What is the Purpose of a Business Report?
Learning how to write a business report can seem quite challenging if you are dealing with an existing case study or must model some performance of a hypothetical business. When your task involves a composition of a business report, always start by narrowing the list of your objectives down to a specific issue, various circumstances, a set of financial operations, and the challenges. Continue by setting the main purpose and determining the structure. If your objectives remain unclear, you will not be able to proceed with your writing and correct reporting. To sum things up, a business report may represent one or several related documents that aim to analyse and explain information that is used by the managers to conduct their future decisions. It means that your business report should aim for three general objectives:
- Focusing on the financial aspect of the issue to earn financial support for the company or a business project.
- The use of marketing, advertisement, and digital means related to the product's or service's position in the market.
- A set of recommendations that help in assembly’s improvement, management, and seeking of the most efficient solutions.
When you need to learn how to write a business report for university, the chances are high that you might be working with an existing case study that will describe a situation related to a specific business. It means that you must analyse every aspect of existing data, seek the numbers, and do your best to provide your findings in a succinct and the most efficient way. If your writing requires composing a reply to the executive of the X company, you should consider writing a memo that will be supported by the relevant business report. Think about what crucial concerns must be addressed and what processes have already taken place.
Business Report Writing Tips
Before you continue with your business report structure, it's essential to collect information that will relate to spending, the list of achievements that have brought some profits, and the analytical conclusion. For example, your business report should mention the future forecast, discuss the pros and cons of the marketing plan, discuss the budget planning, and bring specific recommendations based on statistical information. If there have been certain challenges related to audit processes in the past or the trends that have only been created, you should investigate the problem first and determine what irregularities have been in place. Talking to shareholders or the general management specialists, keep your business report realistic and support each claim with a piece of financial data and various helpful comparisons.
Determining Business Report Types
Some business report types that you might encounter as a university student will include most functional areas related to business processes. It can be a market or trend analysis, financial work, performance reports, and dealing with the inventory stock.
If you are dealing with the warehouse processes, you should identify the performance and explore the products, logistics, and changes. Speaking of market analysis, you must discuss the marketing budgets and add some comparisons. The same is related to trend analysis reports that will require statistical information and working with the samples (your executive report part!).
How to Format Your Business Report Correctly?
A business report should be written in a specified abbreviated style that will help your readers to see where each part belongs and see the most important elements. There should be headings, sub-headings, relevant bullet points, statistical data, graphics, tables, and YouTube videos for certain explanatory samples. The purpose is to explain the problems and offer solutions.
As for the length, you may keep things brief by coming up with a single page or 2-pages reporting or take a different approach and provide information that takes around 100 pages. Before we proceed with an example that will help you see things clearer, start with your grading rubric that will have the most important information. In most cases, your university business report will range from four to seven pages. The general business report structure will include:
- Table of Contents for navigation and the basic formatting purpose.
- Executive Summary, which represents about 10% of your business report and states the main purpose.
- Body Paragraphs that talk about the evaluation. They must take around 40% of the total word count.
- Key Findings that take another 40% of your report and share your analytical work.
- Conclusion should be short because you summarise the main information and keep things short just like a description of the book. It should be around 10% as well.
Remember that what we have above is simply a guide on how to write a formal business report example by following the rules. Your academic advisor may provide you with the template or a case study that will direct you in terms of structure. Still, do not ignore the general guidelines. Let’s break things down into details:
Table of Contents
It will always depend on what your business report will include. The most important is to use correct headings and subheadings that will relate to each part of what´s to follow. If you are unsure about your structure yet, you can always bring adjustments. Just make sure that each part of the heading corresponds to the page after you have done the final editing and proofreading. Your grading rubric may provide you with information regarding fonts, spacing, and other aspects of your report's structure. If you have MLA or APA specified, your external sources must be formatted according to the type of citation(s).
This is where you learn how to write an introduction for a business report since you must introduce all the critical information to inspire your target audience and explain the problem. If your reporting starts with a dull note, it will not motivate a person to read further even if it's dealing with financial data. You should start with a brief paragraph that will provide a summary of what your report will include and what issues you shall address. It should continue with a methodology and the list of surveys, statistical data, interviews, or an independent method of research. You must advertise your report in this part. It's also a place where your readers should be able to read every important part. Approach it just like a mini business report with all the key arguments and solutions.
