Writing a Business Report: A Step by Step Guide 2022

How to Write a Business Report | A Step by Step Guide

The image describes the steps for writing a business report.

 

Writing a business report involves the meticulous process of understanding the components and elements that are intrinsic to a business. A business report is an incisive assessment of diverse issues in a particular organization. No matter what business you are involved in, writing business reports is a requisite skill. You should become proficient in creating reports for that particular business. 

 

It helps to bolster your existing talents. Moreover, it assists you to gain increased goodwill as a writer. You prove your mettle in creating complex reports with the utmost efficiency.

 

Business Report Writing involves the analysis and estimation of the performance of the business along with other factors. This includes developments, changes, situations, issues, challenges. Also, wins, and operations of the business. They constitute the fundamental aspects of running a business organization. Gauging, and evaluating these factors, and then collating them is what comprises a business report.

 

The one thing constant in a business report is the element of disseminating facts with the uttermost clarity. These facts include the analysis of the findings and research. It also means, providing plausible advice on particular challenges, and initiatives.

 

Characteristics of a business report

 

  • Clarity

Clarity is the most important attribute of a business report. Invariably, business report writing involves working with a lot of data. You should be clear on these various aspects when you write. Create different sections of text and delineate all points clearly. Use bold and capital letters when necessary to avoid any confusion.

 

Organize your article wisely. Use the inverted pyramid method. Explain the points that are most important in the beginning. Gradually move to the lesser important elements.

 

  • Transparency

Transparency is key to the dissemination of information of any kind. This is all the more essential for business reports because you need to provide honest figures relating to the financial status and position of the organization.

 

It will help to build trust in the long run. There is faith that builds tenable brands that sustain the immense competition in the business world.

 

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  • Brevity

The concerned parties especially in business report writing, will not want to read long-winded sentences. Brevity is one of the most important features of business report writing.

 

Brevity also emphasizes the importance of relevance. You should never move away from the focal point of your topic. Do not indulge in unnecessary rhetoric. Keep it short, succinct, and simple.

 

  • Accuracy

Why is accuracy given so much importance? It is because accuracy is the basis on which you provide transparent information to the world at large.

 

And transparency is the most essential factor for your reputation as a business organization. Logical and factual competence is paramount to successful business report writing. You want to exact the benefits of your brand. Then, you have to develop it by providing a veracious account of your business operations to your management and consumers.

 

  • Well formatted

It should be remembered that well-formatted, precise information is the key to success. Suppose your report is very well written. Unless it is well-formatted and grammatical and other errors are done away with, you will not be able to create an impact on the target readers.

 

Formatting a business report can seem like a challenging task. Starting from bullets, numbering to spacing, and font, everything has to be taken care of. But, a good report writing ability proves our worth at your work. And that can be very rewarding.

 

  • Research

Anybody who writes content knows the importance of research. Business report writing is no exception. You have to carry out research diligently to provide the best information to your target readers. Assiduous distribution of information is only possible when you research the topics very well.

 

Invest time in reading about your organization, its competition, and its complementary businesses. Become familiar with the terms, glossary used in your particular industry.

 

You have to possess a clear idea about the concepts ideas components of your industry. Then only, you will be able to create an incisive report.

 

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Things to Consider While Planning a Business Report

 

The utility of a business report is manifold. It helps an organization to effectively convey and communicate important news and developments. It helps people to understand how a business organization is performing. Also, what measures can be taken to rectify the mistakes, if any.

 

You have to first outline the contents of your report. This ensures that you do not veer off from the main points and stick to the relevant components. Determine the objectives of writing your report before proceeding with the practical part of writing it.

 

Consider who you are writing for carefully. This will define the way you will create your report and the things you have to incorporate in that copy. Your audience might be your shareholders, the management, employees, workers, or your consumers. Cut down on fluff and incorporate what is essential to creating that report.

 

Types of Business Reports

 

  • Research Report

A research report depicts the results obtained from a particular study. It provides in-depth knowledge through analysis and interpretation.

 

You gather information on particular topics and/or subjects. It can be your market position, product perception, budget research among others. Your paper should be backed with facts and evidence. You should be able to cite everything you have proposed in the report. It can have actionable strategies at the end depicting the measures to be taken.

 

  • Investigative report

In this type of report, you can delineate in detail how you carried out an investigative report on a particular situation. Talk about the problem and the various challenges that are coming in the way.

 

Then, you proceed to provide a feasible solution to the problem and summarise the report with facts and results of that investigation. An investigative report can also help you take preemptive measures against a specific problem and make changes when necessary.

 

  • Recommendation Report

A recommendation report, as the name suggests helps you to put forth a particular idea or opinion. Whatever you propose has to be bolstered with enough facts, and evidence to be taken into consideration.

