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My partner and I started forensics services in the US (Pittsburgh Pa.) about a year ago. We do not come from law enforcement backgrounds but instead came from deep corporate IT backgrounds. We have been picking work up from two separate PI firms, one in NY and one in PA but to be honest I expected more steady work. I've tried doing some ads in legal papers in the area and have done a mass mailing to PI firms in the area but the response has been slim. I'm interested in other people's experiences in getting started, where your work comes from and where (if any) you do your advertising. I'm currently considering a mass mailing to small and mid sized businesses in the area to try and pick up data recovery work. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance

Phil Kossler
Electronic Data Recovery

Posted : 22/03/2005 6:57 pm
Senior Member

I'm in the process of starting up in computer forensics right now after working in law enforcement.

Personally, I don't think mail shots and ads in legal papers are the most effective way. I think its always a case of 'its who you know'; so to that end I think that the development and sustaining of networking (face-to-face contact) is the most effective method. I will also be looking at getting the local media to cover my company, the buidling of a strong website that ranks highly in the search engines and most importantly making sure my premises and working practices are the the best and most appropriate that they can be to ensure I can gain and retain clients.

But then again… what do I know?! I'm only starting out and I too would much appreciate the more established people here to provide any good/bad experiences.

Posted : 23/03/2005 4:29 pm
Senior Member

PI's can't give you the volume nor the price that you will need to sustain your business. As far as ad's go big firms already have established people that they use, rarely will they go to a trade mag to find a new forensic person.

Try offering things that other people don't offer.


Last minute travel
more interaction with the client
CLE's every year

One thing that is overlooked is the CLE aspect of this business. People can't just market themselves based on the fact they went to a few Encase schools, laws and technology is changing right before our eyes and the conferences, CLE's, and workshops will help you market yourself and meet others in the industry.

I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.

Best wishes,


Posted : 23/03/2005 8:08 pm