When it comes to market research, there are times you may want to do it yourself and times when you might want to outsource. In some cases, market research can take a lot of time away from you doing your core business. This is especially true if you have a very small business without a huge marketing department.
Should You Outsource?
To determine if you should outsource, consider these questions.
- Do You Have the Time? – If it’s just you, chances are you simply do not have the time to both earn money and conduct market research. If you’re in the start-up stage and haven’t started taking on clients, then you’ll need to determine if you have the time to really do it.
- What Is Your Budget? – Can you come up with the budget to pay someone to conduct market research for you? The cost will vary depending on whether you hire a marketing firm, or if you hire a virtual assistant to simply do the tasks you assign.
- What Are Your Goals? – If you’re not sure of your goals, then you may need to take out time to determine what they are before you conduct or have someone else conduct the research. Knowing the goals of the research will help the person conducting it set up the right process for collecting data.
Questions to Ask If You Outsource
When you choose someone else to do your research, who isn’t directed by you but rather a full service firm, you want to ask these questions.
- Does the Firm Have Experience in Your Industry? - It can be tempting to hire any firm to do your research but the truth is, you need to hire someone who is in your own industry and who understands your industry. If you hire someone who has no idea about your industry, they may do it wrong.
- How Much Control Do You Need? - Whether you can stomach hiring out your market research will depend a lot on your personality. Some people need a lot of control. In that case you may want to design the research yourself and then hire helpers to just carry out your direction.
- What Contacts Do You Have? - It’s imperative to establish contacts in your field that you can go to for help when you want to conduct market research. You can interview them, or you can get information from them about a firm or person to hire to help you conduct market research.
- Is Your Business Stuck? - If you’ve tried in the past to conduct research on your own, but your results have not improved your profit margin, then it might be time to bring in the big guns. Once you have a better idea of what is possible via the market research that the experts conduct, you’ll know whether your business goals are even possible in the first place.
The important thing is to do market research. Whether you do it yourself or you hire someone to do it for you, just get it done. Do it right, and do it without preconceived notions. The best market research will actually change your mind about what works and what doesn’t work in your business, so that you can make major changes that get results.