ENTREPRENEURSHIP / JAN. 25, 2015
version 3, draft 3

How to Write an Effective Business Report

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Writing a business report may seem like an involved process. However, there are several basic factors that need to be considered and included in the report. If all of these factors are handled effectively, then you will have written a promising report that will improve your chances of success in the business and workplace environment. This article will address several steps on how to write an effective business report.

Writing an Effective Report

Business writing is a concise art form where the writer must mesh various facts, figures and statistics into prose that excites and interests the readers rather than bores them to tears. You will need to find your specific style, but always remain professional in your approach.

1. Know Your Audience

It is important to have a catchy title that draws people in. However, the rest of the report needs to live up to that title. The first step is to understand who your audience is and what specific factors they will be looking for when reading and evaluating the report. For example, if the report is centered on scientific data but your target audience is the Board of Directors, you must cater to their sensitivities. Write in a professional manner that states all the facts and figures; yet is written in a style that is not overly academic and scientific. Focus on your audience and make sure that the entire report flows seamlessly along these lines.

2. Make Your Introduction Count

In addition to having a captivating title, it is also vital to make your introduction count. You don’t want the reader to get bored after reading your introduction. The idea is to create a strong and concise introduction which entices the reader to keep on reading. It is important to clearly state the objective of the report. You must define any problems or issues and the manner in which an action plan will be implemented in order to solve the issue. When your introduction is clear, it will help you to continue to keep the rest of the report structured and concise.

3. Professional Appearance

It is important to make certain that the report maintains a professional appearance by being error free, grammatically correct and utilizing suitable language. You may have the most radical ideas which could catapult your business into the next dimension. However, if the report is filled with errors and is grammatically incorrect, you will not make a positive impression on your audience. You want your report to have a dramatic impact and that is done by making it appear professional and by utilizing the appropriate language. Don’t forget about ensuring that your facts, figures and statistics are also double-checked and accurate. Working with a colleague to assist in the proof-reading can be a big help in your endeavor to create the most effective business report.

4. Find the Middle Ground

In order to continue with the formulation of an effective business report, you need to find the middle ground. The report should not be too long and it needs to have a simplified format in order to maintain the attention span of the readers. When a report is too lengthy, the reader may lose track of the most important points. If it is absolutely necessary to include specific reference points or calculations, you can include them in the Appendix section of the report. It is also important to keep the presentation professional. For example, utilizing a myriad of colors and elaborate font types will only distract your audience. Additionally, find a balance with the amount of charts and graphs that you include. Focus on the information you must disseminate and don’t get distracted with flashy factors.

5. Be Objective in Your Presentation

Maintaining an objective tone of voice is absolutely vital when creating an effective business report. You don’t want to force your readers to a specific conclusion. The goal is to provide accurate data and allow the readers to come to their own rational deductions from the information provided. When you remain objective in your presentation and tone that means that the facts will speak for themselves and the key factors will stay in focus. In addition, you must find that balance and keep the report interesting for the reader.

6. Fit the Pieces Together

Wrap up the business report with a strong conclusion, ensuring that all of the points have been described in the appropriate detail. Remember that the analysis throughout the report must be logical and concise. When you ensure that a balance of supporting facts have been included to validate your statements, it will be a successful report. It is important that any conclusions that you presented have also been properly analyzed in the body of the report.

When preparing an effective business report, it is vital to follow the six steps as outlined in this article. You must begin with a strong introduction and end with a solid conclusion with a body that is objective in tone and filled with properly analyzed facts and figures.

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