Although there are many types of short business reports the following guidelines will help you write any type of short report successfully. A business report is especially concerned with business activities, and typically covers the company’s situation, latest business trends and financial activities.
To start, you must anticipate how an audience will use your report, knowing who will read your report and why it is critical to your success as a writer. These readers will want to know what the reason is for the report and how you found your information. You should consider how much your audience knows about the project and what types of information they need most.
You should do the necessary research. An effective short business report needs the same careful research that goes into any other on the job writing. Your research may be as simple as messaging, tweeting, emailing or leaving a voicemail for a colleague or checking out a piece of equipment or you may have to test or inspect a product or service to assess the relative merits of one plan over another.
You should be objective and ethical, as your readers will expect you to report the facts objectively and impartially. Think of the locations, costs, sales conditions, accounts, observations, statistics, measurements and descriptions. Your business reports should be truthful, accurate and completely organized carefully.
Organizing a short report effectively means including the right amount of information in the most appropriate places for your audience. When it comes to purpose, you should always begin by telling readers why you’re writing your report and alerting them to what you will discuss and why it’s significant.
You may have to refer to the fact they’re giving you authorization to do the report, and give your readers a summary of key events and details at the beginning to help them follow the remainder of your report quickly.
Including essential background information alerts readers to the importance of your report. When you establish the scope or limits of your report, you help readers zero in on specific times, costs, places or problems. Findings such as these should be the longest part of your report and contain the data and the results you’ve collected, as well as facts about prices, personnel, equipment, events, locations, incidents or tests.
You should gather the data from your research, site visits, interviews or discussion with co-workers employees or clients.
When you write your conclusion, remember that your conclusion tells readers what your data means. It can summarize what has happened, a review of what actions were taken or explain the outcome or results of a test, a visit or a program.
Be aware though, that readers are skeptical and may ask why you didn’t reach a different conclusion. You should anticipate possible objections and explain why other conclusions were unworkable.
When it comes to recommendations, remember that a recommendation informs readers of what specific actions you think your company or client should take. For example, market a new product, hire more staff, recommend specific business coaching services, institute safety measures or update business software.
Your recommendations must be based on the data you collected, and the resources like budget and schedule that your company or department follows and the conclusions you’ve reached. They need to show persuasively how all the pieces fit together, so write clearly and concisely.
Writing clearly and concisely is essential in any business report. Ask your boss or experienced co-workers about the appropriate style that your company prefers. Also look at previous similar reports to get a sense of your company’s style and tone. Create a reader centered design, the appearance of your report will influence how your readers will respond to it and to you.
You should include visuals when they’re needed. Visuals can help readers see trends, explain the process, assimilate factual or statistical data and so on. So choose the most appropriate form, depending on your company or organization’s policies.
You can send a short report as an email, a memo or a letter for routine reports. Your boss or others inside your company will likely use specific marketing software or presentation tools such as Powerpoint. Always take into account your readers needs and expectations at every stage of your writing.
Remembering all of the above when writing your short business reports will help you earn praise and possibly promotions at work. Good luck!