It is crucial for the growth of any business to look back on all the actions they took and to learn from it. Aside from that, it is also important for the growth of a business to address certain problem areas and find immediate solutions to it.
Both of these are part of why it’s important for organizations to learn how to create an effective business report. Perhaps a higher-up has assigned you to write a business report to address an issue, or you want to do an evaluation of a certain business operation, you can use a business report for both of these.
No matter what the content of your business report may be, there are several things you need to keep in mind to create an effective business report consistently:
Identify Your Target Audience
First of all, you need to curate your business report depending on who you expect to read it. Otherwise, you might find your report to be insufficient in answering the questions and concerns of your target audience.
Usually, the answer to who your target audience is would be quite easy given the fact that they’ll be the one asking you for the report. Once you know who your target audience is, you can now create a report that makes the most sense to them.
For example, if you think the person who assigned the report to you is privy to industry-specific jargon, then you might not need to devote too much space on the report defining terminologies.
However, if they aren’t, then it’s better that you define recurring jargon that they may not understand from the get-go.
Keep Your Business Report Clean
Your business report isn’t like a school project where you should embellish it with a variety of background designs and the like.
Too much decoration can end up distracting from the information you are presenting. Therefore, you should make your business report as neat and simple as possible and focus on your content instead of design.
Your target audience is going to look for the information they wanted you to present first and foremost. They will definitely not be looking for beauty and art in your business report.
In the same vein, you should also ensure that your business report is clean in terms of content. Properly formatting your information under the right subheadings and headings is going to do that job really well.
Make Your Introduction Count
Although a business report is for the professional setting, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make an effort to captivate your readers.
You still want them to be interested in whatever is inside your business report. Therefore, you should make sure that your introduction counts when you create your business report.
You can start with a great title to begin your business report. A great title for a business report is one that properly encapsulates what your report will be about. Then, you can get into the Executive Summary.
The summary should not be more than a hundred words, and it should contain every important part of your business report. Your Executive Summary should include:
- The purpose/goal of the business report.
- The method used to achieve the goal of the report.
- The results.
Use the 10/20/30 Rule
There is such a thing as a 10-20-30 rule that you should follow when presenting your business report.
What this means is that you should keep your presentation no more than ten slides. It shouldn’t take you longer than 20 minutes to present your report. Lastly, your font size shouldn’t be smaller than 30 points for visibility.
If you want to present your business report under the best light, then you will do well to follow this rule. The key is to be concise and to talk about what the report is about, and not to take too long on your preamble before getting into the meat of your report.
Choose the Right Fonts for Your Report
When it comes to your business report, you don’t have to go too fancy on the types of fonts that you use.
You want your report to be easy to read, which means no calligraphy-type or cursive-type fonts at all. You want to stick to basic serifs and sans serifs for your business report if you want it to be as readable as possible.
That said, you should also take note of whether you’re giving the report in print form or in digital form. When you create a digital report, it will require different things from you.
For example, some people say that serif fonts aren’t very good for reading on screen. Thus, you might want to stick to sans serif fonts if you’re giving a digital report.
Pay Attention to Color Palette
Your business report is bound to have some sort of simple design to make it look presentable and professional. However, when you’re creating your design, you need to pay extra attention to your chosen color palette.
Your best choice would be to choose the official color palette of your organization to be safe. These colors are usually known to work well with one another already, so you won’t have to worry much about color coordination.
If you’re going to be using infographics or graphs and charts, then make sure that the colors are distinguishable from one another, so they know which one is indicating which.
Less Text and More Visuals
Although a business report is going to rely on a certain text, you want to incorporate as many visuals as possible relating to the data you’re presenting. That way, your readers won’t get bored of all the walls of text they have to get through to find what they want to read.
If you’re going to present data, then include charts and graphs to better define what you are talking about. Make sure that you properly label your charts and graphs and that you use the right color scheme for your visuals.
Maintain Professional Appearance
Last but not least, you have to make your business report professional. That means basic grammar check, as well as using formal language. Be concise. Be clear.
Keep everything consistent in terms of design, and make sure that you don’t overcomplicate things too much.
Creating an effective business report can be a simple process once you get used to the guidelines that make any business report effective. Once you start getting the hang of things, you’ll be able to make a business report without too many trials and tribulations on the way.
Featured image credit: Unsplash.com
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