How to Write a Business Report

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Video tutorial on how to use a Proposal Kit product for writing business reports and other business documents. Proposal Kit is used for writing more than just business proposals and plans.

Read this related article: How to Write a Business Report Using Proposal Pack

Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How to Write a Feasibility Study

Video Transcription
How to Write a Business Report

In this video we're going to show how to create a business report with Proposal Kit. Proposal Kit is actually used to create all kinds of business documents from proposals, business plans, studies, reports and so on. We have hundreds and hundreds of visual design themes, so whichever one or more design themes you've purchased will be the visual look of the documents you create.

This Proposal Pack for Any Business, that is our plain design pack. That's good for just black and white text documents with no extra added graphics. That's the one that you would usually start to brand yourself with your own logo, your own fonts, color schemes and so on.

If you want a visual design theme already created for you, this is where we have the hundreds of design themes to pick from. Whichever one or more of these you purchase that's what the visual look of your documents will look like. We're going to illustrate this video with a few different design themes.

We'll illustrate this first report with our Global #4 design. This Global #4 is actually built into the Proposal Kit Professional as well. Whichever design theme you've purchased and installed will be the default style you start with in the Wizard software.

If you've purchased more than one style or if you have the Professional version which has a few built-in styles you'll just change the styles if you want in the Document Styles button here. If you only have one style, like if you've purchased a single Proposal Pack, that will already be set here but you can use the Document Style button to make some changes if you like for custom branding, changing the color scheme and so on. Whenever you're going to create a document in the Wizard whether it's a report, business plan, proposal or whatever just click the Document Projects button and then we'll Add a New Project.

You can give your project a name, this is just for your own reference purpose to find it in the drop down list later. The name will not get put into the document. You click the Pick Documents button.

This is where you'll select all the pages that will make up the report. Typically a report is going to have a front Title Page, a Back Page, Table of Contents and then whatever list of body pages you need. You have access to over 2000 body pages you can pick from.

You'll see the 40 most common templates usually for proposals here but you can click this drop down and get specialty topics for all different kinds of businesses or types of proposals or situations. General information topic pages, action pages, technical pages, appendix pages and so on. Using the Quick Start list we already have some pre-made lists for various types of documents or we can click this Quick Start tab here and we have hundreds of pre-made lists for all different kinds of proposals and documents you can use as your starting point to get started a little faster.

We could use the Search Import List and just search for the word report, study, plan or whatever. Or this top drop down will narrow the list down as well so we can just go to the Business Document, Study, Plan, Report category and that will narrow the list from almost 700 down to 45. These are some reports, studies and plan documents that we have set up lists for.

We'll click the Strategic Business Map. This is a pretty complex long document. You can always pair these down.

Once you've imported a list of chapters you can strip them down to just the set of chapters you want plus add additional chapters, reorganize the layout and then build your custom document. We're going to import this list and you can see we now we have 32 pages. We can remove chapters if we don't need them, say if we don't really want to expand on the SWOT Analysis with all four pages we could just remove these four or just remove the SWOT Analysis pages altogether.

We'll just leave this as is and you can always go and add more chapters to your report using all these drop downs. Any of these you check off is just going to add an extra page. You can also use the Search by Name tab if there's a certain page you want to find.

Say you want to add your Mission Statement for your company just type the word mission or if you need a budget. Any word you can think of we have a title for you'll find it this way. Let's just search on mission find the Mission Statement and any related chapters.

You can see the Mission Statement here. If we select anything here click the Add Templates button it'll add it to our project. This is how you customize your list of chapters.

We're just going to stick with the set list of 32 chapters and whenever you're done selecting chapters doing your organization of the chapters adding or moving so on click the OK button here. You'll be back on the project screen and it'll tell you how many chapters are selected. Just double check it here and we'll just give our project a name.

This is our Strategic Business Map document. We're going to turn off the Excel dynamic linking for now just to make the demo a little easier. That's an advanced feature in the Professional version where you can link cells of Excel spreadsheets for financial pages like budgets, cost summary, analysis and so on to the Word document so you can do your calculations in Excel and have it automatically update the Word document.

For the Novice editions or if you have that feature turned off you'll just type your final numbers into the Word document itself. You can use the Company Data and Client Data, now Client Data is not going to get so much used in a report since you're just writing the report from your own self or company. This is normally going to be the data you filled in when you first installed the Wizard.

This is going to be your company information, your name, address, website, phone numbers and so on. If you're writing the proposal to someone that's when you use this Client Data screen and we'll just put our title here. The title will get merged into the front cover as well as the current date.

For reports we're not really going to use the name address information so much. Okay, now we have everything set up. We have our name and address data, we have pages selected.

When I click the OK, Save Project this is when the Wizard will build your actual Word document applying all your customizations and using the design theme you selected. Now you just sit back and wait for it to build the Word document. Okay, now this document has been generated.

We'll open it up take a look at it. You can see we put in a cover letter. For a report you don't always use a cover letter and it will start out with the Global #4 design theme.

