One of the biggest problems a small business faces is competing with big business. It is almost near impossible.  Let’s face it, they have more resources and have better access to collecting the right information. Most big businesses will have a team of researchers which will enable them to compile comprehensive industry reports.  It gives them an unfair advantage which most small businesses can’t compete with.

But does it have to be this way?

What if I told you that there are independent researchers out there who are willing and able to help you find the information your business needs, such as industry reports? Well it’s true, I am one.

Independent research not just for the High End of town

Rand Fishkin, in his recent Friday Whiteboard, highlighted the need to commission independent researchers in order to compete with the big players.

Sure, he was coming from a SEO perspective. However, there are many other reasons why you would could hire an independent researcher, these being:

  • Keeping ahead with trends in your industry,
  • Finding potential clients,
  • Determining who your competitors are,
  • Looking for suppliers,
  • Locating new markets,
  • Conducting market research for new service viability, and
  • Finding the answers to anything you wish to know to make your business grow.

There is a growing community of small businesses and freelancers who are engaging in helping other small businesses with their research needs.  So why not use them?

The case for Independent researchers

As a small business owner, you are well aware about the need for good reliable information. The tricky issue, is how do you go about getting that information?

There are two main ways you can either go inhouse or outsource.

Inhouse can be seen as a cheap option, but it is it really?  If you go inhouse, can you afford to keep a highly trained researcher?Sure, you can get your admin person to do it, but are they qualified to do the job? There is a bit more to it than just typing a few keywords in the Google search box and pressing enter. To do research thoroughly one needs to be on top their information evaluation skills.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, outsourcing your research is a great way to free up your business in order to do your business. Other reasons to use an Independent researcher are:

  • They are competitive: They are small operations usually one-person businesses which work from home. Therefore, their overheads are low compared to the big consulting firms.
  • They are flexible: They aren’t restricted to a “one way” of doing things. Most large consultancy firms have a preferred methodology and tend not to deviate from them. Sure, consistency can be seen as a good thing. But if your businesses does not fit in with their culture then you could be missing out of getting information tailored to your specific needs.
  • They can be there when you need them: The joy of outsourcing is that you can have qualified experts at your bec-and-call only when you need them.

So, if you are in the need to do get your hands on some industry reports, you should have a chat with your local friendly independent researcher.  Better still you can contact me by email and let’s see how I can help your business grow.

Michael Crook – Your Online Researcher

Online Research Matters

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