How to Format a Business Report

by Stephanie Faris - Updated July 12, 2018
Format a Business Report

From a young age, you learn that if you want to convey a concept, one great way to do it is to write a report. This principle carries over to running your own business since you’ll often be asked to communicate information about your products in writing. Whether you’re seeking funding, rounding up new clients or reporting to shareholders, the right business report format makes all the difference. Fortunately, there are now many tools you can use to put together a professional-quality business report.

Start With a Template

Although you can walk through the steps of creating a business report from scratch, why should you? You can easily find the perfect business report template to meet your needs. If you use Microsoft Word, choose "New From Template" when you’re creating a new document. From there, simply type business report in the search field in the upper-right corner and browse the results. You can create a basic business report or build a full notebook kit, which only requires you to purchase a binder spine and insert the printed pages once you’re finished. You can also find plenty of business report templates online if you don’t find what you need within your word processing software.

Formatting a Simple Business Report

To build your own business report, you’ll need to start with the basics. Generally speaking, business reports have an executive summary, an introduction, a body and a conclusion. You’ll also want to back up your work with a section where you cite references and also provide a table of contents and an appendix, which add value. Try to break up pages of text by adding elements like pie charts, bar graphs or stock photos. As valuable as the information you’re sharing can be, it’s also important to create engaging content.

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Types of Business Reports

Things can get a little complicated when you realize there are different types of business reports. The general business report is a simple introduction to your company that includes details about your mission, as well as information on the products or services you sell. However, there are various types of reports, including financial summaries, quarterly performance reports and business plans. Sometimes, even PowerPoint presentations are a type of report. It’s important to take time to think through your goals before you start writing a report to ensure that you’re presenting the information in the format that best fits what your audience wants.

About the Author

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous small business blogs, including Zappos, GoDaddy, 99Designs, and the Intuit Small Business Blog.

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