An accomplishment report details the goals that were met within a specific time period. For small businesses, this can be particularly useful for tracking successes, ensuring profitability and improving processes and procedures. It’s also a great way to communicate your achievements to board members, investors and customers.
Preparing to Write an Accomplishment Report
Accomplishment reports require a lot of information gathering and prep work. It’s important to have the necessary data on hand before you start. If you know that you will be writing an accomplishment report for the next fiscal year, for example, you can start logging all major accomplishments as they happen in a journal. That way, when it comes time to write your report, you’ll have a lot of the prep work completed.
It’s also a good idea to clearly define the audience for your report. For example, will your report be sent to board members for your small business or will it only be used internally for employees? Will you be releasing your accomplishment report to the public or will it be for investors and venture capitalists only? By answering these types of questions, you can decide which information to include. If you will be making the accomplishment report public, then you may wish to refrain from including any proprietary or confidential information in your report.
Decide the time frame for your report. Some organizations release an accomplishment report every fiscal or calendar year, while others prefer to do it quarterly or biannually. By having a time frame in mind, you’ll know when to start recording accomplishments.
Information to Include
The goal of an accomplishment report is to show the reader what your business has achieved within a given time period. Start off with a short summary that gives a bird’s-eye view of your business’ performance and provides an overview of what will be found in the report. The narrative report structure should include goals your organization set out for itself, how they were achieved, concrete success metrics, challenges your business encountered, specific changes your organization made in your industry and your business value as a whole. Including your business vision and mission statements is also a great way to tell the reader what your organization is all about.
Be sure to include examples of substantial accomplishment throughout the report, being as specific as possible. For example, if one of your key business goals was to sign on 25 brand-new customer accounts, and you achieved this goal by signing on 30, you can detail how you did this. Not only did you achieve your goal, but you surpassed it by changing your sales strategy, hiring on a new marketing director and developing a tight sales funnel. This not only shows the reader that you met your objectives, but tells them more about the value your organization brings to the business landscape. By detailing the specifics, you present the strategy behind the actions.
How to Format an Accomplishment Report
Instead of writing several pages of dense paragraphs, which can be difficult to absorb, it’s best to vary the formatting of your report. Include photographs of your business and your employees who helped accomplish your goals. Create infographics that engage the reader and tell a story about the accomplishments. Use desktop publishing software to create a polished and formal document that invites the reader to engage with all of the content. Be sure to use a combination of paragraph form and bullet points, as well as a variety of headings to organize your report.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.