Business analysis – the science of researching business needs and solving business problems – has been a key process improvement tool for large enterprises for many years now. Having an external pair of eyes come in, examine existing business conditions and suggest improvements can make large, complex organisations far more efficient and profitable and help them to meet their goals.
Small and independent businesses, on the other hand, have been slow to get in on the act when it comes to business analysis. It’s easy for small business owners to see business analysis as unnecessary, complex and even a little intimidating.
However, business analysis can benefit businesses of all sizes, as these key arguments for business analysis in smaller organisations show. Ultimately, no matter how small or simple the organisation, there are always missed opportunities to be taken and efficiencies to be improved and sorting these issues out is a key goal of business analysts everywhere.
It Offers New Sources of Income
One of the main aim of the business analysis process is to work out where your organisation is missing a trick in terms of income generation. There’s no guarantee that an analyst will be able to find a metaphorical goldmine just waiting to be exploited by your business, but there’s almost always some opportunity out there that you haven’t yet spotted.
Of course, attempting to identify new sources of revenue is something that most businesses do from time to time anyway. However, a professional business analyst is likely to have experience in spotting subtler opportunities and contracting one will mean that your staff won’t have to be pulled away from their regular duties while the process is taking place.
Helps to Point Out Shortcomings in Business Processes
It’s easy for business owners to get too close to their work. Sometimes you need someone external to come in and give you an objective viewpoint on what is working and what isn’t, and who better to do so than a trained business analyst?
Business process improvement and remodelling is a key part of the business analyst’s toolkit, and can go a long way toward helping a business make better use of its existing resources. Whether it’s reworking your IT systems, helping you to target your advertising, or just looking at your existing office workflow, business analysis helps small businesses to make the most of what they have.
Help With Implementation
A good business analyst won’t just recommend and run. The business analysis process only ends when the analyst’s recommendations are fully implemented, with most analysts offering help and support to clients long after they’ve left site.
This is particularly relevant in a small business context, as most organisations of this size simply won’t have the experience or resource to spend a long time grappling with new IT systems and workflows. By helping a business to implement as well as innovate, a business analyst becomes even more of an asset to SMBs.
Upskill Your Existing Staff
There are many organisations out there that specialise in business analysis training as well as consultancy work. This provides an ideal opportunity for small businesses to upskill existing employees as well as improving their own internal processes.
Training employees in business analysis techniques helps you to create a team of people with analysis knowledge, letting you run a policy of more or less continuous business improvement and helping to prevent the organisation from getting stuck in a rut in the future. In addition, business communication and graphical representation course can help the staff in question pass on their experiences, creating a culture of business knowledge within your organisation.
Stuart Edge is a business owner and expert. He would recommend checking out http://www.viewpoint.co.za for further information on business analysis and training.