Reports: With the end of a new business quarter, you might find yourself having to put together some reports. Whether you’re a business owner or a manager, this period marks the beginning of a new journey in your business year. But before you can start, you need to get the reports out of the way.
The issue might arise from the sheer number of these reports. Worry not, in this article we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the different types of reports and when you should use them. So let’s check them out together!
1. Annual Report
An annual report is a detailed and comprehensive analysis of every aspect of a business from the previous year. This analysis can include financial data, human resources and various other achievements. The first few pages are usually designed to be eye-catching and include various graphs and visual elements. You might have to create a flowchart or add some pie charts in these first slides.
These reports are usually presented to give more financial information to stakeholders and other people who have a vested financial interest in a company. An annual report can be used to:
- Share a review of the financial performance of your company;
- Establish new strategies and better goals for your company;
- Build a new level of trust between your company and the people involved;
- Promote your business to potential investors.
2. Sales Report
As the name suggests, the sales report includes information regarding the number of total sales. This report is usually done by the salespeople and is submitted to managers and team members. A sales report is a document that’s used to summarize the financial performance of a company over a certain period of time.
There are several types of sales reports you might need to put together, each with its own purpose:
- Daily sales reports: used to track KPIs such as leads generated or business calls;
- Monthly sales reports: this type of financial report helps everyone keep track of relevant insights about customer behavior;
- Quarterly sales reports: this type of report includes information from both the daily and monthly reports.
3. Marketing Report
If you do marketing, you will definitely want to know how every campaign performs. You’re probably monitoring every single aspect of it anyway but it’s always good to have a report at the end. It will help you look for both strengths and weaknesses in your campaign so you can better shape the next one.
A marketing report is mainly used in these situations:
- When you want to find what areas of your strategy need improvement;
- When you want to measure exactly how a campaign performed;
- When you want to present marketing data to seniors, stakeholders and other team members.
4. Analytical Report
Data analysis is a crucial element in the success of any business. It’s now become a standard industry practice and is done by businesses of all shapes and sizes. Especially in this digital age, data analysis is a key element that determines a business strategy. Probably the best thing about this type of report is that it provides you with real actionable data you can easily integrate in your marketing or sales strategy.
You can use an analytical report when you need to:
- Better understand how your business performs;
- Find issues in your business flow and explain how these affect the strategy;
- Look at an analysis and summary of large amounts of data related to your business;
- Share large amounts of data in a manner that’s easy to follow and understand.
5. Trends Report
Trends are not a thing of fashion magazines and social media anymore. Trends can influence and even change the way a business model works. A trends report will give you precious insight on what other people are doing, what’s popular and what the clients are looking for. It can also give you a better understanding about where your brand’s voice is heard, what people think about it and how that should influence your marketing decisions.
You can use a trends report whenever you have to:
- Improve your marketing strategy;
- Find out which areas of your business are over and underperforming.
6. Budget Report
As the name suggests, a budget report will help you draw a comparison between the spent budget and the allocated one. With this type of report, businesses are able to make more informed and accurate financial decisions. This report is typically done when a business reaches a certain financial milestone.
This type of report can be used when you need to:
- Keep track of company expenses;
- Find out if and where your business is losing money;
- Keep track of your financial goals;
- Make sure you don’t overspend.
7. Project Report
A project report has all the information regarding a certain project. With all these details, you’re able to see if the project has been worth investing into or not. Such a report usually has information about organization, marketing plan, budget, management plan and more. Whenever you want to show seniors or stakeholders the value of a project, you will come up with a project report.
But besides that, you can also use this type of report to:
- Find any potential risks involving the project;
- Test the project’s efficiency;
- Monitor the project’s progress;
- Have the project itself approved.
Our Final Thoughts
We hope this article helped shed some light on the more common types of reports you might have to do throughout the year. Of course, they aren’t mandatory and you shouldn’t feel obligated to constantly do any of them. However, a good report will help you get better and clearer insights on your business, finances and even clients.
Such information is crucial in the success of any company, as every business relies on data. With these reports, you’ll know every detail about how your business or project is performing and they will make perfect blueprints for marketing and financial strategies.
What about you? What types of reports do you use throughout the year? How do they help your business? Let us know in the comments below!
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