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 to predict.
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.
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Prognostication isn’t just confined to your firm’s needs, however.
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.