A business report is basically a kind of report in which the writer analyzes a given situation and then use business theories to produce a broad of suggestions for purposes of improvements. The main purpose of a business report is to make relevant data to the public, such as information in regards to procedures, competition, or efficiency easily available to all in the company.
A business report would need to make such data easy for the reader to comprehend and later use. One of the best ways of doing that is to come up with clearly defined divisions with headings and labels.
As a business manager or consultant, you may also be required to write a business report. This is done when an aspect of the business must be analyzed in order to make such critical decisions as expansion, strategic alignment, performance issues and others.
While each business report is unique and may have additional sections, a good business report should be written to include some of these fairly standard sections. These sections, if exclusively included must either be maintained in the same order or slightly shifted, although the order remains standard.
A business report must be started with an executive summary. An executive summary can just be defined as Cliff’s Notes of any business report. Here is where the main points of the business shall all be summarized. These include points such as the data obtained, the report topic, the recommendations based on the data, as well as the methods of data analysis.
The executive summary of a business report enables a reader to have a complete brief of the content of the report. This section is often meant for busy business executives. It should not only grab the attention of the reader but principally summary the overarching points in an easy to understand manner and provoke interest in exploring the report.
While it is standard that the executive summary contains no extra information, it is now accepted that one includes in-text citations if the information in referring source build on or eases the comprehension of the contents of the report.
Depending on the length of the report, the executive summary can be as short as a paragraph or as long as three pages.
Whereas an executive summary appears first on a report, it is usually written once the main parts of the report have been written.
A table of contents is only included in a business report if the report is lengthy.
The table of contents is where the main topics that are covered in the report are all listed with the number of pages they begin. It is in the table of contents where all that information is included.
If the reader is looking for given information in the report, they would easily go to the page that covers it in the list of contents. That makes the report so easy to read.
The great news is that the table of content can be generated manually from the MS office’s word app.
To generate a table of content in MS word, follow the steps here
When it comes to writing the report, the writer must begin with an introduction. The introduction part is where the stage is set for what is to be included in the business report.
The business report introduction must start with an attention grabber, often, a general statement about the topic of discussing. This can be a statistics, a question that provokes contextual thought or a statement of the incumbent state of affairs about the issue that is conversed.
Technical business reports on the contrary only contain the structure of the report, the terms of reference and a guide on methodology.
Some great example of a technical business report introduction is:
This report presents information gained regarding the financial stability, liquidity, and profitability of Outdoor Equipment Ltd for the financial years 2015-2019. This report will particularly emphasize the organization’s credit and liquidity management, earning power, debt management, and inventory management. It will also highlight major The report will
The business report body is the most important part of the report. It is the gist of the report, more like the queen termite of the colony.
This section contains a brief description of the methods used to collect and analyse the data.
A greater percentage of the body is, however, the presentation of the findings and their discussion. These are ordered in systematic order often divided into headings and subheadings to help make the report not only easy to understand but also to show the depth of the findings and discussions.
The body is often written with the help of charts, relevant statistics, tables, figures and other visual presentation that can help present the data and analysis in a more comprehensible manner.
The particular organization and the content depend on the purpose, scope, and objectives. Overall, a logical, well-research and conclusive body are expected.
The body carries about 70-83% of the whole report.
The last part that will bring everything together is the conclusion. This is where the data described in the document’s body may be interpreted in an easy way. It also offers an explanation on the kind of conclusions to be drawn. In most cases, the conclusion offers a suggestion on how the data should be used to improve certain aspects of the business. It also assists in recommending the additional research. The writer is free to make any conclusion, but strictly based on the contents of the report.
If there are some other sources that have been used in writing the report, then they have to be included in the references. These might include reports such as the federal database. The section of the references lists the resources that are used to research and fetch the data used in the report.
References offer proof of the points and allow readers to review the original data sources just on their own.
The last part that a writer would like to include in a business report is the appendix. The appendix is, however, optional and may include extra technical information that is not really necessary to the information offered in the report’s body and conclusion. However, it supports the findings like pictures, charts, and other extra research not cited in the body but relevant to the discussion.
