A good business report both informs and motivates. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Before you get started, you will need to decide what the purpose and goal of your report is going to be. The earlier in the process that you do this, the better off you will be in the long run. The more tightly organized you are to begin with, the less time you will waste on things that are only going to prove unnecessary.
Do your preparation by conducting interviews of all the people that will be involved, and do as much research as you possibly can. Don’t just rely on the magic Google machine to do all of your research work for you. There is a lot of information that hasn’t made it to the internet yet and a lot of what you find there can prove to be either dated or flat out wrong, so your informational interviews with experts in the field can prove to be invaluable and unique.
Once you have all the information you will be using in your business report, you can start to organize it. This is a good time to remind yourself what the goal of the report is, and to make sure that your aim stays focused and doesn’t waver. If, for instance the reason you created your report to explore emerging markets in Asia, you don’t want to spend any time on other products or markets.
Writing The Report
Always keep your audience in mind. If you know something about the principle members’ backgrounds, play to that as much as you can. If you don’t know anything, it might be worth your while to find out. In most cases, you will be presenting your report to motivate or convince your audience of something. To that end, make sure that the language you use is strong and forceful, and takes your audience clearly from point to point.
If you are only creating a print version of your report, remember that readability will win out over all. You could have the most compelling case ever, but if it isn’t read it won’t do you any good. To that end, make sure to use compelling headers and subheaders, and keep your paragraphs relatively short. Use easy to read bullet points as often as you can, and do your very best to not waste a single word.
This should go without saying, but it needs to be said: make sure you do everything you can to ensure that your report is free of spelling and grammar errors. Enlist as many extra pairs of eyes as you can to help you with this step, and to give you an overall impression of how your report reads.
Printing and Binding
You should use a high quality laser printer to make your sheets as clean and attractive as possible. There are many methods of binding to consider, from simple metal spines and colored covers to three ring binders and even spiral coil. Take a good look online or ask around at your local print shop for more options. Often, having your own binding machine on hand is cheaper than having to run to the printer every time you need to put a report together.