Performing a Business Analysis

A business analysis is a detailed description of a business; identifying problems and working out solutions. It may also include suggestions about process solution, organizational change, strategic planning, and developments in policy.

It is not just talk or speculation. The analysis includes aspects of systems engineering. It usually involves extensive data collection, documentation, analysis, establishing validity, critiquing software and making adjustments to meet systems requirements. A true business analysis can not be taken lightly. If it is done well, it might identify conflicts or inadequacies at the heart of your business, and may suggest radical solutions that can stave off business disaster.

There are several well-known forms of business analysis. These are three important ones.

MOST analysis (standing for Mission, Objectives, Strategy and Tactics):

This is a simple framework for analyzing or planning the details of what an organization does. It helps to frame questions about the organization’s long-range mission, short-term objectives, the strategies employed to reach long-range goals, and the tactics that support the strategies. The analysis goes systematically from the organization’s mission in idealistic broad terms, to details about short-term tactics.

SWOT analysis (standing for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats):

This is a popular form of business analysis that closely examines the company in terms of its advantages and resources, its weaknesses and competitive disadvantages, the opportunities around the company which may not have been exploited, and the threats around it that could harm the it in competition with others.

CATWOE (standing for Customers, Actors, Transformation Processes, World View, Owner, Environmental Constraints):

This is an analytic technique for identifying the effect of any proposed solutions on the people affected by it. It assesses impacts on the different stake holders or influences in the community.

Every business analyst has his or her favorite technique. The important thing is that the analysis be objective and data be collected in a way that really informs.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your small business profitably, please check out our website

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