Does your business need a virtual research assistant? If you’re serious about growing your profits and getting ahead of the competition, you may want to consider the option.
In an information-driven global economy, data is an incredibly valuable business asset . If you have access to good data, you’ll always have an advantage. “Knowledge is power”, says the old proverb, but more accurately, knowledge applied correctly is even more powerful. Accurately interpreted data enables you to accomplish several vital business functions:
- Strategic planning. By identifying trends and patterns, you get a good sense of where your business is performing best. As well as where problems are surfacing, and how to compensate for marketplace fluctuations.
- Market research.You’ll want to stay abreast of industry trends and customer responses to your product or service. It’s also useful to know what your competitors are doing.
- Streamlining operations. Good data also gives you insight into the performance and efficiency of various departments or key team members. This enables you to help them function optimally.
Of course, a virtual research assistant can help with other types of research as well. From researching and reporting on potential vacation spots to finding the best domain name for your new website. Because there’s almost no limit to what good research can deliver.
Measure It, Manage It
As an entrepreneur or business owner, you’ll know how frustrating and tiresome it can be to do even basic research. Collating information is one of those tasks that almost always takes a lot longer than you think it will.
Then, once you’ve accumulated all the necessary data, there’s the issue of turning it into information that is actually useful. Graphs, comparisons, interpretations, impact assessments… this step can take hours, even days, of your precious time.
That said, you also know that without an accurate and consistent flow of information, it’s almost impossible to manage a business. Or even make an informed decision about where to hold that end-of-year bash for your team members. Access to good data is as important to your business as keeping good financial records as well as up-to-date customer information. Even if you’re not a business owner – maybe an author who needs someone to do research on their behalf – A virtual research assistant can save you hundreds of hours. Because it means you don’t have to of sift through reams of information.
The Versatility and Value of a Virtual Research Assistant
Good research involves more than just the ability to collect information. A skilled researcher will evaluate and select data points as well as facts that are relevant and useful. And they’ll do it according to your needs and instructions. This is more than just expertise in a single field: it’s a meta-skill that enables a research assistant to identify and target the most valuable information regardless of industry.
Take a moment to think about the many ways in which research can be conducted:
- General information or data gathering: this includes raw statistics, evaluations and analyses, measurements of sales, outputs, or performances, and so much more.
- Comparison reports: this could encompass anything from gathering data in order to choose a supplier or vendor, to product or service or pricing comparisons.
- Market research: this includes functions like compiling data on customers, competitors, preferences, new trends or products, obtaining feedback, and more.
- Quality or feasibility assessments: this is inwardly focused market research that helps you plan better for business growth or longer-term success.
Of course, there’s much more than that, but even a cursory glance at the range of possibilities tells you just how much work and focus good research requires.
What Makes a Virtual Research Assistant so Efficient?
You could choose to do all your research yourself. But, as a business owner, it’s probably not the best use of your time. And it makes sense to outsource a function like research to someone who’s not only familiar with the requirements and processes, but who’s also trained in being as productive as possible . And so this will maximize results for their clients.
A skilled virtual research assistant will have a system and structure designed to seek out and gather information. Because they wont waste time or resources:
Raw Information Gathering
A research assistant will use different methods to gather information for you:
- Web-based surveys
- Mailer surveys
- Keyword-based internet searches
- Initiating conversations with customers, key personnel, and even competitors where appropriate
- Collating topic-specific information from reviews, forums, and other feedback sites
Compiling and Sorting Relevant Information
The next step is to turn raw data into practical, easily understandable information:
- Creating summaries or reports
- Designing graphs or infographics
- Compiling spreadsheets
- Making lists of options or alternatives
Here, a virtual research assistant will be able to apply knowledge and experience in order to:
- Distinguish between objective information (facts) and subjective information (opinions, reviews, survey trends, etc.)
- Sifting through information and ensuring that it’s relevant to your specific needs and requirements
- Inferring or attaching meaning to different sets of information so that categories are created in line with your priorities
Who Needs a Virtual Research Assistant?
Although this all sounds like it could be a complex or technical process, it’s adaptable to any business or individual’s needs. Because you get to decide what you want and how you want it. Our clients include:
- Attorneys and law firms
- IT and tech companies
- Marketing and sales organizations
- Real estate brokers and agencies
- Accountants and finance sector companies
- Medical, social, and historical researchers
- SEO companies and content creators
To put it simply, most every industry uses some kind of research process to function well. And a virtual research assistant is one of the most cost-effective ways of outsourcing a job that would otherwise consume your valuable time and resources.
Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Research Assistant
Even if your business requires someone to do constant research, it may not make sense to hire a full time employee for this. Why not?
- Odds are you’ll need to train a fulltime employee into the position – and that takes time.
- You’ll need to cover the expenses of office space and equipment.
- You’ll need to deal with additional costs like insurance, a 401(k), and more.
- A Human Resources function is necessary: policies and procedures, performance reviews, salary increments, vacation time, and sick leave, and more.
- Taxation on income becomes your responsibility, along with all the admin that entails.
- A salaried employee is essentially being paid for their time – and they know it.
A virtual research assistant:
- Is already experienced and will need minimal or no training.
- Does not need office space, furniture, or equipment.
- Does not incur any extraneous costs.
- Requires zero HR involvement.
- Pays their own taxes and attends to other regulatory issues.
- Focuses on results and performance
Best of all, you can hire a virtual research assistant for as few or as many hours as your situation and budget requires. And flexibility, experience, and efficiency make for a great fit.
So, for your research needs, there’s only one truly smart choice.
Book a discovery call today and find out how a virtual research assistant can benefit your business, save you time and money, and give you the results you’re looking for.