There are several things to think of or do yourself before even seriously contemplating hiring a researcher to assist you with your research.
- organize what you already have–completely. A professional researcher will need to know what you have an organize if for you if you have not already done that–so they can see what you’ve already done and what you know. They will charge you for that time. You may even realize when organizing your information that you still have things you can do yourself.
- ask others for help. It may be that someone on a message board, Facebook group, etc. can give you the suggestions you need to jump start your work. Keep in mind that some problems require serious study, in depth work, or access to records that are only located in one place–that may require some professional help.
- write up your problem–that makes it easy to see gaps in your work. This is another approach that may indicate there are still things you can do yourself to solve your problem.
In some cases your research may still benefit from a professional researcher. But they will be better able to utilize their time (and your money) if you’ve worked out as much as you can on your first.