What does an economist do?

An economist is a problem solver.

An economist aims to improve business performance and, ultimately, a business’s profitability by looking at:

  • how to get the ‘best’ results for a business;
  • how to be more efficient;
  • how to improve performance;
  • and how to do ‘better’;
  • — because doing ‘better’ leads to achieving the best outcome for your business.

Improving efficiency is often an incremental process. It happens little by little – one change is made, then another, and another, so a series of small steps add up to bigger steps which improve the overall operational efficiency.

An economist looks at how you can get the maximum output, or best result, from the resources and options available to improve profitability.

How to get the best bang for your buck!

Why should I use an economist?

The short answer: to improve the performance and profitability of your business.

An economist is an industry specialist who can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business with an experienced and objective eye. An economist can interpret the data to formulate strategies and recommendations to optimise the performance of your business and improve your bottom line.

Doesn’t my accountant already do that for me?

Perhaps… but not necessarily.
Most businesses use their accountant to keep their books and do their tax. An accountant looks back at what has happened in a business and works out the annual profit before preparing a tax return.

An accountant typically does not ask what could be done differently to improve the outcome, except perhaps as it might affect the tax position.
Economists ask forward-looking questions.

Rather than just reporting on what has happened in the business over the past financial year, an economist takes the accountant’s data to the next step and asks: how can we improve this business? What options are there for doing better? How can we improve on the present performance?

From there, an economist can develop strategies and recommendations to help improve the performance and profitability of your business.

But I don’t have any options! I am already doing the best I can with what I have. I have no more flexibility

Are you sure? Everyone has options, often many more than they realise.

An economist looks at a business and seeks out those options – all of them – to see which ones will work best in the business. They’re another pair of eyes to take a cold, hard, objective look at your business to suggest ways to make it ‘better’.

Often all it takes to improve business performance is an opportunity to talk about the business with an outside observer for the available options to become clearer. Once the options are identified, the choices can be narrowed down and implemented. The key is asking the ‘right’ questions; then the answers are often obvious.

Economists help ask the ‘right’ questions.