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Finding a High Quality Site Selection Consultant

You’ve decided to hire a site selection consultant to help with market analysis and important location-based decisions. But how do you go about finding the right consultancy for your company? To help, we decided to put together a checklist for choosing your analytics partner.

The key to hiring a location analysis firm is finding someone who can bring value to your customer data with innovative tools and a knowledgeable team that provides relevant, actionable insights. Here’s how to find the best match for your business:

Step 1: Review the consultancy’s client roster

Before engaging a new consultant, spend some time researching current clients. Are these companies growing? Posting gains? Going public? Be sure to ask for:

  • Current testimonials
  • Referrals
  • Recommendations

Past performance is a great indicator of future results!

Step 2: Ask about their process

You should always ask for a review of a market analysis or software systems so you can get a glimpse of the company’s process and tools. Before signing a contract, it’s important to get:

  • A timeline for implementation
  • Details on how solutions fit your needs
  • Information on how competitive accounts will be handled
  • The number of analysts who will be assigned to your account
  • What will happen if and when your current needs change

Step 3: Assess the questions they’re asking you.

Do they want to know anything about your company’s:

  • Current and past store performance?
  • Your expansion goals?
  • Your existing analytics process?

If they’re not asking these kinds of questions, it’s unlikely their solutions will be responsive to your needs. A good site selection consultant will seek to gain a deep understanding of your business goals so analysts can provide recommendations based on your specific needs.

Step 4: Watch for Danger Signs

Make sure any consultant you’re considering doesn’t raise any red flags—things you don’t want to hear in conversations and sales pitches. Danger signs include:

  • Use of buzzwords and jargon: A good analytics consultant should be able to translate industry terminology into a language you can easily understand
  • Lofty promises of quick turnaround: At a minimum, it takes several weeks to implement software, analyze your existing network and provide tailored recommendations
  • Unexplained closings, especially among retail clients: Closings should always be a strategic part of optimizing existing store networks
  • Sales estimates and models guaranteed within a certain percentage: It’s not possible to know specifics until the work has begun.

And, finally, consider how long the company’s been around. As big data becomes a big deal, more and more location analytics companies and “experts” are emerging on the scene. Be aware that a new firm may not have the knowledge base of a consultancy that’s been fine-tuning software and working with national brands for many years.

eSite AnalyticsFinding a High Quality Site Selection Consultant

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