Interestingly, I was recently asked if we ever did any work for businesses, which made me think that it was entirely possible and highly probable that most people think that private investigators are stuck in the mire of relationship problems, divorces and marital arguments. It made me quite sad to think that the general public still has a picture in their minds of Investigators skulking around corners, hiding behind walls, with the objective of obtaining that all elusive bedroom picture that would for sure provide conclusive proof of infidelity. Sadly that it not a typical case for us although it certainly would provide a certain titillation and excitement to the job.
I suppose that people’s impressions of what a private investigator does is formed from what they have seen on films and TV, which is not surprising really, but just as the trilby wearing, rain coated scruffy, quietly spoken detective who women, apparently, fall for every day of his life is outdated, so is the reality.
The modern investigator has to be bright and smart and is just as likely to be hiding behind a computer screen as hiding around a corner because today it is mostly about technology. All successful investigators are equipped with the latest technology available and appropriate for each case they handle.
Now back to the original question; do we ever undertake work for businesses and if so, what kind of work. Well it probably may surprise you to know that most of our work is undertaken for businesses and the reasons for that are many and varied, but let me explain our philosophy and that of companies who use our services on a regular basis.
I do not think anyone would disagree that a business’s main objective and difficulties are that of obtaining new business in order to keep the wheels of the company turning. No new business, no company. That seems simple (or not).
The second objective of any business is to break even or, using that much despised word make a profit. Now for most companies that means not spending more than they take in from sales. (I apologise for this in-depth financial expert analysis and am happy to provide more gems like this for any substantial financial arrangement). Seriously, it is the basics like this that make business sense.
For most companies the largest item of expenditure is regarded as being on salaries and employing people. The second most expensive item of expenditure is normally on stock and raw materials, but at least on this you can have a reasonable expectation of added value. Unfortunately we are unable to do anything about your stock and raw materials other than buy your products with our miserable amount of disposable expenditure but WE CAN do something about your employment costs. These two words are very interesting. Was it President Obama who famously had them as his catch phrase during his election campaign? But don’t worry, WE CAN do better than him.
Let’s have a look at some of the economics and examples of cases we have undertaken for businesses:
Long term and frequent staff absence: Let’s not be so politically correct that we are afraid to admit this can be a problem and I am not saying that we should not feel sorry for the genuinely sick people but we know it goes on and you will know who the culprits are within your own company and we know from our case load that it is seriously going on. Let’s say that someone has been off work for six months, it does not matter if you are paying them or the state is paying them to you it is six months of a missing member of staff, you would not have employed them if you had not needed them. If that person’s salary was £15,000 or £30,000 a year that is an awful lot of money that is effectively coming off the bottom line of your company accounts, you may as well burn your money. Look at it another way. How much business do you need to get in order to make, say £20,000 profit, do the maths and it will frighten you.
Consider other consequences such as your other staff, don’t they get very miffed and upset that they have to cover for the attitude of the missing person? You may have to advertise to obtain some temporary or even full time staff, how much does that cost? Could you also be missing orders or deadlines, how much could that cost and not least, what about the routines and orderliness of your office/workshop that is vital for effectiveness.
Drivers/sales staff/tradesmen/etc: One of the largest waste of time and therefore money is wasted time/none productive time of people who work away from your base. It is estimated that 25/30% of their time is not, shall we say, used effectively. If we equate that to the annual salary of, say, four drivers or sales people each earning £20,000 a year (total £80,000, you can see I am good at maths!) that is a complete loss on profits of over £20,000. Again how much business do you need to do to put £20,000 back on the bottom line? Why not ensure they are working properly and just employ the three.
Theft: It is estimated that loss of stock and money is more than thirty times from employees than from outside theft. I do not believe there is an office, workshop or factory in the country that does not have this problem to a greater or lesser extent. It is not only the people who you feel you need to count your fingers after shaking hands with them that are a problem, often it is the silent one who seem to go about their business without fuss.
Intellectual property: Let’s say that someone is leaving your employment. It is almost expected that they will copy anything that may be helpful in their new job. In the old days they may have had to spend hours by a photocopy machine but not today. A quick insertion of a memory stick can do the job so easily. You know this goes on, how much will that cost your company.
Please do not think that it is all about your staff, we can assure you that you may have problems with your fellow Directors or Partners, now these are always interesting cases to investigate.
There you have just some of the ways you could and probably are losing money, there are many more. We have undertaken cases for designers who are having their designs copied, companies who wanted to stop rivals obtaining planning permission, espionage to determine what your competitors are doing, obtaining evidence to show your competitors are not trading legally and much, much more.
By now you will probably have decided to close your business down as it is losing so much money, don’t!! Think WE CAN do something about it, we can help you, just like many other business who have used private investigators to help their financial stability and profitability. For smaller companies it could mean the difference between survival or not.
From now on I hope you think of private investigators as a management tool, a help to profitability. A business for Businesses. By the way, if you do want a divorce, we will help with that too!!!Back to Blog