The steady shift from the academic to corporate world can always be scary! Of course, it would be the high time to apply all the learnt skills in a cut-throat corporate world. A world where you would be expected to quickly shift from dissertations and essays to complex business report writing tasks. The frequent submission of business reports is deemed necessary in almost all fields of work. These are the fact-based documents that are indeed used to make the most critical decisions at the most crucial junctures while running a business.
The utility of business reports for us could range from pitching an idea, pitching a merger, making the assessment of an idea, making the assessment of a merger, displaying, and forecasting the past and future data of a company. It is also meant for proving that the company complies with social and legal guidelines of business operations.
The core principle of frequently interacting with the students and young professionals through this platform is to help them prepare better with the changing demands of the industry. Getting a detailed understanding about business report writing is one of the prominent lessons that we expect them to hone to land a good management job. Here, we are going to discuss in detail not only the core aspects of business report writing but also the various types of business reports and the objective of writing them. We are also going to throw some light on the critical nature of business reports and how we can structure them in an impactful way.
By the end of this blog, it is well anticipated that you will become well familiar with the definition of business report, what are their most formal types, and their significance. Last but not the least, we will discuss in detail the steps and formats we must follow to write one in an impressive and impactful way. So, let us get into the details one by one below.
What Do We Understand by a Business Report?
In a brief sense, we can say that a business report is an official document containing information, research findings, statistical data, and any other form of existential information. The document is generally termed as confidential and only meant for a target set of audience to analyse the business operation goals of the past and prepare better for the present and the future.
A business report is always prepared as a formal document and carries accurate and to-the-point information. The art of good business report writing is all about conveying the information in a concise yet pristine manner. The prima-facie goal of business reports is to primarily keep them in use for internal communication within a company, an enterprise, or an organization.
The motto or objectivity is the major component of writing a business report. It should be based upon concrete information, well supported by evidence, data, and facts. It is worth to note that the business reports do not entertain perspectives and opinions. For instance, rather than mentioning that the sales in the last quarter were quite low, we must showcase the data in a tabular or graphical form.
The length of a report can vary from one page to several pages on the grounds of the objective and the type of the report. Which brings us to the second segment where we are going to learn about the most common types of business reports in an elaborative manner.
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The Types of Business Reports
While functioning upon various areas of business management, the students or professionals are expected to be well-versed in different forms of business report writing formats. It can be achieved either through personal level of writing or the business report writing services offered through difference agencies online. Of course, we cannot prepare a similar kind of report to evaluate the employee performance and the sales that happened in the last quarter, right?
The following are the most common types of business reports that we are frequently asked to prepare –
- Informational Reports: The preparation of one such report is ensured when our superior or supervisor asks for the data that is purely objective. Such reports carry the plain facts without any sort of reasoning or potential outcomes. For example, a workforce report stating the total number of employees within the company, their departments of work, their job descriptions, and responsibilities.
- Analytical Reports: As the name indicates, the utilisation of one such report is ensured when some sensitive company data must be analysed to make informed decisions. For example, the assessment of the sales drop that happened in the last financial year. One such report comprises of the sales numbers, comparing those numbers with the ones of earlier years, and finding out the reasons for the fall. Besides the data and the reasoning, the possible countermeasures by the company to resolve the existing problem.
- Research Reports: ‘Something big is coming up!’- we announce through a research report. The news could be about a potential merger, a potential acquisition or a new brand or product line. Whenever a big change takes place, there ought to be a comprehensive report studying all sorts of implications. For instance, in case a company wishes to launch a new product, all the components are evaluated in the research report, including the marketing communication strategy, target audience, advertising campaigns, etc.
- Explanatory Reports: These reports are utilised to explain an individual project to the whole team. Let us suppose that we have performed a research. Here, an explanatory report will present the facts, then list the findings, and subsequently determine the conclusion of the research. The report should be penned in a very concise, simple, and clear words. Indeed, such reports are mostly meant for the readers from the same industry, yet jargon are supposed to be avoided.
