Something that has come up a few times in my self-employed career is the issue of when to start analysing a data set for a quantitative survey. Well it is obvious to me – when the data set is complete i.e. when all of the respondents have filled it in.
But there seems to be a couple of situations that arise which mess with this. Either:
- A client wanting / expecting me to ‘get started’ on analysing and reporting on a dataset before all of the responses are in.
- A client ‘discovering’ / ‘adding in’ a bunch of extra respondents after the survey has officially closed and the analysis has started.
This isn’t ideal from an analysis / reporting perspective. The thing is, running the analysis /reporting on the data set is quite a bit of effort, and you don’t want to have to do it twice.
Lately I’ve noticed people (well, those for whom research is not their full time job) using the brand name ‘Surveymonkey’ where previously they might just have used the word ‘survey’.
Instead of saying “I’m going to send out a survey” they say “I’m going to send out a Surveymonkey”.
- A laptop
- A notepad and pen
- A mobile phone
- A digital recorder and batteries
- A business debit card
And that’s all I need. No stock, no staff, no premises, no real assets. Just a little bag of stuff.
Another question that people ask me about my business all the time is whether I’m going to employ more staff. Fair enough, this is a reasonable question to ask me and an obvious way that I might grow my business.
As I’ve mentioned before in 2012 I took a business degree at Napier University, and one of the subjects we studied was “business growth issues”. Amongst other things I wrote an assignment on how this related to my own business, so yet again I thought you might be interested to read what I had to say on the matter.
“We think this project may require a less formal approach than you described.”
The freelance research market is competitive, and as such I am regularly knocked back. For me this is one of the hardest parts of the job, because it is hard for me not to take it personally as I’m a sole trader and I am the Ruthless Research brand. Nothing to hide behind. I set out my stall and hope my application will be the best one, more so that I will be the client’s favourite. Like me! Like me! Pick me! More often than not they don’t pick me. Ouch.