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44 years of success - Established 1974

44 Years of Success
Established in 1974

"Helping you gain
.control of your career"

How do I Write a Business Report?

 

Business reports are a standard part of any business professional’s kit. So, how do you write a comprehensive business report? To begin with you need to make sure you know the answers to the following three questions:

  1. What is the report about?
  2. Who’s going to read it?
  3. Why is it needed?

These are very important questions to answer. If you don’t have a clear idea in your mind before you begin, you’ll not be able to produce a clear, concise report. Once you have the answers to the three questions you can start the process of creating the report.

The Seven Steps to Create a Business Report

There are seven steps you must complete to create a comprehensive business report. These are:

  1. Planning the outline of the report – you need to make brief notes about the subject and contents of the report. They can be as simple as the title of the report, the main aims and the purpose at this stage. It’s really useful to decide on your title at this early stage as it’ll help to focus your mind on what needs to be included in the report.

  2. Gathering the information to go in the report – now that you know what you want to include in the report you can set about gathering information using a number of sources including:

    • previous reports
    • reference books
    • internet
    • articles
    • letters
    • surveys
    • personal observations
    • organisations

    At this stage don’t be concerned about what will or will not go into the report, just gather as much relevant information as you can.

  3. Organising the information into a logical, chronological sequence – once you organise your information into a logical sequence you’ll have a rough outline of what’s going to be in your report and how long it’s likely to be. You should also check the information you’ve gathered for accuracy and make sure it’s not out of date.

  4. Selecting what information you’ll include – deciding what is and what is not going into your report is best done by dividing the information into three categories determined by their importance:

    1. vital – must be included
    2. relevant – could be included
    3. non-essential – might be included

    Your final report usually has a mixture of all three, with all from group one, some of group two and maybe some from group three.

  5. Interpreting of the information, then drawing conclusions making and recommendations. Review all the information you have and make your conclusions, being careful to remain logical and objective even if the process leads to a conclusion you do not like. Make sure you keep accurate and detailed notes during this process.

  6. Writing the report – use your notes to draft the report making sure that you justify what you’ve written with logical arguments and supporting data. Leave your draft for a day or two then come back and read it again asking yourself these questions:

    1. Is it logical?
    2. Does it express the ideas well?
    3. Is the punctuation correct?
    4. Is the layout correct?

    If you need to, you should read it through four times, making notes on each of the questions as you go. There are also a number of other questions you should be asking yourself as you read through the report, such as:

    • Has the report met its aims?  
    • Does it present the important information in a clear concise way? 
    • Are the arguments logical and easy to follow? 
    • Is the style suitable?

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  7. Presenting your report – this is the time to show off your presentation skills. Make sure your report is neat, clean, well-typed and in a suitable folder. Ensure the layout is clean and easily understood by using diagrams, charts and graphs, headings, subheadings and numbered points. It’s also easier for the reader if you leave plenty of ‘white space’ i.e. broad margins and large spaces between the paragraphs and sections of the report.

Now you’ve completed your report, put it aside for a couple of days, then come back and read it again, aloud, to yourself. This final check should pick up any errors with the content, design, text and style of the report. Once, this final check is done you can hand it to your boss with the confidence that you have produced a comprehensive and professional report.

Business Training can help you to become proficient at writing business reports. To find out more, request a prospectus for our Report Writing course.