Help Resources

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How should I choose research services to offer?

As you think about what type of research to offer, ask yourself these three questions:

What is my experience and expertise?

The research that you offer though Genlighten should reflect your strengths. When you accept a request from a client, you should be able to follow through efficiently, with confidence. Offer research in records for localities that you know.

What repositories can I access?

For fixed-fee document retrieval, it’s best to live or work close to the repository that holds the records. It keeps your travel costs down which allows you to charge a competitive price. It also helps you offer quick turnaround, something that many clients value. For hourly research covering more complex research projects, it may be feasible for you to travel longer distances.

What value can I add?

  • Clients are more likely to engage your research services if you offer something that saves them time, money, and/or frustration.
  • Can you provide records quicker than someone can get them by mail?
  • Can you save clients money by doing research in person?
  • Are you able to provide better-quality images—color scans rather than photocopies, for example—than clients might otherwise be able to get?
  • Can you read and/or translate records written in hard-to-read handwriting in a language other than English?
  • Has your experience working with local records given you ideas for search strategies that others might not have?

If you can answer yes to questions like these, then you can add value.

Once you’ve evaluated your research strengths, determined which repositories you can access conveniently, and considered the unique value that you can add, you’re ready to set up your Genlighten store and create research offerings. Check out our other articles for help with the next steps.