Creating a Formal Business Report
Business reports are those types of assignments where you are expected to critically analyse a situation, either real life or an imaginary one, through the help of the various business theories to come up with the suggestions for improvement. Hence, the primary purpose of business report can be said similar to the purpose of the literature review or book review. Moreover, the main purpose why business report is assigned is to enable you to:
- Examine possible solutions available to a situation or issue.
- Apply appropriate business management strategies to a practical situation.
- Demonstrate your analytical, reasoning and evaluation skills to identifying possible solutions.
- To reach a reasonable conclusion about a problem.
- Show concise and clear communication skills.
Before writing the business report, it is important to be clear about its purpose. Integral part of understanding the purpose is to identify the targeted audience of your report. You should always write the report as if you were writing it for any real audience (like the CEO of a company or other stakeholder of a business) and not to your professor. Once you have understood the audience of the reports, the purpose of the report will eventually become clearer in your mind. Depending on that your goal of writing will be summarizing key information, analyse by comparing costs, and recommend certain actions based on the facts and data. Broadly on the basis of the purpose, following types of business report can be listed:
Justification/ recommendation report:
Generally, this type of report presents an idea. This type of report is used to make suggestions to the management.
This type of report is used to determine the risk involved with a particular course of action. This report helps a company to anticipate repercussions.
This report is used by an organization to present its compliance of rule and regulations, to the governing body.
This type of report generally based on evaluating the feasibility of an idea or a new project. This is mostly written in explanatory mode.
Research studies report:
This type of report summarizes the finding of a study directed to solve a very specific problem or issue regarding the functions or management of a company. Generally, this type of business report produces a very in-depth analysis of the problem in hand and also provide subsequent recommendations to deal with the problem.
As the name suggests, this type of report is written at a fixed intervals, such as weekly, monthly, yearly, etc. It may examine profit & loss, efficiency or any other metric over that concerned time period.
This report is written in a specific situation, as opposed to the fixed intervals. The concerned situation can be as simple as a seminar at the organization, or as complex as the response to an emergency situation due to a natural disaster.
This type of report is written to evaluate several potential solutions to handle a given issue or situation. Based on the evaluation, the report should ideally recommend a particular course of action.
Except the above mentioned types of business report on the basis of purposes, the following two broad types of report can be categorized on the basis of the organization of the sections in the report.
Inductive Business reports:
This type of report is based on the inductive logic. Following the logic, inductive report starts with a very general issue in the introduction or the body of the report; and then narrows down to a very specific one in the conclusion or the recommendation. This type of report is ideal for audience who has a substantial amount of time to read the report entirely, or otherwise in cases where the recommendations are somewhat controversial. Thus the entire body of the report is used for building the necessary argument to justify the conclusion and recommendation.
Deductive business report:
Just opposite to the inductive logic, this type of report is based on deductive reasoning. This report moves from the specific to the general issues. This type of report is ideal for audience who don’t have the time to read the entire report and thus might ideally will read only the conclusion and recommendation. Moreover, this type of reasoning goes well when the conclusions and recommendations are with not contentious and are mostly expected.
The structure of a business report:
Like the structure of a lab report or general report, business report also has four main components: Introduction, discussion/body, conclusion, recommendation. For more details about how to approach each section, please visit the page on how to write a report.
We hope that this document will help you write a comprehensive business report. Before writing a business report, please pay attention to the assignment’s mandate about the audience and purpose of the report, and plan the report accordingly.