“Do what you do best and outsource the rest,” — Peter Drucker
From a marketing campaign to grant research, outsourcing can become the key to success. With the right approach, entrepreneurs, executives, professors, and team leaders can benefit from outsourcing their research tasks to improve their project’s outcome.
Research can take up a significant amount of time, keeping you from important money-making tasks. By hiring a virtual assistant, it’s possible to streamline your research while paying sufficient attention to the elements you are the best in.
Let’s take a look at 10 research tasks you can outsource to tweak your next project.
Research Tasks Entrepreneurs Can Outsource
Entrepreneurs are constantly pressed for time. They juggle numerous tasks to ensure smooth completion of all projects related to their business and beyond.
Research is one of the tedious and time-consuming activities, which they can outsource. However, it’s not always obvious which part of it can be delegated.
1. Industry News
To stay on top of your game, it’s imperative to catch up on the latest industry news. However, simply signing up for a couple of online resources doesn’t cut it. You need to do extensive research to identify the most reliable sources of information.
Once you do, it’s imperative to sort through the fluff to find valuable data that can be useful for your business. Reliable resources can change on a regular basis, making the research task even more complicated.
By outsourcing the industry news research, you can save up to two hours per day. You can ask the assistant to create a list of the most important news in the industry, so all the vital information is available on one page. This can help streamline your decision-making process during the day while leaving sufficient time for other tasks.
2. Market Research
Entrepreneurs are constantly trying to improve their business by introducing new products and services. Brainstorming for ideas is the toughest part of the process. Doing market research for each of them is easier but time-consuming.
Proper market research can show whether an idea is worth your time. In case you have several ideas, such research can take weeks. If the idea proves to be eligible for further development, spending time on research seems worthwhile. However, you may need to study dozens of them before finding the rare jewel.
That’s where outsourcing comes in. You can outsource market research to a virtual assistant (or a team) in order not to waste your time on ideas with low potential. The assistant will sift through statistics, books, and whitepapers to gather the necessary information while you focus on other tasks.
3. Investment Research
Entrepreneurs are always on the lookout to maximize their revenue. Many of them are considering investment opportunities. However, investment research can be complex and tedious. With the information changing by the hour, it’s tough to keep tabs on such research without abandoning other important tasks.
Investment research helps entrepreneurs make the right decisions about stocks, bonds, crowdfunding projects, and other assets. It reduces guesswork and allows business owners to improve their company’s bottom line.
Investment research involves extensive data collection for further analysis and reporting. Time is always of the essence because outdated information can result in a bad decision. That’s why outsourcing this type of research can help entrepreneurs save both time and money.
Investment research requires experience many entrepreneurs simply don’t have. That’s why they are always ready to delegate these tasks to achieve top results.
4. Talent Search
At some point in your business development, there comes a time to hire new employees. Unless you have a team of HR specialists working for your company, searching for the right candidates can be time-consuming.
Small business owners are especially conscious of their needs, trying to find an employee who can take on a variety of tasks instead of hiring several single-discipline experts. Such Jacks-of-all-trades are often tough to find. Spending time on talent search keeps your focus away from other important tasks.
A virtual assistant can do the initial search for you and present a list of the most suitable candidates. The initial research is the longest since it requires sifting through hundreds of resumes and doing superficial background research.
While the interview process is still your responsibility, outsourcing research can save you days of work.
Research Tasks Executives Can Outsource
Outsourcing can cut costs, improve the company’s focus, expand the talent pool, eliminate wasted time, and much more. That’s why top-notch executives try to outsource many secondary tasks like research to free up internal resources.
5. Advertising Research
Top-notch marketing is an integral part of modern business’ success. However, hiring a large marketing department is out of reach for many companies. To improve their marketing efforts, executives prefer to outsource some marketing research to virtual assistants.
Marketing research involves using different tactics to gather extensive information about the target market. This data is imperative for creating successful marketing and customer retention campaigns.
This type of research can involve studying segments of your target audience, creating and analyzing surveys, investigating customer behavior, and much more. This process provides marketing experts with vital information for building or adjusting their campaigns without spending weeks on repetitive manual research.
The goal of marketing research is to understand the target audience and its pain points to create ads that demonstrate efficient solutions.
6. Competitive Research
Executives tend to make important decisions based on what their competitors are doing. From marketing tactics and customer retention techniques to pricing methods and new technologies, competitive research is a vital activity that affects the company’s bottom line.
Some executives struggle with competitive research because they think it involves hiring industry experts who track competition and assess the competitive landscape. In reality, the process doesn’t have to be costly and complicated since a huge variety of valuable data is accessible through the internet.
Competitive research is an ongoing process. It doesn’t always yield quick results. By spending hours on such research, you are abandoning urgent tasks, thus reducing the company’s profitability.
A virtual assistant can develop a framework for making a competitive assessment, gather information on the key rivals, and provide sufficient information about their mistakes to help you adjust your offering.
7. Technology Research
With new technologies appearing on the market every day, staying on top of your game involves doing sufficient research. Using the latest technologies to improve the company’s operation is on each CEO’s agenda.
However, not all technologies are applicable to your business operation. Some can be out of your league while others require formidable expenses. Sifting through all the available options can be boring, time-consuming, and frustrating.
By outsourcing initial technology research to an assistant, you can make sure you never miss an important technological development. Whenever something suitable for your business appears on the market, you can have extensive information available for your decision-making process.
Virtual assistants can also help you research the necessary tools to improve your business operation. From billing software to anti-virus programs, it takes time to find the best one for your needs. Outsourcing such research is an impressive time-saver.
8. Presentation Research
Presentations are an important part of new product development for many executives. However, sifting through studies, statistics, and research to support these presentations can be extremely time-consuming.
The keys to creating an efficient presentation are speed, brevity, and clarity. Without the right amount of research, you may not achieve any of them. Meanwhile, spending days trying to find the right supporting information can result in downtime for your company.
By outsourcing presentation research to an assistant, executives can avoid long hours in front of the monitor trying to find reliable sources of information for their presentation. A top-notch assistant can provide all the necessary documents and resources to minimize the time you spend designing your next presentation.
Research Tasks Professors Can Outsource
While many professors would like to focus on research, they are usually busy with other tasks like teaching classes, supervising RAs and TAs, submitting grant proposals, doing administrative school work, and much more. That’s why they prefer to outsource various research tasks to research managers.
9. Grant Research
Researching grant opportunities can be a part of the professor’s job. However, when they are pressed for time, professors prefer to outsource these tasks to assistants.
Grant research doesn’t always require special skills. A person doing the initial search has to be good in general research. They need to know how to single out and apply the right keywords to discover viable grant opportunities.
The assistant also goes to each funder’s website (or contacts them directly) to check the specific application requirements and then prioritizes the list to help professors make their decisions. All the above may take hours of research that the professor simply doesn’t have.
10. Small Research Tasks
Since professors need to focus on a variety of tasks, the majority of which doesn’t have to do with research, they require outside assistance. Professors may outsource a number of manual research tasks to virtual assistants in order to cut the overall research time.
Any manual research task that takes hours to complete but doesn’t require extensive expertise can be outsourced. Not all professors realize that such outsourcing can improve the quality of their work while helping them juggle the rest of their academic responsibilities.
Outsourcing Research Tasks to Virtual Assistants
Research can often be time-consuming, tedious, and frustrating. However, achieving some of the most important business goals is impossible without it. By outsourcing research tasks to virtual assistants, you can gain valuable information for your decision-making process while focusing on what you do best.
If you are looking for the right candidates to outsource your research to, contact us today. At Zirtual, we focus on connecting our clients with the best professional VAs on the market.