Small business owners need information to make informed decisions about the future of their company. Being ignorant of the latest industry news and trends puts you at a huge competitive disadvantage compared with your rivals. Similarly, failure to invest enough time researching new business leads could spell disaster if current sources of revenue dry up. Even though research is essential, many business owners do not invest the necessary time simply because they do not have the time. Running a business is often a 50+ hour a week commitment; who has the energy to then hours surfing the internet, trade newsletters or industry magazines?
Let a Virtual Research Assistant Do It For You!
Lacking time to conduct enough research has an easy solution: hire a virtual research assistant. All you will have to do is tell this person what information you want to know, and they find out and report back. It is that easy! This will benefit your business in several ways. The virtual assistant research specialist we refer to you will be an expert researcher, able to find information quickly, interpret it, and compile a report. This is a great person to have on your team because it makes you more efficient. The time that you would have had to spend researching you can spend growing your business.
Tasks a Virtual Research Assistant Can Complete
Many different types of research are needed to provide enough information to ensure the future of your business, and your virtual assistant will be experts in all of them. Because of that task outsourcing is a great way to go. These tasks might include:
- Industry Trends and News. It is essential know your industry inside and out, and be the first to adopt new technological advancements or other innovations. Otherwise it’s likely you are going to lose market share to competitors. The simple truth is that your company does not exist in a vacuum. There are more than just you and your employees deciding the fate of your business, but also all the customers, clients, and suppliers connected to your business, as well other variables, like the cost of supplies and raw materials. To properly prepare for the future, you need to be an expert in all of these things so you can recognize patterns or trends that hint at something about to happen.
- Investigate New Business Opportunities. Complacency is a dangerous thing for a business owner to be, as your fortunes can change quite quickly. If you become too comfortable in your revenue streams and then one of those streams happens to disappear, you will caught having to scramble to make up the difference. You can avoid this situation by being proactive and having your freelancer periodically look into new business opportunities so you can diversify your revenue stream as much as possible.
- Understand the Competition. Established businesses with a solid customer base and reputation will almost always beat new businesses. This is why research them is essential, as it allows you to understand competitors’ weaknesses, and then exploit them as much as possible. You must approach this with the belief that your competitors are also researching your weaknesses with the aim of exploiting them, as they almost definitely are.
- Find New Customers. One of the easiest ways to increase revenue is to find new customers. However, the first step in finding new customers is to understand your current customers as much as possible so you understand what is working and what is not working. Your virtual research assistant can break down your customers into smaller groups that are easier to understand like:
- Demographics – Study of a population based on sex, race, age, income, education level, etc.
- Psychographics – Study of attitudes, interests, personality, values and lifestyles
- Ethnographics – Systematic study of people and cultures
- Buying habits – Study of why consumers purchase certain products and services, and how and where they do so
Find out how a social media virtual assistant can help you to handle your business!
Once your virtual assistant helps you understand all you can about your existing customers, this person can help you use that information to develop new target audiences. Each new potential market may have different key features, messages and benefits that are particularly important. Each market will also likely have different needs. A successful business owner will recognize these needs and make it clear to customers how they can help.