What Do You Need to Start a Business Analysis Practice?
If you’ve been considering starting your own business analysis practice, you need to know the must haves for getting started — completely from scratch.
These are 5 things every business analysis practice needs to succeed.
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You need proof that you understand a client’s business and can employ methods of analysis. This can be developed with a degree or certification, but certification is often preferred. Fantastically, you can become a certified business analyst in as low as 8 weeks — depending on the course and where you choose to become certified.
However, the short time frame will pack a large amount of information. You need to be ready to work hard, absorb plenty, and be ready to pass the final exam.
Hands-on experience is crucial to developing your own business analysis practice. How else will people decide to use your expertise? You know that in business results speak volumes. Which means you need to have results to show to potential interested stakeholders.
You can help friends with companies. You could also freelance to build up a portfolio and client base. You could create customer case studies: they highlight the problem a customer had and how you solved it.
And don’t forget about testimonials as social proof for a job well done.
3. Decide if you’d like to niche down
This is a personal decision, but after you’ve gotten your feet wet as a business analyst, you may decide to choose a specific industry to help. It could be IT startups or restaurants in the area. Really, it can be any industry you’ve had previous experience.
Why would you choose to do this?
If you’ve been an accountant for ten years, you understand what and how communication is broken down within the industry. And you probably have at least one connection in the world of accounting. Which means you have an ‘in’ for this industry as a business analyst.
And this translates into hands-on experience, meaning you can command even higher rates for said experience at your business analysis practice.
You don’t have to choose an industry or niche down. But if you do, there are benefits like networking, connections, and previous developed knowledge.
4. A network
You may have networked strongly in college. You may have networked in a previous industry before becoming a business analyst. Or maybe you haven’t networked at all and have absolutely no idea where to start.
You need a network because it makes building the practice easier. A network of people are potential clients or people who can pass your name to clients. These can be old colleagues, co-workers, past bosses, friends, or family.
If you feel you have no one to turn towards, go online. Use networking sites like LinkedIn. Chat to companies on forums. Join groups of your target client. And offer advice to build a reputation as a strong business analyst.
5. Have a thorough process
When you work with stakeholders, many documents will move between your hands and theirs. You need these documents to follow a template, otherwise the information and how it’s presented can become a mess.
Confusion won’t help a business analysis practice survive.
Which is why you need templates for every documentation and process. Especially if you decide to hire other business analysts when your business analysis practice grows. If everyone handles documentation in their own unique way, your branding and messaging may be lost to the receiver.
Keep processes simple and easy to follow, always.