Writing effective business reports is critical to the success of any ambitious business. The key, however, is to capture your audience and ensure it is easy to follow. In order to make the next pile of reports a breeze, we’ve broken down the process of assembling an effective business report.
A business report is a written document that provides information and analysis to assist a particular business project or strategy. The main purpose of the report is to support the management with a decision-making process, while making the data easy for the reader to understand.
The best way to achieve this is to have clearly defined sections with labels and headings.
Given the nature of the report you are writing, you must start with an eye-catching title page, which details exactly what the report is about and who the author is. This immediately grabs the reader’s attention and gives them a clear overview of what is expected in the report.
This page is often considered one of the most important pages in the document. The executive summary is designed to give the reader a snapshot overview of the key points from the report.
The executive summary will also detail the key findings, recommendations or conclusions the report has discovered. In certain business reports, this enables the reader to cut straight to vital information should they be short of time or are looking for highlighted points. It therefore must be clear and precise, but also provide all the relevant information from the report itself.
A successful business report will also have a strong and informative introduction. The reader will be looking to understand the fundamental points that may have been raised prior to writing the document and what the report aims to set out.
Methodology and Findings
The main body of the report will contain two main sections – the first of these being the methodology and subsequent findings from the report. This section will set out the basis of the research and why the particular research method was chosen.
Once this has been set out, the author can highlight the key findings that have arisen from the report. A crucial tip here is not to provide too much written data that’s hard to follow. Break up the blocks of text by using graphs and tables to grab the reader's attention!
Conclusions and Recommendations
Once you have set out the methodology and findings, you will then need to detail the conclusions and recommendations you have determined from the report, and what the basis for these propositions are. Remember to keep this section fairly short for the reader.
References and Appendices
The final section of a successful business report will include details of all your reference points. These details should support your findings in your report and credit the original creator of that information. You may also wish to include appendices, which can include financial tables and charts to illustrate your findings or conclusions.
If you’re in need of more business advice, check out our contributions to Revolut’s Business 101 page: blog.revolut.com/tag/business-101/
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