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Calling all Research Small Businesses and Freelancers!


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Are you a one-wo/man band or a small ensemble of instruments, and proud of it?

“The one-man band exists, in all its uniqueness and independence, as a most elusive yet persistent musical tradition. As a category of musicianship it transcends cultural and geographic boundaries, spans stylistic limits, and defies conventional notions of technique and instrumentation. Defined simply as a single musician playing more than one instrument at the same time, it is an ensemble limited only by the mechanical capabilities and imaginative inventiveness of its creator…” (Retrieved at http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/barrick.htm)

SAMRA has created the RESEARCH FREELANCERS/SMALL BUSINESSES INTEREST GROUP as a forum where very small research suppliers (including so-called freelance researchers) can interact for the purpose of networking, business building, ideas sharing and learning. The very small research suppliers (i.e. 1 to 5 permanent employees for the purpose of this forum) form an integral part of the research community in South Africa and the world over. Not unlike our musical counterparts, we are running our own businesses, most of the time alone, and we are required to assume multiple roles at any given time.

For the most part, we do not have the luxury of someone in reception to answer our phone/s, a personal assistant, various departments for components of the research process, etc. and in many cases our offices are wherever our clients meet with us. We do not feel quite at home with SAMRA Corporate (it seems a bit cheeky to refer to ourselves as “Corporate”) and we face challenges that those working in larger companies have never experienced and have no inclination of. Unlike larger company employees, we know what life is like when you are the owner… general manager… marketer… sales representative… bookkeeper… financial manager… human resource manager and payroll administrator… operations and logistics manager… procurement manager… project manager… project administrator… (Senior, mid-level and junior) account manager/executive… data collector… data analyst… report writer… cook and cleaner… all at the same time.

The purpose of this forum is to:

  • Share business/project work/resources (e.g. joint ventures, competing with large companies)
  • Share ideas/Learning/Training/Development (e.g. new methodologies, de-stressing, quality management, codes of best practise etc.)
  • Network
  • Discuss business (i.e. regarding work in general, trends in the industry, people’s views and experiences with regard to the effectiveness of various forms of publicity, mixing project management and business management efficiently, supplier information, etc.)
  • Provide support/motivation
  • Have more of a say in the industry

To join the forum, you need to sign up with Facebook. It does not cost anything to join – go to www.facebook.com, join by signing up, and then search for “SAMRA Special Interest Group: Research Freelancers/Small Businesses”. SAMRA will then check that you qualify for membership of this group, and then your group membership will be activated. SAMRA members and non-members may join this forum.

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