If the writer is not so sure on how to structure his/her report, then it would be good to carry out extensive research on the types of business reports in the market.
There are two main types of business reports; informational and analytical.
These types of business reports tend to give information and do not include any recommendations and analysis. Here are some of the examples of informational reports:
Business management reports include reports that are related to web traffic, labor expenses, or responses for customer satisfaction surveys.
Financial reports include balance sheets, cash flow statements, or the yearly financial reports that are needed for publicly traded organizations to enable stockholders to see how the company is moving on financially.
Improve processes or policies are periodical reports such as employee handbooks that give the employees guidelines and procedures to use in their organization.
Situational reports are generally written to a supervisor discussing the situation of business including what it was all about, how it was handled and how it affected the business.
Present research from a study is a report that generally summarizes a research study containing information on findings that are relevant to a business.
Compliance information reports are reports where an organization shows it is complying with the needed regulation, including those that relate to financial management.
Analysis can be defined as a process of reviewing and compiling information with the main aim of forming a conclusion, or explaining why something happened in the manner it happened. A small business owner would assign to his team members analysis responsibilities and create reports based on the analysis. The recommendations and conclusions of the reports are very vital tools in the decision-making process of the owner. Here are some of the examples of an analytical business report.
These types of business reports help the company owner to make decisions in regards to how the company’s resources should be allocated. These allocations include both human and financial.
Financial analysis reports are the kind of reports that show the variance of actual financial results to what had been forecast in the yearly business plan of the company. Here, the finance team will take the task of explaining the reasons for any kind of negative variance to enable the business owner to opt whether to take an action or just correct the issue.
These are very important tools, especially when it comes to the operations of long-range business development. the analyst that is involved in the preparation of such report checks for statistical trends like what the demographic groups are undergoing and other related factors. The main objective of this type of analysis is to identify growth opportunities the business could take advantage of, before the competitors do.
Businesses always try to improve their operational efficiency almost on a daily basis, and here is where operations business analysis assist in. they show how the company is operating efficiently. In addition to that, they recommend ways in which productivity can be increased in the future. The analyst involves in the whole process might even make a conclusion that the company should look for backup suppliers of the said items so that the necessary items will always be made available whenever they are required.
As noted earlier, business report writing is largely purpose driven. The only successful way of delivering purpose-driven material is through concise and concise writing. Here are the tips to follow in doing that:
Before you begin writing your business report, make sure you clearly define your purpose. It would be good to apply the strategies of investigative writing to have this done. You should be able to answer the following questions; who, what, where, when, why and how.
Explain how you intend to solve the issue that you are addressing and your main call to action. You should also explain how you want your readers to respond. You won’t be able to write a good business report before these are answered.
When you are writing a business report, your main focus should be in getting the point across fast without having to sacrifice a professional tone. You must be concise and clear. Do not overladen the text with dense language and don’t move away from the point you are making. Just use a simple language, while ensuring that you don’t bore people. Active sentences will keep your content engaging, and so use them.
Your business report should present a logical thought progression to make it so easy to read and the details understood. Make an outline for yourself that would assist you to create a clear structure that you would follow.
As usual, start with an introductory part and close it up with a concluding section. Draft a brief description for each title or topic in your outline to assist you in refreshing your thoughts.
Remember that the format of a document is part of how it is presented. If your company has a preferred formatting skill, then you should just adhere to that. At times such arrangements can assist organize the flow and structure of your ideas.
Creating just what you want to say is very minimal when it comes to writing a report. Most of the work relies on proper editing and proofreading. Once you have completed writing your report, it would be time to cut all things that don’t serve the purpose of the content. Make sure you reread writing, ideally after every edit that you make. That would be better if it’s done loud, as it would be much easier to notice the mistakes when you can hear them.
Take a break from your report and return after an hour, or even several hours. This will enable you to see the report with fresh eyes and possibly a new thing you did not see earlier. Bur most importantly, it would be great to edit, proofread and repeat the process again.
When you follow these tips to the latter, you will get an inspiring nudge to the direction you should take with your writing. It will make you write a business report that excels and sells.