210 Huntington St.
Bangor, ME 04401
This business plan details the goals and objectives for an independent Private Investigator (PI) firm founded by three former police officers.
FBEyes was founded in 2005, by three former police officers. They're friends of the same police force for over 30 years.
In this time the three had gone different paths in the Bangor Police force. James Walsh had spent the majority of his career in the fraud section. Colin Day had spent the majority of his time in the narcotics division. Finally Greg Baker had focused his entire career on the administration and management of the police force. While all three partners of the newly formed FBEyes firm had spent their careers in separate divisions of this large police force, they all had one thing in common. They enjoyed the investigation part of their job and had taken all the required steps to educate themselves on all aspects of their respective job functions. These skills had not only made them leaders in their divisions, it also gave them a great amount of access to other police forces in other cities.
All three had decided to take early retirement in order for them to launch their own Private investigation firm. While there was a substantial amount of competition from the long established firms, all three based their decision on solid market statistics that supported the decision to open their own PI firm.
Over a period of twelve months prior to their official retirement, all three members spent their free time gathering and working on the business plan. The also hired a management consulting firm to work with them to build the business plan and look for outside opinions on the business sector.
While most PI firms were a one or two person operation, which focused on the basics of the industry like surveillance and searching for people etc, FBEyes decided that this was a good area, however wanted to add all their backgrounds and training to the business. Therefore throughout the formulation of the business plan and model these specialized skills were added to the firm's services it would offer to the market.
Based on the market, as well the background and training of the three partners within FBEyes, the products and services offered have been determined as follows:
In the present market we have the following competitors:
As mentioned in the above competitor breakdown, we have indicated the areas where each competitor focuses all their attention. This in–depth understanding of each competitor's area of expertise will allow us to get a much faster footprint in the market, at a quicker rate.
During the twelve months preceding the launch of our firm, all three partners spent time preparing the company. While each partner when they retire will only be in the age group of 50–54, none of them will require taking a salary from the firm. With their early retirement package they all received a bonus payout of $300,000–$400,000. This combined with the fact that all partners where wise investors and are debt free.
While most start–up companies tend to start with a lot of debt in the first few years, FBEyes will not be in this position. All the required software, training etc has already been paid for. The only startup expenses are that of advertising and office set–up, etc. It was felt by all partners that an office should be established; while most in this sector tend to be home based, the clients we were going after, i.e. corporate etc., would like to have a place they could go to meet, allowing the client to meet in a more confidential manner with our firm. This was really important in cases of fraud etc.
With the start–up it was decided that each partner would focus on their area of expertise and as required would hire contract staff to fill in where they could not.
The key to our strategy will be to make slow inroads into the established markets. This would allow us to grow at our own pace and keep our competitors in the market from noticing our presence. We will take the approach of the turtle in the race, not that of the rabbit.
While we will be bringing specialized skills to the market, we feel there will be times where we will collaborate with other firms, offer advice and or our services. Over time we feel this will be a key to building strong relationships with our key clients and partners.
The forms of marketing we will use to market our PI Firm:
The city of Bangor has close to 1 million people living in the city, with another 300,000 living in a 20–mile radius. This is a new city in the sense of cities. Up to 1950 the population Bangor was around 250,000. When oil reserves were discovered the city grew at extraordinary pace. This pace of growth has allowed the city to spend billions on infrastructure. While the positives of this growth are evident, the not so glamorous area of crime and criminal activates has also flourished.
Based on our Market Analysis we have determined that there is $40,000,000 spent in our sector each year. Our goal is to attain at least 5% of this market in the first two years.
The types of clients and the average per–use charges
Note: all the above fees are expense–extra–based.
We have already talked with a few clients and they have signed formal agreements, that when we open, we will be contracted to do work for them. Based on previous three–year average of expenditures we have determined that this will amount to approximately $ 300,000 per year in revenue to our firm. Other clients have indicated that while they could not make a commitment at the time, would ask us for a quote when they tender certain jobs.
As noted here, all of our revenue contracts we have in place are from companies. Once we advertise that we are in business, we are confident that we will gain a market share of the independent market, and based on the services we will offer, this will come from areas of service we offer that is required in our market, but not yet offered by local firms.
At the present rate of growth, we are very confident that the opening of our firm will position us in the next three years to have hired at least 20 contract investigators.
Over the career of all the partners, they were able to build very strong relationships with other employees in the police force. These relationships allowed the management of the firm to cultivate the ability to add contract staff needed over time. The vast amount of qualified contract staff available to sub–contract for us, will allow us to grow our business at a faster rate of growth than would be normally expected.
Most sub–contractors just want to make a little additional income on a part–time basis. On average these contractors can make $10,000–$20,000 per year from us.
With the start up of FBEyes, each partner invested $10,000 for a total of $30,000; this was to cover the following:
Some or most of these expenses were paid for by the partners prior to the opening of FBEyes. That being said, the strength of the company is in great start–up shape. No debt and no cash flow pressures on the partners personally or for the company, will allow the partners to grow the company in a stress free situation.