Since the roles of nearly everyone in a startup company tend to be rather blurred, it’s hard for many people to make a good case for hiring a business analyst the moment you open your doors. Countless new businesses actually hold off on advertising these openings until they’ve established themselves.
While it might look like this is a good way to save money, it’s actually an even better way to leave a company without a solid foundation! This is one of the errors often made by entrepreneurs, and the longer you ignore this, the bigger could potential damage get.
There’s no reason that your startup should flounder.
Bringing a business analyst (BA) aboard the team right away is a good idea
because they’re professional problem solvers.
Discovering Your Business Needs
A majority of startup managers probably think that they know
everything there is to know about what their business needs. Naturally, these
people have a good handle on things because they were the ones who started the
company to begin with. However, future requirements are surprisingly difficult
One of the first things people who’ve applied for a business analyst certification learn is how to predict needs even when they’re not initially apparent. Some pundits have criticized the field and suggested that they do this through some sort of esoteric process that’s not reproducible. The truth, however, is the exact opposite. By examining dozens of case studies, a skilled BA can predict financial and human needs of a firm to a high degree of accuracy. If you have someone on your team with these skills, then you should have a fairly good picture of the future even if economic conditions aren’t always certain.
Prognostication isn’t just confined to your firm’s needs,
Dealing with the Competition
Even if a startup company doesn’t have any direct
competitors, they’d still have to deal with indirect competition from other
things that people could spend their money on. This is true even if your firm focuses
exclusively on B2B transactions. Your team might offer a product or service
that nobody else does, but if your clients aren’t convinced it’s a priority to
have they might not be able to buy it.
Someone with BA skills can quickly identify even the most
obtuse sources of indirect competition and warn the rest of your team that they
need to get ready to deal with these. Marketing experts aren’t always sure of
why a certain product isn’t selling right away. Your BA staffer can use the
same skills they used to identify problems in your own organization to spot
those outside of it.
Startups generally have very few resources and few
well-defined processes. As a result, the advice that BA staffers give can be
that much more poignant since your team can react on it right away. There’s
nothing holding you back. Your competitors, however, more than likely have
years of experience and they probably don’t want to do anything that’s outside
of what they’re used to.
In addition, they bring a number of other skills to the
table as well.
Project Management & Beyond
Startups generally ask a great deal from those who work for them. This is why gaining employment from a new company can be simultaneously exciting and potentially scary. However, BA staffers often find it rewarding since they have the opportunity to completely shape the future business practices of a growing company.
Someone in this role might end up managing projects long before someone with their level of experience would have been allowed to do so in a more established firm. They might need to conduct a product-to-market fit analysis one day and a cybersecurity study the next.
Companies that don’t have someone who can bring these skills to the table will end up suffering. That’s why some people have argued that the cost of hiring business leaders really shouldn’t really count as a cost so much as an investment.
Project and workflow management is nearly impossible for
those who don’t have preexisting established practices, so bringing someone
aboard who knows quite a bit about these practices can save a huge amount of
money over the course of a few years.
Bringing in New Talent
Fortunately, there’s a way that startup companies can
actually reduce the cost of hiring BA personnel while still attracting full
professionals to their offices. New personnel who’ve just gained their
certifications are highly trained and have a great deal of knowledge, but since
they lack experience they might have some difficulty bursting out in the field.
Startups that need BA talent could hire new professionals. They’re made for
each other in a way, since both are trying to find their way in the often
unstable world of business.
About Author: Chris Fraser
Chris has served as a business advisor to a big list of small and micro businesses; localized businesses and social enterprise in particular. Chris is also an avid reader and loves to stay updated about latest tech and innovation.