Before writing the business report, it is important to be clear about its purpose. A vital step in understanding the purpose is to identify the targeted audience of your report. You should construct your 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 professors. Otherwise,the purpose of a business report can be:
• Critically examine available solutions to a problem, issue, or a situation.
• Work out a practical problem through business and management theories
• Showcase your analytical abilities to evaluate various solutions of a problem to choose the best one
• Provide recommendations for further action
• Show concise communication abilities.
Broadly on the basis of the purpose, following types of business report can be listed:
• Justification/ recommendation report:Generally, this type of report captures an idea. This isused to make suggestions to the management.
• Investigative report: These are used to determine the risk involved within a particular decision and to anticipate future consequences.
• Compliance report: This type of report is used by industries to present its compliance of rule and regulations, to the governing body.
• Feasibility report: These reports are based on evaluating the viability of an idea or a new project.
• Research studies report: This Encapsulates the finding of a study directed to solve a very specific problem or issue in a company.
• Periodic report: These reports are written at a fixed intervals, such as weekly, monthly, yearly, etc. to examine profit & loss, efficiency or any other performance metric.
• Situational report: This is written on some specific situations such as a seminar or an emergency situation due to a natural disaster.
• Yardstick report: These reports evaluate several potential solutions for a particular issue or situationto recommend a particular course of action.
Except the above mentioned types of business report on the basis of purpose, 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: These are built on the inductive logic. Following the logic, these reports start with a very broad 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 audiences who have adequate time to scan the complete report, or differently in cases where the recommendations are fairly problematic.
• Deductive business report: Contrary to the inductive logic, this type of report is based on deductive reasoning. This report proceeds from the specific to the general issues and therefore, ideal for audiences who don’t have the time to study the report entirely and might study the conclusion and recommendation.
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Like other types of report, a business report is likewise comprised of:
• Discussions or Body
Unlike other academic documents, like a journal article or an essay, a business report has a separate section called recommendations after the conclusions. You need to write conclusions and recommendations sections carefully, as often most of your audience might only read these two sections of your report.