Business Report Format Writing: Basic Steps

Writing a paper in a proper business report format can be a problem. However, even a person who has just entered the field of business will need to produce at least one persuasive business report within days or weeks after reaching the workplace. It is an everyday matter for most business people. It is important to know how to write a business report and, more importantly, how to make it informative, compelling, and understandable for the reader. Follow our recommendations to learn how to write a business report. 

  1. Set the purpose, goals and objectives of your business report; determine its scope and complexity.

Your business report must be brief, informative, and concise. Avoid vagueness by all means. You must cover only the points and issues related to the subject of your report. You should include only the information that can help the organization meet its strategic and operational objectives. Ask specific questions and provide specific answers. Formulate questions clearly, using familiar terminology. This is how you start working on your business report. This is also how you learn to follow business report format. 

  1. Use a clear business report framework. 

When you have explicit goals and objectives for your business report, you need to switch on to developing a business report framework. With a strong framework, you will create a cohesive argument. You will also make it easier for your audience to understand and accept your message. With a clear framework, you will know what information you need to include and how you should organize it. In any framework, you will have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. However, you may also need to include a cover letter. 

  1. Who is your audience?

You cannot follow a proper business report format if you fail to consider the needs of your audience. Who are your readers? You must answer this question before you start working on your report. This way, you will know how to align the data and information provided in your report with the needs and expectations of your target audience. For example, you may need to make the message simpler, so that your audience can understand. Not everyone knows specialized business terms. Sometimes, you will target people who have experience doing business. Your task is to evaluate and understand, and use this knowledge to produce a persuasive, easy-to-read product. 

  1. Collect your data. Organize it properly. 

Now that you know the goals of your report and your audience, you are to collect the information and data you will use in your report. You are welcome to use any sources that are deemed reliable and relevant in the context of your report. For example, you can draw insights from primary sources. However, you can also rely on secondary ones. Whatever sources you choose for your report, make sure that they are credible. Also, do not overload your report with data. Write clearly and accurately. Select the most important information. Organize your data using graphic forms, such as tables and graphs. Include textual information to explain your graphs.

  1. Evaluate and analyze your data.

Finally, your task is to evaluate the data and information you have gathered. In different types of business report writing, you will use different types of data, and you will also analyze them differently. While working on your business report, consider the requirements of business report format for students. Discuss it with your supervisor. You may learn a lot of new information about how the data you gave gathered should be analyzed. You will use the results of your analysis to set organizational goals and evaluate change results. You may want to include achievable deadlines for each of these goals. You may also describe the way you will measure and interpret business change outcomes. Follow business report format, and you will not have any issue writing a perfect business report. 

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Formatting Your Business Report Assignment 

Below are some general requirements to help you format your business report. Include the following:

  • A cover sheet. Here, you will include your name, the name of your company, contact details, and date.
  • A table of contents. You will need it only if your report exceeds 10 pages.
  • An executive summary. Here, you will provide a brief overview of the business report. Include a discussion of the methodology!
  • A body of the business report. Include headings and subheadings to organize the contents.
  • A conclusion with recommendations. Based on your data, what should the company do?
  • An appendix with numerical and graphic data. 


Main Types of Business Report Writing 

Before you start working on the document, you will need to be clear about the type of report you are going to write. Any business report is about discussing or defending some organizational idea. The main intent of writing a business report is to justify certain decisions or propose solutions to problems facing the company. In most cases, companies’ top management is the main target audience for business reports. Therefore, they must be properly structured. Include an introduction, a body, and a summary with recommendations. In the summary section, you will consider the pros and cons of the proposed solution, possible unintended costs and consequences, and steps to mitigate these consequences as well.

Business Reports for Performing a SWOT Analysis

If the company has an opportunity to expand to an unfamiliar market, this type of business report will consider the benefits and risk of such expansion. The purpose of these reports is to investigate. They are to predict what effects or consequences the company’s decision to expand will have for different stakeholders, and if this decision can become a problem for top managers, employees, community members, etc. The report will also include recommendations to overcome all known obstacles or make the opportunity more feasible and relevant to the company.

Compliance Reports

Sometimes, managers and ordinary workers need to write compliance reports. They are part of major accountability processes across businesses. Here, the point is to deliver as much specific information, data, and justifications as possible to persuade the target audience that the company complies with government regulations and allocates its resources wisely. Similar to compliance reports are feasibility reports. Their purpose is to explore the feasibility of a certain idea. Feasibility reports always include an executive summary and a conclusion with recommendations. They always describe the idea in detail, so that the target audience could evaluate its strengths and possible weaknesses. 

Research Reports

Any business report writing guide also includes research reports – a distinct type of reports that evaluate and research a problem. These are probably most difficult to write, because they must include the tiniest details of the problem, as well as each and every solution considered in it. Include an abstract and a separate section with recommendations. You will also need to discuss and justify your methods.

Periodic Reports

You may need to write so-called periodic reports, when you update the company on the progress it has made toward its strategic goals. The contents of these periodic reports will vary, depending on its purpose and subject. Related to these are situational reports, written in relation to some particular situations. For example, if the company is facing a consumer lawsuit, the report will evaluate its reasons and discuss possible actions to minimize the damage to business. 

Yardstick Reports

Finally, if you are to write a yardstick report, you will have to evaluate the current situation and the company’s place in it. When working on the report, you will list all possible solutions. You will share your grounded, evidence-based opinion on each of these solutions and their potential to increase the company’s profits and revenues. 

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