- Progress Reports: They are the reports of small size that are used to notify the updates within a company. How was the last week? How the sale for this quarter is coming along? What is the percentage change in terms of conversions in the last week or month? Such questions are usually answered in a progress report, and they do not carry analytics, but only information and changes. Progress reports are regarded as a fine medium for companies to track the work on a daily basis and they frequently pop-up with innovative ideas for growth and expansion.
Are you still not convinced? Find below four compelling reasons why business reports are critical to manage the efficient workflow within an organization.
The Significance of Business Reports in a Corporate World
The following are some of the pivotal reasons due to which the business reports play a very decisive role in day-to-day management operations –
- Medium of Communication: For establishing communication in daily life, we use the facility to text and call. Similarly, in businesses the reports are prepared for it. There is nothing wrong to say that business reports function as the medium to communicate within an organization. In any functional organization, there is certain delegation of duties. When we look at the workflow then would find branches, sub-branches, niche specific zones and departments functioning in synergy with one another. A communication that is conducted verbally might get lost or contaminated. That is the reason why, to ensure that every piece of information stays intact, a written business report is created. Anyone who is in the need for first-hand data and information can directly access it by reading the report.
- Decision Making Process: Are you planning to launch a new product line? Well, prepare a report. Are you looking forward to cutting the costs of the company? Prepare a report. Right from deciding how to appeal the target audience to laying off the employees, all sorts of decisions are made on the grounds of detailed reports put on the table with stats and facts. A two-way transfer of reports does take place to make sure a proper functioning in the chain of command. To simply put, we can say that employees draft business reports and send them to the management at the higher level for the purpose of decision making. Subsequently, the management at the higher level generates reports to circulate tasks, information, etc. amongst the workforces.
- Crisis Management: Whenever a situation of chaos, crisis or panic outbreaks, everyone tends to have his or her opinion in the matter. If such thoughts are transmitted verbally, then they convert into nothing but office gossip. Here, business reports play a vital role in ensuring the everyone is at the same page and the right input is factually analysed to curb the problem. Crisis management reports feature the cause of the issue and what steps can ensure damage control. Such reports also suggest the policy shift necessary to prevent such crisis from happening in the future.
- Effective Management: The practice of the delegation of duties is always executed through reports. Each employee is assigned with his or her own to-do tasks along with a deadline. It helps in an effective and fluent management of the company. All the information stays accessible in written documents and the decisions are reached after meticulous analysis of each element in the report.
As we are now familiar with the types of business reports that we are required to draft from time to time, it is the phase to get a better insight of the steps and formats to develop an impactful business report. A business report can be prepared in different writing formats. For that, we can feel free to take business report case study help, essay help, dissertation help, research report writing help, business report PowerPoint (PPT) presentation help, etc.
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The Steps and Format of Writing a Business Report
The following is the step-by-step guide to form a formidable business report. Let us get an insight into the guide through which we can get a detailed understanding of the writing process.
Building the Plan of Action: Firstly, it is essential to clear the fact that we are about to prepare a business report and not a school essay. The report should never be based upon thoughts and assumptions. Prior to the beginning, it is essential to recognize the motto. It is critical to realise what do we aim to achieve with the business report. Then decide upon how we are planning to present it. Always aim for the jugular and stop beating around the bush! It will always help to ink a pristine and concise report.
Verify an In-house Format: While working for a company, one can find a specific format for penning down business reports. It is always suggestive to check the rulebook of the company or verify with the supervisor. Do not trust whatever you find on the Internet in a blind manner. However, in case there is no format specified, always use a standard format of writing the report.
