#55: Competitive Analysis for Private Investigation Agencies

Many private investigation small business owners (like me) want to know how they can improve their business or at the very least have an advantage over the competition.  If you are a small business owner you are typically only going to be worried about the competition in your city or state.  It’s not to say that nationwide investigation companies won’t be a concern but in most cases your main competition will be the small business owner.

So where am I going with all of this?

Well first of all don’t let the word Competitive Analysis intimidate you.  Conducting a competitive analysis is much like what you should be doing already. You should be investigating and analyzing the competition or environment that you would like to run your business in.

In this new technologically advanced age it is much easier to determine services companies are offering. All you really have to do is go to a company’s website to see if they compete with you. The first thing you would do is see if they are targeting the same clients that you are targeting.  If they are not targeting your clients, then they are not your competition.  You can then move on to the next company to see if they are targeting the potential clients you are targeting.

You will find that some companies directly compete with the services that you provide and others will only be competing with a few of your services.  Also you will want to be on the lookout for companies that may be your competition in the near future.  They might not be your competition at the moment but they are hungry and they might be looking to expand their market or services into your territory.

Website Comparisons

I would probably look at is the design of their website compared to yours.  Does it look professional?  Are their numerous pages or options to choose from?  Do they have videos on their website?  What other options do they provide on their website that you do not (customer login to see the progression of their cases, newsletter, coupons, etc..)?  If they have additional options you may want to determine whether you need those options and if those options would be a good addition to your website or business.


I receive emails consistently from readers as to what they should be charging for services.  I can provide a ball park figure from my experiences but I may be way under or way over for the area you are doing business in.  If you belong to a private investigation association I would ask those in your association (assuming you are all working in the same state) what the going rate for certain services are.  For potential competitors that don’t belong to your association you can always try and find their pricing on their website or simply call them and ask for their rates. I wouldn’t however tell them you are a private investigation business owner as you will likely have problems getting their rates.

What are they Offering?

After doing a bit of competitive analysis you may find opportunities to sell other services that you may not have thought of.  I know that after seeing a friend’s company website (who is not a competitor) it inspired me to want to make a video because of the awesome video that they had posted on their website.  They also had an option for potential clients to subscribe to their company newsletter which a thought was a great idea as it would give me an opportunity to reach out to anyone that subscribed without feeling as if I was intruding when emailing them.


Keep an eye out for where the local competition is advertising.  You may find advertisements on Facebook or Google Advertisements.  When I look at the Private Investigator Advice website I see my local competition advertising on Google Adwords.  I don’t know if they are getting any work from the advertisement but it lets me know they are marketing and going after whatever clients are out there.


I hope this helps you in your business.  Analyzing your competition is one of the best ways to be relevant in your area and find additional ideas to help your company grow and flourish.

Until next time, take care and be safe!



  1. Agreed on all points.

    Google pagerank
    Advertising on sites like Manta, MerchantCircle, other free sites.
    Facebook, Twitter presence
    Yellow Pages Premium Placement in a major city
    Cold calling (or walking into businesses. Specifically insurance and lawyers)
    Word of mouth
    Website that looks clean and professional, cut above the rest of your competition

    That is what I have done so far.. Some work better than others. I’m still working on My google ranking. Its the one that that is incredibly hard to do.

  2. Hi,

    Really have not read through this site but from the caption, I think I would need to relate with you. I am operating a Private Investigations company in Cameroon (Central Africa) and some other selected parts of Africa.

    I will be happy to get your assistance in this regard.

    Many thanks

  3. I’m a Private Investigator in South African and need contact outside South Africa