Company executives and top managers use reports to make decisions. The reports serve different functions depending on the needs of the organisation and the industry. They may point at the operations, competitiveness of your products, the competition, operational procedures, technology and human resources, among other areas that affect the business. Whichever report you write, ensure that it offers actionable insights and accurate information.
Here are a few guidelines on how to write a good business report.
Plan Your Report
The report should always be written as a project proposal in that it has the research, sections and a clear goal that you wish to meet. Some companies prefer specific formats so that they can analyse the information with ease. Check if this is a requirement and ask for the format from the relevant personnel. If not, any formal format that best works with your data will be good to go.
Write a Summary of the Report
In a project proposal, a summary is also called an abstract. It provides a quick review of the major points that you have discussed in the report. This is important as it gives the reader a clear picture of what to expect from your report. While the summary comes at the beginning of the report, it should be written last, along with the conclusion and contents page.
Your Introductions Should Address the Purpose
The introduction should outline the purpose of your report and provide a little background information to prepare the reader for what is to come. It should also cover any definitions and jargon that you will use in the report so that you do not have to do it again every time you use the words.
Use and Outline Your Methodology
Explain to your readers the research methods that you used to get the data. You use either qualitative and quantitative methods or both, depending on the topic. You should provide a clear justification of why you chose such methods over others.
Tabulate Your Data
Ensure that your data is easy to understand and presented in a format that the reader is familiar with. You may use tables, infographics, graphs, or any other method that best presents the data you have. It is vital that you present that data logically and include all the information that proves that you have researched the matter. Use headings, subheadings and numbered sections to separate different types of data.
Conclude and Give Recommendations
The conclusion links your data assessments to the purpose of the report. If the goal was to test the success of new initiatives, did the data show failure or success? If you are investigating a matter, what was the outcome? Once you have determined your goal, propose the actions to be taken by the organization. These actions should relate to the goal, either correcting or improving the issue that you discuss in the report.
Conclude your report with a list of sources you used to write the report. It includes internet sources, books and periodicals. In addition, include all the material you used to collect your data, including questionnaires, past research maps and letters.
Go through your report before presenting it to the relevant personnel so that you are sure it meets your goals and is easy to read. Besides, proofread the report to ensure that it is easy to read and does not have any grammar errors.