You may have to write a business report as you go along in your professional life; it’s one of the most sought-after skills in the world of business today.
A business report is an objective and analytical representation of facts on a specific business-related issue or agenda. Business reports generally study specific business cases and produce suggestions and recommendations to improve the business.
Here are the parts of a business report:
The executive summary is an overview of key points in the report. It’s one of the important parts of the report because in addition to being the first thing the recipient of the report sees, it also contains the crux of the report. It is relatively concise and crisp.
Here’s how to start an executive summary for a business report on marketing:
‘This report outlines why sales have dropped in recent times and recommends measures to boost it.’
The executive summary must include a summary of the reasons for the fall in sales, as well as recommendations on the way forward.
The introduction deals with the background, context and scope of the issue looked at. Questions of what necessitated the research and the range of issues covered are briefly answered in the introduction.
You could start an introduction like this: ‘With the Accounts Department’s financial records indicating a significant fall in the company’s revenue over the last couple of months, we set out to study the possible reasons. We looked at the fall vis-à-vis the demonetisation exercise, as well as internal and external factors responsible for the fall.’
This is the main part of the report. It contains key findings and discussions. The body is usually long because the keys findings are elaborated on. It could be arranged coherently in paragraphs or as bulleted points with explanations.
‘Key findings discussed include:
The conclusion summarises the whole report. It has two parts: recommendations/prospects of the company and a crisp recap. The difference between the executive summary and conclusion is that the latter is longer than the former. All the necessary details are given under the conclusion (while writing recommendations). Finally the whole report is summed up in a few lines.
One of the ways to start the conclusion is: ‘Following findings of the study, this report recommends that….’
Remember that the business report is an objective representation of facts by a group of people after they have collected data and analysed it with the aim of improving a business situation.