 

How the proposal can benefit the business would be of prime importance. You have to justify any measures you advise to the management. Prepare a report to educate and convince the target reader, in this case, the management. If your idea has merit, they will consider the idea.

 

  • Informational Report

An informational report provides data and information on something. Whether it is a complementary business you want to work or your employees’ data reports. They are objective writeups that provide information based on facts.

 

Information reports are sometimes created for in-house business activities. It is to analyze and understand the responsibilities, roles, and job profiles of employees.

 

  • Analytical report

An analytical report helps a business organization to take a judicious decision regarding the future of a business. It analyzes the risks of taking up new business initiatives.

 

They provide exhaustive details on the company’s performance and standing. It also helps to gauge whether a certain idea has potential. Also, if it has positive and negative consequences in the long run.

 

  • Explanatory Report

Explanatory reports surmise the findings of the research report for the concerned people to comprehend it better. Sometimes a Research report can be filled with technical terms relevant to the industry.

 

In this case, it becomes difficult for people from non-technical backgrounds to evaluate and assess the results. This is where explanatory planet reports come into play. The complex elements are broken down into simpler components and disseminated to the people to understand.

 

  • Annual Business Report

This is a mandatory business report that every company has to provide to its shareholders. It depicts the activities that were taken by the business in a year. This business report annually helps to determine the position of the business, the financial aspects, and the operational situations.

 

An annual business report is replete with analysis by the management and the financial department. It helps to have an overall view of how to run the businesses in the future. It also helps to determine the Goodwill it enjoys.

 

The balance sheet is the most significant part of an annual report that helps to understand the monetary aspect. Based on that report, you can decide on the steps to be taken for increased ROI. A business report also includes an income statement that depicts the profits and losses for the company.

 

  • Progress or Periodic report

A progress report helps to understand how much development has happened for a certain period of time. It also gives you a clear idea of how to bring in positive changes to increase return on investment with less cost of acquisition.

 

A monthly or weekly evaluation discusses the strengths and weaknesses in a particular timeframe. They can help to comprehend the activities of the business better. It also helps to assess your position and helps to wisely chart out the path for future progress.

 

Mostly, progress reports cater to a particular department in a business and are not extensive research on the overall aspects of the organization. It also helps in providing reports on the products and services. Then they can be updated by the organization for improved reputation and quality.

 

Now, let’s look at how you can create a perfect business report. it will have all the characteristics that make business reports valuable. Steps and Structure of Writing a Business Report are as follows: 

 

  1. Plan Your Report Well From Beforehand

A business report is essentially an extensive analysis for the assessment of a particular situation. It requires you to have a clear mind to be able to write coherently.

 

Keep all the vital pieces of information in one place. You can refer to those notes when you sit to write the report.

 

Also as reiterated time and again, research and compilation of data are very important for any kind of business report writing. Do not use too much jargon.

 

  1. Choose a format aligning with your company

Every organization has a unique characteristic. In the same way, they might have an active format in place for writing business reports. You should be well versed in the different formats that are adopted by your business organization.

 

Create your topic based on that format. This will help in giving it a clear appearance. Your copy will be crisp and succinct.

 

  1. Cover letters (Optional)

Suppose you want to communicate information to people who are not directly involved with the daily business activities. You can send a cover letter with your business report.

 

The letter is a summary of the purpose of the business report. It also mentions the objectives of distributing the reports to the concerned people.

 

The cover letter mentions the company, the address, and the reasons for writing the letter. It generally asks to contact for any clarification and or query. The cover letter is also meant to acknowledge any assistance provided and to thank the concerned person for the same.

 

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  1. Title Page

The title page includes the name of the creator, the dates, and the title of the business report. It is concise and generally clears any confusion about the contents of a topic. The title page is your first step to communicating pertinent information to your target readers.

 

  1. Table of Contents

Next comes the table of contents. It is basically a summary of the topics that are covered. You include the page number for the reader’s benefit. When your report is broken down into chapters, mention the title of the chapters in the table of contents.

 

  1. Summary

A summary works as a preface to your business report. It provides a synopsis of the complex topics covered. It has a professional, formal tone to it. Readers can have a fair idea of what to expect from the business report.  A Summary is not a mandatory aspect of a business report which is why they are omitted in a lot of cases.

 

  1. Introduction

The introduction is similar to the first paragraph of any article. It should be compelling enough to invoke curiosity and appeal. It should propel the readers to go through the business report. The introduction helps to grasp the attention of your target reader.

 

Therefore, mention the topic of your report in your introduction. As a rule, never write anything that is not fact-based. Use compelling, powerful trigger words to make an impact. However, refrain from using overly ornamental language.