Add a Title: In case there has been a title specifically assigned by the supervisor, then it is strongly recommended to use that only. In case a specific title has not been provided by the supervisor, then it is the time to write down our own title. Please make sure that the title should be crisp, clear, and concisely convey the goal of the report. Avoid using titles that are complex and very long. For example, rather than using ‘An assessment of customer interaction with the enterprise in the past 12 months in contrast to previous years’, a simple title ‘Sales report for FY 2021-22’ would be more pertinent.
Besides, mention the names of all the individuals who were involved in the preparation of the report. In case struggling with the usage of the correct title, never hesitate to seek the help from a professional agency offering business report help online.
Prepare the Table of Contents: Once the above-mentioned steps are attended, it is time to incorporate the page featuring the table of contents. The table is only preferable if the report is long enough and contains sub-sections as well. The rows of the table should be filled with the contents in the exact same manner as they were being written in the headings and sub-headings inside the report. Please make sure that all the contents are properly numbered for the convenience of the reader. That would help him or her to easily navigate through the report and even flip onto the specific section of choice.
Add an Abstract or Summary: It is a significant segment of any report. We should incorporate an abstract in such a manner that even an individual who has not read the whole report can get a crystal-clear idea what it is all about. It should feature the title, the issue, the key findings, and not to mention, the conclusions drawn. We are basically summarising whatever we have written in the whole report to fit the abstract.
Writing an Introduction: This is the point from where the actual report begins. This segment of the report is to be dedicated to the purpose of writing the report along with brief idea of the key argument. If you can find a certain background related to the topic, then it is the time to integrate that to this page.
State your Methodology: Through this page, we are telling the readers the exact way of preparing the report. It incorporates the sources of information, the type of data (quantitative or qualitative), channels of acquiring information, etc. It is to equip our readers with the exact process that we went through, which we can indirectly say as BTS of the report. This step ensures that our report comes out as a more credible source of information.
Present Our Findings: This is one of the crucial sections of the report where we are required to present our findings. Everything that we have achieved through our research, including the facts, the stats, as well as the graphical or pictorial presentation, this is where everything is professionally laid down in an easy-to-understand language. Never present the information in a vapid and confounded language. Try to meticulously align the data into different headings and subheadings. Always try to present the data in bulleted, pointers or numbered arrangements wherever possible.
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Give a Recommendation or Conclusion: Always try to end the report with a compelling conclusion. That conclusion shall always be drawn out of the previously stated findings. In case there are certain recommendations in policy improvement or change, then it ought to be supported by valid documentation. The conclusion should always appear strong, excavated out of the factual data, and not surmises, opinions or biased views.
Include References or Bibliography: Incorporating this section is a legal compulsion in any sort of report where the data have been procured or inspired from the materials published earlier. Let us explain it in a simple manner. If we have included any statistics or data in the report, then it is essential to provide the due credit to the actual author. Otherwise, it would be deemed as an act of plagiarism, which is regarded as a punishable offence under the law.
Besides, it is essential to understand the basic difference between bibliography and references and should not get perplexed by the two. Let us understand it better with the help of the following example-
Let us assume that we have read a business report online and truly got inspired by it. Though, we have not used any of its data to draft our own piece of report. In one such scenario, we are going to list that online report under our bibliography section.
On the other hand, if we have taken the data from that report directly, we have to list that in our reference section as per the instructed referencing style.
Proofread: The idea of proofreading is all about thorough revision of the assembled content before finalising the submission of the report. A specialised proofreader ought to take the task of verifying the draft word-by-word, including spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, syntax, punctuations, etc. In short, rectifying all types of small mishaps in advance to prevent any bad impression for the future. Besides, a good proofreader would also take care of citations, appendices, footnotes, etc. as per the company policy of report writing.
The right approach to business report writing is critical and essential. That is primarily because at the most crucial junctures these reports can make or break various forms of business prospects. They are a significant part of both the existing business operations as well as future collaborations, mergers and acquisitions. A reliable agency to help us present the business report in a more confident manner is all we require at the most decisive moments of our career, both academically and professionally. We advise you to reach business report writing and order for online business report writing help now.
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