INTERMOUNTAIN PI | 3/31/2020 | 10 PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TOOLS FOR WORKING DURING CORONAVIRUS
Last week I talked about how to keep your private investigator business afloat during these difficult times. Today, let’s look at 10 private investigator tools for working during Coronavirus. In other words, 10 tools you can use to continue business safely and efficiently.
Years ago I was an infantry soldier in the 101st Airborne Division. As a soldier you learn the mission continues regardless of the weather or the time of day or night. The same applies to being a self-employed private investigator during the pandemic. With that in mind, consider these 10 private investigator tools for working during Coronavirus.
1. NITRILE GLOVES
First, Nitrile gloves can protect you from Coronavirus infection and cross contamination. They’re Latex-free. Many folks are allergic to Latex so latex gloves are not an option. You should already have a box in your surveillance vehicle for the occasional trash pull.
2. N95 FACE MASK
A N95 mask covers both your nose and mouth. The 95 means it filters out about 95% of harmful airborne particles larger than .3 microns. By the way, I’m not a medical professional nor am I dispensing medical advice. I’m not suggesting you continue face to face interviews. However, if you have to I want you to be safe. Although currently there are shortages of N95 face masks due to the Coronavirus.
3. MEDICAL SAFETY GLASSES
Speaking of airborne particles, if you interview someone wear medical safety glasses. They’ll protect your eyes from airborne droplets that may contain the infection. By the way, if you have to take a statement on a construction site you’ll need safety glasses as well as a hard had and safety vest. Otherwise you won’t be allowed on site. Just three more items that should be in your surveillance vehicle.
4. VIDEO CONFERENCINGS
If you can’t meet face to face but need to verify visually you’re speaking to the right person there are options. Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams and Zoho Meeting will do the trick. Furthermore, BlueJeans, Skype and LifeSize are also options. Each have their own features and price points.
6. FILE HOSTING APPLICATIONS
Do you have to share files with clients, employees or vendors during Coronavirus? If so, use a file hosting application. In fact, you may already be using Dropbox, Sync, Box or OneDrive. Of course, there are plenty of choices including pCloud, Google Drive and Zoho Docs. Each have their pros and cons. As a last resort you can always use an external hard drive or thumb drive and drop it in the mail.
7. eSIGNATURE MANAGEMENT PLATFORMS
Sometimes sharing a file is not enough. You may need to send documents that require a signature. If so, there are many eSignature management platforms. For example, DocuSign, Adobe E-Signatures, and HelloSign to name a few. I’ve used all three.
8. PROCESS CREDIT CARDS REMOTELY
Equally important is the ability to accept a customer’s credit card payment over the phone. Most of the big banks such as Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America can help. However, private investigation firms are not always approved for a credit card account. Therefore, consider Stripe, Square or Paypal. Additionally, most accounting platforms such as Freshbooks and Quickbooks accept credit cards.
9. REMOTE BOOKKEEPING
In the same fashion, you don’t even need to meet your accountant face to face. Most accounting software programs like Quickbooks will give your accountant remote access.
10. REMOTE COLLABORATION TOOLS
In terms of remote collaboration with other members of your team Google has you covered. Likewise, Microsoft Office, Trello and Jira will work. You can share documents, spreadsheets, video and just about anything else.
BONUS TOOL: WASH YOUR HANDS
Finally, wash your hands. With regards to working during Coronavirus, this is the most important tip of all. Hand sanitizer is great. However, soap and warm water is better.
In conclusion, you’re probably already using many of these tools. My private investigation business is about 99% paperless. So I’ve been using them to increase my efficiency. And save some trees.
Until next time, this is Private Investigator Scott Fulmer reminding you the game…is afoot
Scott Fulmer is a 30-year veteran private investigator, author, speaker and the principal at Intermountain PI, the leading private investigation firm throughout the Intermountain West. In addition, he is author of the acclaimed true crime memoir, Confessions of a Private Eye available on Amazon.
Furthermore, he is a member of PIAU and a decorated combat veteran of the Gulf War. Scott served with the famous 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels). Afterwards he earned a degree in criminal justice from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Scott lives somewhere in the Rocky Mountains near the Crossroads of the West in historic Salt Lake City. He is available to speak to your group or conference, as well as media appearances, book readings and signings. You may contact him at media@Intermountainpi.com.
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