 

  1. Background

This is the time when you provide a background for the topic. It is a reflection on the past and why you have taken up this particular subject matter to explore in the business report.

 

It provides your reader with clarity on past issues that align with your present report. The background also helps to understand the operations of the business better.

 

Background information might include details on the inception of the organization. Other mentions might be about employees, their journey with the company, the turnover among others.

 

  1. Findings

The body of your report should be well organized with specific points. It is where you mention all the important points. It is best to use bullet points to strengthen the clarity issue of your copy. The findings include data, statistics, surveys, observations that are consequential to the purpose of creating the report.

 

This is the key to all the important decisions that can be taken. A lot of your success is dependent on this section of your business report.

 

The findings can be a challenge and an issue that has surfaced. It can also be something that the business anticipates might happen.

 

  1. Conclusion

This is where you draw your conclusion based on studies and findings. You can also provide your own interpretation based on whatever data you have acquired. For more clarity, try to provide answers to the queries, and confusion that you have mentioned in the report.

 

  1. Recommendations

The conclusion generally deals with solutions to the problems mentioned in the report. However, you can have a recommendation section where you propose actionable strategies and tips to counter the problems.

 

This recommendation should be to the point. Brevity is appreciated in business reports. You should mention your objectives and propose measures to correct the wrongs and change the weaknesses into strengths.

 

  1. Bibliography

Bibliographies should have all the sources that you have gleaned from your information. The bibliography can be sources you have consulted with and not directly cited.

 

However, You should be able to provide a source for every data that you have incorporated. All the materials should be neatly explained in your business report thereby eliminating any chances of ambiguity.

 

  1. References

References are very similar to the bibliography. The only difference is that references are directly cited in your business report. It can include quotes or other materials used. Case studies and materials that you have directly put into the copy are references.

 

  1. Appendices

Appendices are different from references and bibliography. They are not a compulsory part of your business report writing.

 

But they lend credibility to your analysis and research when you put them in your report copy. They are generally complicated mathematical calculations, drawings, charts, data, etc.

 

Since they are elaborate data and calculations, they are generally put at the end of the reports. This prevents readers from losing interest. The reference numbers for such information are provided in the main content, in consonance with the relevant numbers in the appendices pages.

 

They also include a glossary, footnotes, and interview transcripts when necessary. They are generally the last contents of a business report.

 

  1. Formatting and Reviewing properly

Formatting

This is one of the most vital aspects of creating a business report. It can make a business report great success.

 

When you are creating a copy, it is okay to have a conversational tone of writing. That is the essence of copywriting. However, in the case of formal, professional content like Business reports, you have to keep certain pertinent points in mind. 

 

While formatting, ensure that the first letter of all your headings and subheadings are capital letters followed by small letters.

 

Firstly do not use redundant words. Secondly, avoid You’re”, “it’s”, “should’ve”. Write You are, It is, Should have. That proves that you are professional. Also, it cultivates the faith that you can do justice in writing business reports.

 

Check for grammar, typos, punctuations, spelling errors, thoroughly. Use numbering, and bullets, and a combination of both. . Use ample white space in between paragraphs and sections of your business report.

 

Too many paragraphs together can overwhelm the reader. Make sure that your font is big enough and clear for your readers. A paragraph should contain no more than 100 – 120 words carefully formatted and spaced.

 

Write short paragraphs, use headings and subheadings delineating the topic. 

 

Business reports do not always have to be only text. In fact, it can get monotonous if one has to go through pages and pages of words only. Therefore, you can incorporate infographics, images, graphs, charts to strengthen the allure of your business report. Communicating points with tables can convey the information more clearly.

 

When you are writing a report on technical aspects for technical staff you can use jargon. It doesn’t interfere with the readability aspect of the particular target reader.

 

However, when you are presenting that same report to the management that comprises people from finance and other backgrounds you will have to make changes. Edit the report to align with the preferences of the target reader. Simplify your sentences in that case. Create a clear copy that is easy to comprehend.

 

Conclusion

So here you have the essentials of business report writing. Following this can help you in the entire process of formulating your business report.

 

You can maximize the planning implementation, execution by following these steps as efficiently as you can. There is no place for illogical sentences and unnecessary liberties in the case of writing a business report.

 

It is formal content that deals with important issues. They should be handled seriously. They are meant to inform and educate the focus group as accurately, and precisely as you can.

 

One very important point is to revise your report a few times before submitting it. We are accustomed to our own way of writing. Therefore feedback from a friend, a colleague, can come to great use.

 

They will be able to provide you with advice if there is something off about your report. An honest opinion will always help you find your mistakes and rectify them before presenting them to the final reader.

 

 

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