Business report format is usually overlooked and underestimated. If you are a senior level manager, you probably know first-hand how laborious it is to read and find specific information in business reports. To optimize this process, you have to identify the root cause of the issue. In fact, this is an arbitrary business report format that managers use to describe the operation of the respective departments. This makes the process of reading reports more time-consuming.
The Significance of Formal Business Report Format
Business reports mainly revolve around hard numbers and concrete information, which is far cry from creative writing. Additionally, they are typically read by people who hold high offices. Obviously, they do not have time to go through the entire report; instead, they look for specific information that plays a key role in determining whether corrective measures are needed to boost the performance of a certain department. Moreover, if an organization sticks to a particular business report format, it speeds up the process and saves such personnel a lot of time. Thus, knowing how to write a business analysis report can make you a real asset in the business world.
How to Write a Business Report
This section gives a structured insight into how to write a business report properly. Before talking about the structure of the report itself, take a look at the following tips:
- Write the body first and then elaborate on the details;
- Use a legible font;
- Apply formatting (bold, italics, or underline) to make headings and subheadings visible.
Business Report Template
Although the following business report template is an approximate version of how this document should look like, it will help you understand what information should be included in each of the sections of the report. The most prevalent business report format is comprised of the following sections.
In short reports, the title, as well as the name of an author and date, is located on the first page. The purpose of writing a report can also be included in this part; this helps a reader get a clear understanding of what he/she is going to read and why. Moreover, longer reports also have the Table of Contents, Terms of References, etc.
This part includes a brief overview of the information outlined in the subsequent sections. This is an integral part of the report because it enables the senior personnel, who cannot afford to read the entire paper, to instantly familiarize themselves with the content of the report. Therefore, be precise, concise, and straightforward when outlining the problem or aspect of the business that the report deals with. This information is immediately followed by the key points, conclusions, recommendations, and important findings that you have obtained while working on the business report.
Mention approaches (methods) that have helped you come up with your results. Maybe, you discussed the problem/aspect with focus groups or reached out to research firms. Additionally, explain why you utilized this or that methodology in your research.
This section serves to provide background information regarding the report. Here, you can enlist the reasons why this report is significant and highlight what is covered in the body.
Arrange the information in this section from the least important to the most important points, so that the report has unity and coherence. Also, this section should be further divided into subsections with sub-titles. You can also include a paragraph about the relevance of the results of the report in the main body.
Data tabulation is another crucial aspect of the report. Neat presentation of data in lists, charts, or tables make the report look professional, and the information appears easier to digest. Hence, whenever you deal with hard numbers or statistics in general, organize such data using tables, lists, bullet points, etc.
Provide logical conclusions for the problem/aspect of the business analyzed in the report. Keep this section short.
At this point, offer your own solutions for the problem/aspect investigated in the report. Use bullets and lists to enable easier comprehension.
Although few pay attention to appendix, it can actually explain some points outlined in the body in detail. Specifically, this section usually contains additional material and sources that reinforce the arguments/points of an author.