By Mike Schentrup

In 2015, I made the decision to start my own law enforcement training business. I really had no idea how this business would work, just that I loved training and inspiring law enforcement officers and I wanted to expand my reach beyond my agency and the local police academy. I’m writing this to help any colleagues wanting to chase this dream. Below are the things I have learned over the last 4 years.

To begin with, have a plan. What is your training company going to do? Are you going to work alone or do you plan to work with others? In the field of training, most of the folks who work with you are normally considered “contract employees” for IRS purposes. But each state is different so be careful with taxes and such. Most of this stuff can be found on your state’s website.

Secondly, have focus. Your company should focus on what YOU know best. For me it was easy, investigation techniques and interview and interrogation. I also believe most training in this arena is dull, so my goal was to make it more interactive and fun. And I only was going to use active law enforcement practitioners. If you’re going to teach Interview and Interrogation, you should probably still be in the business. I think that’s important since things change in our profession all the time. Having folks on your team that are still working in their field DOES make a difference. I have stuck to this plan.

Mostly, bring VALUE to whoever hires you. Always exceed their expectations. And don’t under bid. Value the training you bring to the table. If your give a solid price, where you can make money, AND you bring value to your customers, they will return and bring others with them.

I wrote this blog because I want everyone to know…YOU can do this if you want. It’s not rocket science; however, it is hard work. But is it really “work” if this is what you want and what you love? Remember: hard work and patience is the key. Any money you make should be saved and reinvested. Build your company and build your brand. Over time, I guarantee good things will come.

More than anything else, if you do take on others to work with you, value them and try your hardest to make them even bigger than you!

I’ve been doing this for 4 years now and I am working harder than ever (plus I still have a full-time law enforcement career). But I love it. I have several other team members working with me. It’s been a blast. Am I going to get rich doing this, probably not. But that’s OK. I’m living the dream.

*** I have more specific information regarding the nuts-and-bolts of starting your LLC that’s I’d be glad to share with anyone. Direct message me on LinkedIn.