How to Write a Business Analysis Paper

David Williams/iStock/Getty Images

During your time in the business world, you might be asked to write a paper analyzing your company, division or a business your company is considering buying. Similar to a business plan for a launch, a business analysis paper for an existing company should provide a variety of internal and external facts and projections.

Set Your Goals

Before you begin writing your paper, determine the goals for your project. You might be tasked with assessing the company’s operating procedures and processes to determine how they can be improved. You might be assessing a company’s value for sale or purchase. You may have been asked to determine if the structure of the company can be improved to boost performance. The goal of the paper might be to determine if the company is on a sound financial footing or if its prices, spending or fiscal procedures need to be improved.

Assess the Company’s Mission

If your goal is to provide a big-picture analysis of all areas of the business, review its mission statement, which describes the company’s overarching goals. In addition to making a profit, mission goals might include pursuing a green strategy, providing high-value jobs to employees or remaining a leader in a marketplace. Your business analysis will then focus on determining how well the company is meeting all of its profit and non-monetary goals.

Review the Financial Performance

Analyze the financial documents of the business, which might include a balance sheet, cash flow statement, annual budget, accounts receivable aging report, debt breakdown, profit-and-loss statement and year-end tax return. Using all of these documents can help you identify where the company’s finances might be in six months or a year. This helps spot potential problems in a business that is currently profitable.

Examine the “Four P's”

Marketing is much more than just advertising, public relations and promotions. It includes the cornerstone areas of product, price, place of sale and promotion. Review the business’s product in relation to the competition and its position in the marketplace. Analyze the potential effect of raising and lowering the price of the product. Look at where the product is being sold and the costs of each distribution channel. Review the marketing communications efforts and the return on investment for each.

Evaluate the Company Structure

Review how the company is organized, in terms of its management, staff, departments and divisions. Review the company handbook, organization chart and any written processes and procedures the company has. Evaluate the company’s supply chain to look for potential problems. Determine if the company has the right people in the right positions using the right operating principles for maximum productivity and efficiency. List the company’s core competencies, capabilities, tangible and intangible assets and competitive advantages.

Finish With a SWOT Analysis

Summarize your findings with a review of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Use the information you gathered and results you found when analyzing the business’s mission, its financial performance, structure and marketing. Make recommendations for addressing each area.

Formatting

Include a cover page, contents page, executive summary, informational sections, summary and appendix. An executive summary highlights your findings without providing support. Your summary should reiterate the findings in the executive summary and also include recommendations based on the support provided in the main body of the paper. Put detailed data in your appendix so you don’t slow your readers down in the main part of the paper.

References

Resources

About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Photo Credits

  • David Williams/iStock/Getty Images