Your business will change and I want to talk to you about how to adapt to that change as a private investigator, process server or in any business!
A year from now or five years from now, your business will not be the same as it is now.
Investigations Using Social Media
Let me give you some real life examples in the private investigator industry.
When I started out as a private investigator it was before there were Internet search engines. There was no such thing as social media. Think about that for a moment.
Today it’s easy it is to search through social media and learn so much about people that you weren’t able to years ago.
The cases that you would get hired for the late ‘90s and the early 2000s where very different cases than you do now because so many people will “do it themselves” very quickly. They’re able to find the old high school sweetheart or the person who hit their car and so much more because there are so many online resources. So what about these changes in your business?
Here’s one thing… maybe you’re doing less skip tracing than you would have, 10 or 15 years ago, however… the cases you’re getting are much more difficult.
That means you really have to know your resources. You really have to know what you are doing. You’re not going to be handed cases where you just type a name into a database and up pops who you’re looking for with the current address. That happens less and less so you need to have those real world skills to go out and find people. That’s one way skip-tracing is changing right now.
Surveillance is changing a bit as well. And over time it’s going to change more and more.
Think about how many people are (whether it’s right, wrong, legal or illegal) using their significant other’s cell phone as some kind of tracking device on them.
They’re able to tell where this person is going and while it may be illegal, it’s affecting the cases and the number of cases you’re getting. Again 10 years ago you might be hired for a surveillance case, but today you’re not getting that case because they’re trying to do it themselves electronically.
So how does this change things for your business?
The fact of the matter is, where the cell phone is the person probably is also, but that doesn’t tell you who they’re with and what they’re doing.
A physical surveillance is still necessary but you’re going to find less surveillances than you might have done ten years ago. However… you’re going to need to get more information today because the client will have a very specific idea of what they want to know. It’s not just where the subject goes but also what they’re doing, who they’re meeting. That was the case back in the day but even more so now. (Many times 10 years ago simply knowing where they were was a big deal and often enough!)
Things will change for your process serving business. There’s going to be more process-serving via electronics, email, and even process-serving through social media networks. That’s happening and it’s only going to get bigger.
What does that mean for you if you’re serving process? It means the cases you get are going to be harder and harder. But that’s not necessarily bad news!
Think about it. When they become used to serving a person electronically (or through the mail) when they someone they need to get served but can’t, they’re going to have to come to an expert and experienced person, a person who knows what they’re doing to serve process. And that’s you!
The New Business Model
You’re going to find your business evolving over time as these things change. Be prepared for it. Don’t pick a business model and say, “I’ve got this figured out. I’m making money. I just can ride this to retirement.”
The fact that your business changes is not necessarily bad. Just don’t think you found your niche right now, and you can comfortably ride that, because it’s going to be different in five years, certainly dramatically different in 10 years.
Information and Training Businesses
This comes up for me too!
The reason I’m even thinking about this and want to share this with you is because one of my products was returned.
That rarely happens, but it came back to me. It was The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Surveillance. The actual DVD actually came back to me and as quick as I got it, I issued a refund of course. You know my stuff’s 100% guaranteed!
But the reason it came back to me is interesting…
It wasn’t not about the course, or a problem with the course’s information or anything like that, but because the person couldn’t get it to play on their computer. It’s a DVD and that’s a dying technology!
Fewer and fewer people have DVD players. Many times computers don’t even have a slot to put in a DVD anymore. And because she couldn’t get it to play on her computer, it comes right back to me. I get it, I’m fine with that.
But the reason I share this with you is I have to think about my business model changing as well.
I’m not going to be able to sell my courses (as great as they are!) on DVD forever. I’m going to have to think my business model and about changing the way I sell my courses.
The Good News… (Great Info!)
One interesting thing that did happen when I got the course back is that I was just curious. I was darn curious. Does this DVD play or not?
Of course I recognize it’s hard to play these things on a computer sometimes. But I plugged it into a DVD player and of course it pops right up. It works perfectly fine. But…
I started to watch it.
Now, I don’t watch my own stuff and I certainly haven’t watched this course in a while. But I was actually very pleasantly surprised to find myself teaching just one good thing after another!
I forgot how much I taught! And how many knowledge bombs I drop just boom-boom-boom. One good thing after another!
One thing I would change…
There is one thing I would change now on The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Surveillance. Not the content! I would certainly teach you the exact same content if I filmed it again today. The thing I would change is… I would really slow down and explain “Look what I’m teaching you here is really important.”
I teach a lot of things that are on there and I watched it saying, “Wow. I should’ve really pointed out how important that is, instead I just teaching it.”
The Action Step For You…
But the point here today is for you to look at your business. Look at what’s working well for you and look forward.
Say to yourself, “Is this still going to be valid in a few years? Do I have to modify things? Do I have to change my prices? Do I have to learn a new skill set?”
Maybe it’s surveillance, maybe it’s process serving, maybe it’s something else. I don’t know. But look at it and figure it out, so you are not caught off guard.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – Don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it on the home page of my blog.