This is where you must provide detailed information and structure your report according to the importance of the arguments that you provide. If you have an issue to work with, you should introduce your methodology and speak of how and why have investigated the challenges. Your purpose is to identify relevant issues and talk about the best ways to achieve success. Remember to include graphics and examples that will provide your readers with more clarity. This part must be complete! Do not leave anything important for the next part where you sum up the key findings and recommendations. Your paragraphs should list every issue, a method, and the solution.
Findings & Recommendations
It is one of the most challenging parts of an average business report. It should answer the famous “And what should we do with it all?” question by offering a list of your suggestions and the current state of things. Your key findings should be provided in bullet points or a table if the formatting makes it possible. Use simpler language and restate the most important thesis parts. As for recommendations, you should not make unreal suggestions that go beyond your resources. This is where you can talk directly to the stakeholders, legal advisors, and managers related to various departments of the business. Your tone must be explanatory!
Learning how to write a conclusion for a business report is a critical part because this is what both college professors and company CEOs always read. If it's the final part, it should be the most important with due clarity and structure. Keeping this fact in mind, you should provide a summary and create another mini version that should reflect your main ideas and solutions. The length of your final part should be 10% of the final report. Keep your tone clear and provide a summary in simple words. It should talk about recommendations and make a call to action.
Example of a Business Report
Here is a brief sample that will help you see how to write a business report example for the introductory part:
Cyberdyne Systems takes a leading place in cybernetic research, establishing an enterprise in 1994.
Our core business aims to provide innovative microchips that follow the purpose of fast-processing AI-based tools.
Our Mission is to provide our managers with an accurate analysis of the market and explain the challenges as they perform analysis and create an outline for the post-pandemic times. Our business report aims to identify what drives the markets and what strategic plans must be adjusted to meet the challenges both commercially and in terms of intentions.
This business report will cover numerous business aspects that include:
Determination of key market elements.
Adjustment of our digital services.
Healthcare concerns and workplace safety.
Security and surveillance of the core departments of the company.
Transportation and logistics.
Environmental safety and energy saving.
Packaging and storage issues.
Participation in innovative projects on social media.
The body parts should start with the methodology, which can also be presented in bullet points and in a concise manner like in the example below:
Our core methodology of business reporting focuses on observation and analysis stages that span the period of 2019-2021.
Several scenarios for each section have been reviewed to provide an unbiased outlook.
A cultural diversity aspect is also considered to cover the challenges of the French, Italian, German, and Spanish markets.
Starting with the pandemic restrictions and the export/import challenges related to supplies from the Asian markets, certain adjustments had to be made. The financial department reporting for the first decade of 2021 has shown stagnation and a lack of additional sources. As a way to keep the supply active, new contacts with Swedish and Norwegian suppliers have been established. The statistical data is presented “as is” in figures 7, 9, and 11.
Your business report must continue with recommendations:
The positive experience with small Scandinavian suppliers and the marine logistics to the has shown that turning to alternatives can be less risky than working with the large Asian markets. Even though the financial aspect of things had to be addressed and the buffer payments had to be made, it has been more stable. The new reports have been made in terms of prognosis and financial calculations. Another positive side is turning to custom solutions and a wider range of technical specifications that are not always possible with the Asian suppliers.
Without a doubt, there are challenges with the customs and new brand registrations within the legal terms, yet this part of the equation can be settled down with long-term cooperation with the new suppliers in Norway and Sweden. The relevant legislation with the legal department has been made and an approximate documental analysis has been done. The positive and negative legislative challenges that must be solved have also been documented by our company’s lawyers in figure 6c.
(this is where your business report’s graphical part must be done!).
Final Tip: The most important is to state the problem in your business report and talk about how it has been addressed. You should use a combination of text, graphics, and statistical data. If the problem has not been challenged, discuss the reasons for that and offer a certain solution. Ask yourself about what your business report solves and how it helps your target audience. Once you are done writing and exploring, always proofread and edit things aloud by checking the readability. If it sounds logical and clear as you read, you have done your research correctly!