How to Create an Exceptional Business Report to Wow Your Clients
We admit, business reports are decidedly not the most exciting part of owning a business, but they are certainly necessary. Done right, a professional business report can be the reason a client hires you or stays with you instead of jumping ship. Whether you’re kicking off a new start-up or you just want to increase your business report knowledge, we’re here to explain how to write an excellent business report and all the supplies, like folders and report covers, that you’ll need to really wow your customers.
How to Write a Business Report
Writing a business report isn’t all that different from the essays you had to write in high school: research, compile, write, and edit! Here’s a quick look at what goes into writing a report that will really make a difference.
1. Determine what kind of report you want to write.
“Business report” is actually a very broad term. There are several types of reports, all of which have different applications. These are some of the most common:
- Recommendation report, also known as a proposal. You can write a recommendation report to entice new clients, to suggest new ideas to current clients, or to streamline processes in your own company.
- Investigative report. These reports discuss the risks and rewards of a potential action within a company.
- Periodic report. A periodic report is one that you give to a client on a previously agreed-upon basis, such as monthly or quarterly to provide updates and feedback for that time period.
2. Decide who you’re talking to and what you need to learn.
These two pieces of information will help guide the direction of your business report. If you’re speaking to the CEO of a major corporation, your language will likely need to be more formal than if you are distributing this report to your coworkers.
3. Research, organize, and write your report.
With your materials and references gathered, it’s time to create an outline. Your report should include:
- An executive summary, sometimes called an abstract, that will briefly summarize what the report contains and how you reached these conclusions.
- Body which describes your process and issues you encountered along the way.
- A section on key findings that will explain your conclusions; this is also where you would share recommendations based on your findings.
- Your conclusion, which will tie everything up neatly.
4. Present your report in polished report packaging.
Even if you have the most thoroughly researched and well-written business report ever, if you present a stack of messy, stained papers, your clients aren’t going to be too impressed.
On the other hand, a quality report cover can make all the difference and will show you are a professional in every sense of the word.
Business Report Necessities
When it comes to creating professional business reports, you might be overwhelmed with all the office supply options. From pocket folders to file cabinets, it can prove difficult choosing how to best present and maintain exceptional reports. Here are the two must-haves we recommend.
First things first: you need a report cover to adequately protect your new report. There are plenty of styles of report covers to match your company’s vibe (and budget).
- Clear-Front Report Covers: These clear report covers have—you guessed it—a durable clear cover! If you have a specially designed cover page you’d like to make sure the client sees right away, give them a clear view with one of these.
- Pressboard Report Covers: Pressboard report covers allow you to bind and cover any reports with loose paper. A fastener compressor allows you to bind your document together without damaging the content.
- Poly Report Cover: Polypropylene portfolio covers (often just called poly report covers) are plastic report covers that come in a variety of finishes. Poly portfolios allow you to really customize your report and give your business reports a professional look.
- Cardstock Presentation Covers: These report covers are made from traditional cardstock and come in different styles and are excellent for letter-size paper and other sheet sizes.
- Flexi-View Report Covers: These clip report covers are ideal for on-the-go use, when you need a professional report and you need it fast. The easy-to-use prong clip securely holds all of your documents in place.
- Sliding Bar Report Covers: Another simple form of report covers, these are an inexpensive option you could use internally or on reports where you need to make multiple copies. Just slide the bar over the clear cover and bam—you have a professional-looking business report.
Be sure to check out Filmsource’s report cover selection here.
Many report covers are not self-binding, meaning that you’ll need a way to hold all the pieces of paper together. That’s where our binding supplies come in.
We have a wide selection of binding accessories, from plastic combs and coils to metal double loop wires, tape binding strips, and VeloBind strips.
- Plastic combs are the industry-standard way of binding with the added benefit of being simple and economical. Once you punch holes in your document, you can insert the comb into the holes, close the teeth, and you’re ready to go. Even better, we can customize your plastic combs with your company name and information, giving your report that extra touch.
- Plastic coil is another popular binding method because they are flexible, long-lasting, and affordable. These can lay flat, making them a great choice for reports and presentations.
- Wire binding will help you take your presentation to the next level. Choose from a variety of colors and custom lengths to take your report from average to awesome.
- Binding strips are an economical binding method perfect for documents that require a bit more security. Their tamper-proof binding means pages can’t be removed without someone noticing. You’ll need one of the Fastback binding machines to properly use them.
- VeloBind strips are the go-to pick for extra-long reports that other binding methods can’t handle. When used with a thermal VeloBind system, these strips can help you bind books of documents up to 3” thick. These are perfect for detailed reports or other lengthy documents.
With most report covers, you won’t need sheet protectors, but sometimes they’re a good idea. For instance, if your business report is going to be shared with several people, utilizing sheet protectors can help keep the pages clean of smudges and accidental spills.