Many growing businesses are keen to find a second opinion on how to meet their upcoming challenges. At the same time, freelancing can be a rewarding way to make money, giving you control over your schedule, profits, and clients.

Find out how to combine the two, and learn how to become a freelance business analyst in this article. We’ll outline key tasks you’ll need to complete as you get started, how to find work and build your business effectively. Discover:

  • What you’ll need to get started
  • How to find work and market your services
  • How to grow your business effectively

As a future business analyst and advisor, you’ll likely have some familiarity with accounting needs, but do you know how to save time from the time-consuming parts? Learn more about running your new freelance analyst enterprise efficiently below with Countingup.

What you’ll need to get started

Before you start liaising with clients, you should take the following steps to establish your business and protect yourself.

How to register your new business legally

New businesses have two routes to legally set up their business; opting to become a sole trader or a limited company. While both types of businesses allow you to keep and reinvest your profits, there are key differences in running each business.

In general, being a sole trader offers you flexibility, but it comes at the cost of higher liability on your personal finances. For this reason, some businesses choose to become a limited company instead, to enjoy more legal protection (despite the slight additional paperwork). Learn more about your options in setting up your business in our article How to set up your business: Sole trader or limited company.

Qualifications you may need

As you’re looking to become a business analyst, do you need any qualifications? In particular, should they focus on the business or analytics part?

Business analytics is something of an open term. Some business analysts may look at technical problems in operations or technology infrastructure (especially for service or online businesses, for example), while others may focus more on supply chain management, financial health, recruitment, or growth development.

Because of this, you may wish to secure a more generalised qualification in business (such as an MBA or business management) to give you a solid overview of common business challenges you may come across. However, you may already have some form of qualification that you could develop further, helping you undertake more varied client projects as you start freelancing.

You may also wish to join professional societies like The Chartered Institute for IT or The International Institute of Business Analysis so clients can see you’re trustworthy and knowledgeable.

How to protect your business’ reputation

Although your title may be ‘Business Analyst’, you’ll also likely be advising clients on how to solve problems within their business.

Because of this, you may want to take out a professional indemnity insurance policy. In short, it helps protect your business if your advice causes your clients to lose money (whether by unforeseen circumstances or accidental negligence).  

To bring five-star Trustpilot-rated cover to small businesses like yours, we’ve partnered with insurance provider, Superscript. Click here to get an indemnity insurance quote in minutes.

How to find work and market your services

Now you’re set up and legally protected, you’ll need to begin to find work. Unlike traditional jobs, however, freelancers need to take a slightly different approach. Find out how below.

Online, social media, and word of mouth marketing

Social media and word of mouth marketing can be a great way to find work by showing off your abilities and gaining valuable referrals. Platforms like LinkedIn are particularly useful since they offer a more professional environment for businesses to connect with specialists internationally and can blend the two methods in one.

Similarly, having a website to link to can help you appear more professional and help your customers find information about your rates, testimonials, and how to book with you. Find out more in our articles How to use social media for business and How to create a business website and start successfully marketing your business.

Freelancing platforms

Freelancers specifically benefit from platforms like Upwork or Fiverr that enjoy millions of visitors each month. Both are well-established websites that offer spaces for freelancers and those who want to hire them a place to connect directly.

By creating a profile and listing details about your services and rates, you’ll appear in thousands of client searches a month – helping you appear in front of your target market easily.

How to grow your business effectively

Find a niche you can specialise in

As previously mentioned, business analytics is a broad field, and you’ll need to offer focused and expert advice to avoid getting lost in the crowd. That’s why it’s essential to have a core niche of topics you’re most skilled in. Once you have this established, then you can begin to diversify.

Find out more in our article What is business development? and find your niche.

Have a clear operational plan

As a service business, plotting your every move is crucial if you’re to be efficient and effective as you run your business. When developing your workflow for delivering client projects and internal processes, read our guides below to make sure they’re best suited for your growth: 

Save time from routine business tasks

When you’re starting your own business, it’s important to keep your personal and business finances separate from day one – to save yourself from time-consuming admin headaches further down the line. 

When you sign up for a Countingup business current account, you’ll receive free accounting software with a range of time-saving tools. 

Simply log into the app to create and send invoices, get financial insights, and view live cash flow updates. Find out more here.