It used the Confidential header. You can in the Wizard you have all sorts of options to set this header or to set this title page header you could use the word Report, Study, Business Plan, Proposal, Contract, etc. There's about 20 or 30 different graphics created to drop in here and you also have options to convert all these graphic chapter headers and these to text and then you can completely customize it.

You can see the current date merged in, our title we put in the Client Data. We didn't fill in the Client Data so these are left as tags so since this is a report you might just say Prepared For is for an internal group, executive or some CEO or something. This is all just editable text and as you scroll down you see our Table of Contents all of the chapters that were added.

Like I said before this is a fairly lengthy document, yours might not need this many chapters but we typically add a lot of chapters to a lot of our layouts to give people extra things to think about and then you can pare it down. It's easier to pare down a long list of chapters than to not have a comprehensive list of chapters you have to then think about what to add. Now this document is ready for you to just do basic word processing on to edit all the chapters with your actual information.

The final back page now if you've set it up with your own logo you can change these stock graphics to say your own company logo. Whatever information you put into that Company Data screen you've that got merged in here. This will be your information that you see merged into the document.

So that is the first report document. Now we'll illustrate another report with a different design theme. Now note in there our demo here we have all the hundreds of design themes in our demo here.

Whichever one or ones you've purchased will be selectable here. You won't have access to all 500 design themes only the one or more you purchased. We're going to use the Classic #21 for this next report.

Just like before we are going to add a new project and we'll do an Annual Report. Before we used this first drop down to narrow down the selections here but we know there's an Annual Report and we'll just go down alphabetically and select it here. This is a smaller list of 19 chapters and we'll import that.

This annual report is actually also a completed sample. Every one of the Proposal Packs has 200 completed examples of different kinds of proposals, business plans, reports and so on. The Annual Report layout actually has written sample content so we'll say yes to import that.

Here's the list of chapters for the Annual Report and just like before we can move chapters up and down, change the order. We can add additional chapters and so on. Once you're done selecting your chapters just click the OK button and because we imported a sample it actually set the project name to Annual Report.

You can keep that the same, change it whatever you want. It's just for your own information. Just like before click the Company Data and Client Data and fill those in.

Once you're all done click OK, Save Project and we'll build this report. All right, now this document's been generated. We'll open it up take a look at it.

An annual report might be more likely to have an introduction cover letter than some other types of reports and you can see we're using the Classic #21 design theme here. Annual Report and actually since and annual report you might just skip putting the title in or you could just say For XYZ Company you know, whatever you want here. Table of Contents - now here's a different set of chapters for an Annual Report and you'll see that this is actually using the actual pre-written sample content that's been merged in with our client and company data.

This way you have an option of using the stock boilerplate chapters or the sample chapter content. Just scroll down now if you're using the sample content and there's enough of it that's usable by just tweaking it you can just do basic word processing at this point to finish this report. This is a financial page.

Since we turned off the Excel dynamic spreadsheet linking this is just static text. If you're using Expert edition feature from the Professional version you could actually have all these calculations being done in Excel spreadsheets and as you save the Excel spreadsheets they will auto update into the Word document so you don't have to manually type in everything into the Word document. Same with the balance sheet any pages that are financial topics that have an associated spreadsheet you can directly link to the Excel spreadsheets in the Professional edition.

Profit loss statement same thing, cash flow analysis. If you're doing a report or business plan or proposal, something that has a lot of the financial pages you might be better off getting the Professional edition. Now we'll illustrate a third report using another design theme and we'll pick the Business #23 design.

Once again click Document Projects, Add New Project, click Pick Documents and this time we're just going to do a Business Case. Again, this is another set of 23 chapters. Import that, now notice it didn't pop up the yes or no asking if we wanted to import sample content because this business case is just a list of chapters using the fill in the blank chapters so it won't import actual text of someone else's business case in this case.

Just like before we can just Add Templates, Search by Name and so on. Organize our list, change the order, add new templates, remove templates. Once we're done let's click the OK button and fill in the Company Data and Client Data.

We see our 23 pages selected and click OK, Save Project and we'll build another report document. All right, now this report document has been generated. We'll open this one up take a look at it.

Now this business case, this uses the Analysis header, Table of Contents and a different set of body chapters from the other reports. So, basically this is how any document can be created. You have 2000 or more chapters like these you can pick from in any order to assemble any kind of business document.

Executive Summary, Synopsis, Expected Results and so on. Now all you have to do is basic word processing to finish this report and like before - Cost/Benefit Analysis - if you're using the Expert edition you can link this directly to an Excel spreadsheet. Do your calculations in the Excel spreadsheet.

If you're using the Novice edition you still have the spreadsheets and you can do all your calculations. Those they're actually over here in your Spreadsheets tab. You can do all your calculations in here and this will total up all the numbers and then using the Novice edition or if you have dynamic spreadsheet linking turned off then you just type manually the totals or copy and paste them over into the table.

With the Expert edition as you make changes and save them they will auto update into the Word document. So that is how you can create any kind of business report, study, plan, business plan, proposal, whatever you need in hundreds of design themes with a very configurable system using Proposal Kit.

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Proposal Kit

Create winning business proposals & contracts with minimal effort and cost. Proposal software, proposal templates, legal contracts and sample proposals.