Better business decision-making is the key to business success. A report helps businesses, startups and organizations with better decision-making.
Great business reports are short and concise documents based on data. They’re solely pulling from facts — not perspectives or opinions.
Data is precious, and no business decisions made based on data can go wrong. Since a business report is based on fact, businesses use it with confidence for:
- Pitching a great business idea.
- Analyzing an idea.
- Determining the value in a company merger.
... and so much more — for both internal and external business communication.
What is a business report?
A business report is an informational document with essential data, details, issues, situations and facts about your company.
These reports usually include stats, analyses and research findings.
When running a company, you can’t make important decisions without considering every possible factor. That’s why reports play such an important role in business.
Let’s walk through the types of reports your business needs. But, before that, we’ll look into why your business needs reports in the first place.
Benefits of reports
Reports are not just a way to look at the stats related to your business but also play a part in your company's growth.
Here are some of the many benefits of reports:
Help with decision-making & future planning
With the help of the data listed in a report, you can make better decisions for the future of your business.
Knowing which department did well in the last fiscal year and which strategies didn’t work out helps you plan better for the next year.
Identify major problems
Business reports also enable you to identify potential issues to resolve them before they cause further damage. You can also examine barely noticeable problems with strategy and planning if you keep an eye out on your company's progress through reports.
Offer growth opportunities
Business reports can tell you which strategies and plans performed well and help your company bring in new customers. Use this knowledge to explore growth opportunities and help your company progress further.
Do you need to train your teams, develop educational materials or pivot entirely? These results show you what your employees need to succeed.
Then you can take advantage of tools that streamline processes and help employees get things done.
Scribe top tip: Automation, automation, automation! Got employees stuck doing menial tasks or new hires falling behind? Use Scribe to create visual instructions for any digital process — instantly. Just turn on the extension and run through your workflow. The Scribe SOP generator will create a step-by-step guide with text and annotated screenshots.
Transparency in communications
One of the most significant advantages of business reports is that they allow you to communicate transparently with your shareholders.
If you document business progress, your investors will know exactly where their money is going. It’ll help you build trust and ensure continued support — which we know isn’t just a relief, but a necessity.
Types of reports your business needs
You can divide business reports into multiple types depending on the situation.
Here are the most important reports to keep in mind.
1. Performance report
A performance report summarizes how well your company or a department performed during a specific period.
For instance, if you want to know how much traffic you got on your company’s website last month or if your marketing agency achieved its objective, you’ll turn to performance reports for the answers.
Depending on the info you need, you can ask for a specific department’s performance report.
But usually, the company's overall performance is summarized in a single report. This report can help you see where you fell short in the last month and which policies worked out in your favor.
You can pay attention to the following parameters:
- Key performance indicators with goals attached include retention rates, revenue growth, profit margin and client retention rate.
- Benchmarking. It’s how you study study competitor performance.
- Financial analysis to see how profitable your business has been.
- Workforce monitoring to understand employee performance, progress and overall sales output.
2. Annual report
Out of all the reports, an annual report is the most important for a business.
The annual report tells you what your company managed to accomplish last year.
It goes into detail about every critical step your company took in the last year and how it managed to achieve important goals.
Annual reports come together once a fiscal year is over.
When created correctly, the annual report can tell you and your shareholders where your company’s heading.
It can also tell you what changes to make in the next fiscal year to improve performance An annual report covers all the segments of your business — from operations and sales to marketing and HR.
3. Meeting report
As the name suggests, this report records everything discussed in a meeting. It’s like meeting minutes but on turbo drive. Meeting reports are much more detailed in nature.
The purpose of a meeting report is to help you keep track of topics discussed in a meeting. It also includes a list of attendees and next steps. A meeting report helps you keep track of all the plans discussed and get you moving forward.
4. Informational report
Informational reports outline objective information about a specific topic. The facts presented in these reports are non-biased and don’t come with any suggestions or conclusions.
If you want to know the number of employees you have and their job descriptions, you can ask for an informational report. Informational reports can also educate new hires about a department or the whole company.
5. Sales & marketing report
Every company spends a lot of money on marketing, which is why it’s important to know whether that money is being well spent or not. With the help of sales & marketing reports, you learn how well your marketing strategies are doing.
You can analyze the data in the reports to ensure your strategies bring desired results. You can only make changes to things you can measure, and you can measure your company’s progress with the help of sales & CRO marketing reports.
If the reports show that certain aspects of your strategy aren’t working, you can make the necessary changes to ensure nothing comes in the way of your company’s success.
6. Research report
Research is vital for the success of a business. But whether it is competitor research or research on your target audience, you can only benefit from it with the help of well-written reports and their analysis.
If the results of your research are presented accurately, you will be able to make the right decisions for your company. But if the reports are not compiled properly, all the money you spent on the research will end up getting wasted.
7. Product report
A product report can help you determine how a certain product is doing with your target audience. Use this information to determine which products your audience values the most.
A product report can give you details about:
- Product sales data and customer buying trends.
- A breakdown of the product costs, including production, marketing and operational costs.
- Insight into customer needs helps you with better decision-making.
- An accurate view of product performance.
8. Progress Report
A progress report is a concise report that includes company updates. You can use it in day-day business activities to report to the higher management, including the CTO and product managers, about the ongoing projects' status.
- What was the progress the last week?
- How is the progress going on this week?
- What is the progress coming along this week?
- What conversions has the company experience this month?
Businesses, startups, and organizations need reports to:
- Track and document progress.
- Monitor business goals.
- Plan budgets.
- Design and improve marketing plans.
In short, reports play a crucial role in great decision-making.
To-the-point and concise business reports are the key to business. It’s time to leverage the power of business reports to improve leads, sales, and conversions.