This is a general outline for a business report. Structure varies depending on the nature of the report. Each section below could be broken down into further sections or shrunk depending on the requirements of the report.
- This section is the introduction to the business report.
- Depending on the nature of the report, the introduction could include a brief company history.
- This section should mention the purpose of the report and the methodology being used in order to develop recommendations.
- This section includes a summary of the analysis, both external and internal (whichever is relevant to the company).
- Findings should be presented in a summarized version, with details in an Appendix.
- If a professor wants all details in the main body, then all findings are to be presented here.
- The summary of the analysis should be discussed in reference to the issue at hand. For example, if the report is on increasing market share, it should provide a Porter’s five forces analysis, and summarize what that means for the company.
- This section could have many sub-sections, unless an instructor has provided specific requirements.
Options and Alternatives
- Based on the findings, the report can offer options or alternatives, and analyze each (pros and cons).
- If there are no alternatives to the problem or topic, then this section may be skipped.
- This section offers recommendations on handling a problem or challenge.
- Recommendations may be broken down into timelines, i.e., short, medium, and long term recommendations.
- Extensive research, which includes evaluation tools (SWOT, PEST, Five Forces etc), financial projections, and evaluations, should be included in this section.
- All additional information that validates the main points in the report should appear in this section.
- Appendices should be structured in the order in which information appears in the body of the report.
- All appendices must be properly referred to in the report, saying (Appendix A) or (Please see Appendix A) after each point.