What Is Business Analysis?
In simple terms, business analysis is the process of finding solutions to business problems through identifying and understanding information gained from various data sources.
All businesses are inundated with data – captured from landing pages and contact forms (like the POWR Form Builder), social media and customer feedback, financial information, product design and creation… the list is endless.
There are several methods of business analysis, including:
- SWOT analysis – Recognizing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for the business – a popular technique that has uses across all areas.
- MOST – This is a process for analysis that focuses on change, looking at Mission, Objective, Strategy and Tactics.
- PESTLE – Understanding the impact of external factors on a business is important, and this analysis method brings all the key information together: Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, Environmental.
These can often be completed in-house, but a dedicated business analyst will have other tools and methods to use that are designed specifically to help a business with decision-making insight.
This might include different ways to help businesses plan for growth, looking at increasing productivity, exploring new opportunities and predicting customer behavior.
Why Do Small Businesses Use Business Analysis?
Small businesses can use business analysis to help overcome various challenges, but perhaps one of the most important concerns of any small business owner is sustainable growth.
Through the right analysis, businesses can get insight to help with planning and strategy to increase operational efficiency. They can evaluate current processes and test new options to improve performance.
Good analysis is effective in assessing the perception of the business – are the customers seeing the business in the same way it is being advertised? If there is a product, are the quality controls effective?
Choosing the right tools to help your business get the data needed for this analysis is key. Proper analysis needs a consistent collection of information from visitors, and this can be as simple as a POWR Popup or through social proof from reviews.
How Can Business Analysis Benefit Small Businesses?
The basics of business analysis can be defined in the following ways:
- Examination of data – Business records, experiences of staff, suppliers and customers, resources, revenue
- Developing models – Current operation of the organization, corporate strategy, structure, IT architecture
- Financials – Marking revenue and expenditure, forecasting sales and demand, company profit and loss
- Customer focus – Does the company produce what the customer wants?
- Sharing information – Present details to management and stakeholders, ensuring action is taken
Understanding what customers are looking for, and what challenges they face that your small business can solve is one part of successful business analysis – but it can include several small changes that will make a big difference.
Getting a brand noticed might be part of the marketing arm of the business but making sure that customer perception matches what your business is saying will increase the traffic to your website.
Data is useful, but businesses can sometimes feel like they are drowning in it.
Good business analysis will collect only useful information from all possible sources to interrogate and extract what is needed to make the important business decision.
Data can be collected from several sources, from current, past and future consumers as well as financial details, processes, databases and technology.
Taking traffic and creating leads is one of the ways that analysis can help – figuring out the right procedure to use might be as simple as creating a mailing list, but without the data and modelling it could be a waste of time.
Increasing Conversion Rates
Increased leads are important – but not as important as converting them.
If lead conversion is the aim, then a CATWOE analysis (Customer, Actors, Transformation, World View, Owner and Environmental constraints) might offer the right insight.
This is an analysis of what the situation is, what the answer needs to be and what steps should be taken.
There are several other ways that you can increase conversion rates, and this list from HubSpot might give you some ideas.
How to Use Business Analysis to Grow Your Small Business
The factors that decide whether a business will be successful can be defined in the following ways:
- Financial resources
- Personnel resources
- Systems resources
- Business resources
Using analysis to focus on what can be improved in these parts of your business will help you make the right decisions when it comes to growth.
Change is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses, whether that is financial, digital, consumer or even regulatory, and even positive changes like growth will need careful management to be successful.
Who Can Undertake Business Analysis?
The tools and techniques for business analysis can be used directly by business owners. One of the key competencies for an entrepreneur is analytical thinking – so it should be within the capability of most owners or managers to complete business analysis tasks.
In some cases, analysis might also be completed by project managers. This can be perfectly appropriate in most cases, but if you are considering making drastic changes through analysis – like restructuring, using different technology or implementing new processes – then it might be more appropriate to employ an independent business analyst.
Using a specialist business analyst will make sure that there is a focal point – a named person who can provide support, information and expertise when needed.
Key Steps for Business Analysis
The business analyst will define the scope of the project, identifying the key players and developing relationships that allow for an outside (and therefore independent) view of the problem.
They will assess the normal way of doing things, creating process flows and diagrams.
They will provide a requirement analysis to assess the needs of stakeholders through interviews and user stories.
A business analyst will be familiar with use case modelling and will be able to create diagrammatic processes to outline the changes that need to be made, getting buy-in from management and team leaders.
Finding the right way to perform business analysis for your small business can make growth straightforward – as long as it is undertaken in the right way and using the right tools.
With the simple plugins available from Powr.io, small businesses can take simple steps to get the information that they need directly from their existing website.
With a plugin library designed to offer solutions for small businesses like yours, you can rely on POWR for functional simplicity – and a way to ensure that you can perform analysis on relevant data when it counts.