hobby shops. How may model train store can even a large city support? That can happen sometimes. So how do you know your detective agency is going to make it?
First of all… You don’t.
You really don’t know if it’s going to make it.
Businesses fail all the time for a variety of reasons. They lack the skill needed. They lack the business know-how. They don’t know how to “get the word out”. Or the local factory closes and unemployment skyrockets. Maybe an employee embezzles their profits. Or any one of a million other reasons causes a business to fail. It happens.
Here’s the trick. Here’s the secret.
You need to find your Unique Selling Position (USP)
When you can answer your potential client’s question, “Why should I hire you as opposed to all my other options?” then you have the critical edge that moves you closer to success!
Your Specific Town
When considering if your specific town can support another detective agency, forget “all the other options” for a moment. (But just for a moment! You must consider “all the other options”, but just for a moment, let’s look at only the other detective agencies.
Let’s use process serving as (an example) of how to think about this question.
“All the other options” include the fact that a law firm could do it themselves “in-house”. They could have their interns do it. Their paralegals could do it. I’ve seen it where some attorneys serve their own process. Why should they hire you as opposed to that?
But, let’s look (just for a moment) at the “competition”, the detective agency or process server company who wants the same clients you want. Focus, momentarily, and answer the question, “Why a client should hire you as opposed to all the other process servers and detective agencies?”
When you’ve got a good answer to that question, that makes all the difference in the world!
If someone else is making it work in your town, consider the fact that you can make it work too. You just have to do it with foresight, planning, and having your Unique Selling Proposition.
If you like this helpful information, 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…
Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.