Let me begin with a brief history of licensing for PI’s here in Colorado. Last year a ‘voluntary’ licensing program went into effect in Colorado for Private Investigators / Private Detectives. If memory serves me correctly the cost was about $320 plus the fees for finger prints, CBI and FBI backgrounds so maybe a $350-$375 out of pocket cost depending on where you lived and other circumstances.
Those licenses expire on February 28, 2013 which brings us to the current situation. Originally DORA (Department of Regulatory Agencies) had anticipated around 175 licensed participants in the voluntary program. This is 175 out of an estimated 350 acting PI’s in the state of Colorado. The cost for the license was based on a fairly simple algorithm ‘cost to the state’ divided by ‘participants’ Now here we are with the end of the first year of licensing upon us and only 79 licensed private investigators to cover that entire cost.
Now I sit and ponder the licensing renewal decision for myself along with 78 other colleagues. As I close out last year’s business, I have found myself doing a little bit of investigating into my own business as well reviewing the benefits of possessing a Colorado PI License at the new cost now of $644.00. I thought some of this information may be of interest to others so I decided I would pass it along.
I saw a steady growth pattern in my business over 2012, with a slightly larger increase during Q4. When I dug into my Quickbooks I realized something that amazed me. While I knew that having the Colorado Private Investigators license did have a positive impact on my business I had never looked at the financial implications closely. For Q4 alone last year I can attest that over $4,000.00 in revenue was directly attributed to having a PI License. These are new clients, some from out of state, and all of these clients I would not have obtained had I not had my Colorado PI License. On a side note, as we all know, new clients come from either direct referral, our marketing habits or our direct sales efforts. In many cases I have received referrals from other licensed individuals, both in Colorado and out of state, from individuals that only refer licensed investigators.
This little investigation of mine was spurred on because I have received two assignments already this year where the discussion of a licensed investigator came up. In both cases I provided my E & O Insurance and my Colorado PI License and obtained the cases and obviously new clients as well. The results made me start wondering about some other items of fact with the licensing program so I dug a bit into the numbers for the currently registered licensees on DORA’s web site.
There currently are 79 registered license holders in Colorado. Of these 24% (TWENTY FOUR PERCENT) are out of state license holders. I believe all of these license holders are from a state where licensing is mandatory save one state, Wyoming. This begs the question, do they know something some of us may not? I doubt these folks are getting their Colorado license just for fun, I am pretty sure there are some beneficial business consequences to their decision.
Next, the $644.00 question, is it worth my money to retain my license at the increased price. Well, simply put I will have made that back already in two months with new assignments that I have received this year due to me being licensed. And even if I didn’t have those in the case files already it would be a safe bet that those other clients that sent me that $4,000.00 in work last year are going to need the services of a licensed PI this year too in Colorado.
Another fact figure for our consumption is the amount of currently registered licensees in Colorado with licenses set to expire 2/28/2014. When I look at that number the out of state figure is staggering. 42% (FORTY TWO PERCENT) of the Colorado Private Investigator licenses set to expire in one year are from out of state licensed PI’s. That means that those folks are positioned very well to take a huge chunk out of our market business because they are prepared and licensed.
Now, if that doesn’t give a PI here in Colorado something to think about I don’t know what will.
~ John L. Morris
A Northern Colorado, licensed and insured, Greeley Private Investigator
Call today for your 100% FREE Private Investigator Consultation (970) 658-3725
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