Every business needs to conduct research in order to stay competitive. Whether it’s market research, information about your competitors, or specific market knowledge about your location, taking the time to know everything you can about your industry gives your business an edge. However, like all business tasks, good research requires time, skills, and staffing. OfficeAssistant.com offers professional research services to help your business excel. Contact us today if you’re considering outsourcing your research tasks. Otherwise, read on for our tips in maximizing the internet’s researching capabilities.
Choose authoritative sources.
We hate to disillusion you, but just because you read it on the web doesn’t guarantee something is true. For example, if you read a “fact” on a blog or Wikipedia, double, triple, quadruple check its veracity. Sites ending in .gov or .edu tend to be more reliable.
Know what you’re researching and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by pop-ups and ads that, thanks to modern logistics, are specifically targeted to grab and keep your attention. And whatever you do, don’t fall down the social media rabbit hole while you’re supposed to be researching. (Unless you’re using social media sites for research.)
Keep track of where you got the information.
It’s all too easy to paste your internet research into a Word document and lose track of what data came from where. Instead, copy each URL and the date you accessed it. If you want to be really thorough, take a screenshot, too.
Notice the date.
Sometimes the internet seems like the eternal present. Google a term and you pull up results that might be from 2003, six months ago, or last Tuesday, all displayed together. Recent is usually better, especially if you’re in a field that changes rapidly. While dates aren’t always identified, scour the page for the year the information was uploaded. Always try to use current information.
Give credit where credit is due.
Not only is it illegal and immoral to steal people’s photos or graphs or plagiarize their content, it does a disservice to your reader or customer, and to yourself. When you cite the reliable sources that supplied your information, it makes you look more credible. If you want to use a photo or infographic, contact the site and request permission.
A Little Help, Please
As you can see, internet research takes time, skills and diligence. If your staff is already tasked to the hilt, consider outsourcing your research to OfficeAssistant.com. One of our virtual assistants can do the research for you, giving you the power to make fast, efficient marketing and sales decisions. Sound good? Call us today.