Even as offices have gone paperless, reports remain an essential part of doing business. You probably don’t get excited at the thought of putting one together and presenting it to your team. Your team probably is even less excited at the prospect of attending that presentation. But even if they never leave the safety of your computer, reports can play an essential role in the work you do from one day to the next.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
A solid business report provides high quality information fast, so that everyone's on the same page.
Getting Everyone on the Same Page
Eventually, someone is going to want to see information about your business. This comes into play especially once you start the process of getting funding for your business. A business plan is one of the most important things you can have in such a situation, since it outlines your business’ finances, as well as the plans you have for future growth. For those who do invest in your company, business reports are a great way to communicate about your progress. When a company goes public, it is expected to report on its quarterly earnings every four months. You may also find that your clients ask to see reports that feature varied information about your operations.
Making Quality Business Decisions
Data analytics have become a crucial part of doing business, especially since tools are built into so much of the software that businesses use. With a few clicks, most companies can access crucial information about the people who visit their website and interact with their products, including what happened before they left the site and went elsewhere. But gathering data is only the first part of a two-part process. That information needs to be put into some type of report, varying in formality depending on where you plan to distribute it. This information should be presented not only to potential clients and other stakeholders, but used to help your team make more informed decisions.
Protecting Your Interests
Of course, the most important reason to compile reports and save them is to cover yourself in case an issue ever comes up. Likely you’ve at some time been accused of doing something you didn’t do or blamed for letting a task fall through the cracks. Having documentation can be essential in such cases. For that reason, collecting reports is an essential part of making sure you’re covered. Even if the information never leaves your computer, having everything in writing can be essential. If you’re tasked with monitoring backups on your company’s servers, for instance, having a report that logs every day’s activities could save your job – or at least your boss’s opinion of you – if something ever goes wrong.
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. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written about business for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011.