Monday, February 8, 2016

# 5 of 6 Things A PI Won't Tell You

#2 We hire subcontractors to do most of the work.

Brian says, “There are independent investigators everywhere, many of whom do subcontract work for other firms.  It’s the nature of the business, in part because investigators rarely have a steady, normal workload.  Hiring subcontractors makes companies nimble, and it allows companies to hire outside experts who they wouldn’t be able to keep on staff or investigators in areas where they don’t have any coverage.”

There is nothing wrong with hiring a subcontractor to do the work especially if you know they will get the work done properly and timely.  It has been my experience that when someone calls you for your professional expertise they don’t care where it comes from and only want the results.  I am referring to an anxious husband who wants to know if his wife is cheating on him or a parent who wants to reconnect with their adult child having not seen them in over 20 years. 

Fortunately, I have never had a problem doing work in house.  I have been blessed with a fully staffed office for over 20 years.  Seldom did I hire a sub contractor on a case by case basis. If I did not have a staff I would happily help sub contractors keep busy with work.  But, it would have to be someone I know and well. When I started working for Dash Investigations in 1995, now known as Consumer Detective Corporation, my boss told me a story that taught me a lesson at someone else’s expense.  My boss, Mark, was hired to find ownership of a license plate on a car that parked in his driveway every night while he was at work leaving his wife at home, alone, so he thought.  He suspected his wife may have been cheating on him.  Mark knew why the man wanted the information but didn’t ask him what he would do with it once he had it.  Mark learned the car belonged to a man his wife was having an affair with and gave the information to his client including the name and address.  As a result of these findings Mark's client took a gun, went to the guys house, and shot him!  I cannot recall whether he survived the attack.  It was a long time ago.  I do recall that Mark had to give testimony to the fact that the shooter came to him for the information.  I will never forget this story and as a result I always ask my client what they plan to do with the information that I give them before I even take the case.  I would never hire a contractor whom I was not acquainted with.

 Throughout my career I often received phone calls from people who wanted to get into the industry especially police officers who wanted side work or wished to retire from the force and do what they do best without a badge short of making arrests.  I have hired a few police officers on a contractual basis and I have been hired to investigate police officers.  I have had people ask me to train them in skip tracing but there are tricks of the trade and secrets that you don’t reveal.  It's like a magician giving away the secrets to his magic tricks.  It took me many years to build the relationships and resources that contribute to my success.  It would not be wise for a PI to hand their secrets over to just anybody.

If I were to hire a contractor that contractor would have to come with their own resources, skills, and knowledge.  In order to get the experience they have to have the opportunity to work.  It’s not easy breaking into this industry without the clientele.  It’s like any start up business in an professional capacity such as accountants, plumbers, electricians and PI’s.  You have to have experience to get the clients.  If you can't get the work how do you build experience?  I support the efforts of those that wish to get into this industry.  
If you are interested or know someone who is interested in getting into the PI business please read my posting titled Adventures in The World of Investigations.

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