5 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Economic Consultant
Economic consultants, who typically work at economic consulting firms (although some work on a freelance basis), can make a significant difference in how smoothly your business runs and even how successful it becomes. They can assess strengths and weaknesses, identify areas of improvement, and are often called in as experts for complex litigation matters.
With so much on the line, from helping your organization generate more revenue to potentially helping to get you out of a sticky legal situation, it’s important to do your research, taking time to find the very best economic consultant for your needs.
According to IBISWorld, the scientific and economic consulting industry is a 41.9 billion dollar industry as of 2021, which means you’ll probably have plenty to choose from. This isn’t something that should be based on a quick Google search, picking the first name that comes up in your city.
By asking these five questions when making your decision, you’ll have much better odds of picking the best consultant for the job.
While everyone has to start somewhere, it’s important that the economic consultant you choose has experience dealing with the particular issues you need resolved. That means you’ll want to ask about the situations they’ve handled previously and what the outcomes were.
You might ask each individual you interview to share an experience in which their ability to consider the benefits and/or costs of a potential action helped them choose the action that was the most appropriate. This can help you gauge whether their practice and expertise is aligned with your needs.
Specific industry experience can be important too. Has the consultant worked in your industry and known key industry players?
It’s essential to ask the consultant what his or her special area of expertise is. Most specialize in particular tasks – does it match what you’re looking for them to do for you? Has the consultant done similar work for other organizations? If you find a consultant that has the specific area of expertise you want, it’s likely to result in a higher quality of work.
Economic consulting usually requires extensive research. Find out what the consultant’s research capabilities are when it comes to analyzing statistical information. If necessary, can they effectively conduct focus groups or surveys? Does he or she have connections in the industry?
Ask for samples of the consultant’s work such as reports and other materials the individual has developed for other clients. Ideally, they should relate to the focus of work you need completed.
References are a valuable tool for selecting the best consultant. Ask for at least two references and try to do some digging to check with clients who aren’t listed as references too. The time spent contacting them is likely to be well worth the investment.
You’ll want to ask what the clients did for each reference/client and whether or not they were satisfied with the work. If not, find out why.
It’s also important that the work they did for the reference/client is the same or similar to the work you want the consultant to do for you.