Improve function through business analysis
How well or unwell your business functions depends largely on your skill or un-skill with the process known as business analysis. Before you can improve function through business analysis, you need to understand what it is. Business analysis is the process by which a new product becomes ready for its maiden voyage. Different products, as every good businessperson knows, require different marketing techniques. Different products require sometimes wildly differing marketing plans. Different products mean, among other things, differences in sales (due to factors like expense, function, etc.), differences in advertising costs, differences in advertising venues, differences in profits, and so on.
This may seem like a very elementary point to make. It seems obvious that you wouldn't try to sell a toaster in exactly the same way you'd try to sell a pair of running shoes. The overall goal is the same, of course-to sell lots of toasters and running shoes-but your actual methods for achieving that goal differ importantly from one product to another. In other words, the overall goal in selling a product is to sell the product, but just how you go about doing it requires great subtly, skill, time, and preparation.
Now, it would seem almost as if business analysis was a separate thing from the day to day activities of the company. Business analysis is a special thing, only the best of the best need apply, and it sort of hovers over the more mundane aspects of business and business life. This is true, in some ways; the fellow coming up with a marketing plan for your new product is going to have a more extensive, specialized education than the fellow pasting up flyers for it. But business analysis should be able to improve the functioning of your company overall. That is, business analysis should be so integrated into the day to day affairs of your company that its special energy influences everything else.
For example, the difficult, sweaty process of coming up with a new marketing plan for a new product should improve how older marketing plans function as well. It's all too easy to overlook the old, tried-and-true functions of a company, as if once something's up and running it doesn't need to be tweaked now and then for optimal performance and, if you're lucky and work hard, for higher ceilings of performance altogether. Let's say that you've come up with this product, a superb shampoo that not only cleans hair until it shines like a precious metal, it makes hair as strong as metal without losing any of its soft luxuriance. Plus, it's good for the environment, plus, it effectively slows or stops altogether the balding process, plus, it tastes like strawberries and is an important source of vitamins A and C, plus, it contains a natural stimulant that's healthier than coffee and lasts exactly as long as you need it to.
Now, obviously you've got a pretty great product on your hands and as soon as everyone hears about it they'll be clamoring for it in record numbers. But the experienced businessperson knows that businesses aren't built on great products alone. That's where business analysis comes in. How are you going to make the public aware of your wonderful product? The fact that it sounds too good to be true works against you. Should you start slow, that is, should you mention only a few of its attractive benefits at first or should you drop everything at once with a bang? Where will you advertise your shampoo, given that it's got multiple benefits? It would fit equally well under hair care products, snacks, energy drinks, and men's special needs. But you'd look ridiculous advertising shampoo in all those places. Etc.
Business analysis answers these questions, and should, in the process, answer other, older questions as well. Business analysis should improve the overall function of a company by teaching you new techniques for success that can be applied to more areas than single product allows. Business analysis improves function by providing a single, simple area of focus, which, as time goes on, proves to be of value to many other areas as well.