Why It Matters: Reports

Why learn to write business reports?

Image of plate with cubed butternut squash, salad greens, and brown and white wild rice.You’ve just come home from your day at work as a produce manager at a local grocery store. As you sort through your mail (bills to pay, items to read later, and junk to recycle now), you come across postcards from two different meal kit services, where they send a box of ingredients with recipes to homes. The home cooks then follow a recipe for a unique meal with a few special ingredients that the company ships to their residence. The home cook doesn’t have to go to the store for anything.

When you go to work the next day, you plan to ask the grocery store owner about these services. How hard would it be to create something similar at your store?

The owner of the store thinks your idea has some merit, but isn’t sure how many customers might try it, what they would be willing to pay, or how much it might cost for a small town grocery store. He asks you to put together information that summarizes these answers. He wants to review it with a couple of business friends in his network where they share new ideas and brainstorm business strategies.

This is your first time creating a business report in a real-life business circumstance, and you’re excited because it’s not just a school assignment. You start with what you were trained to do by thinking about this report as an internal proposal. The first step is to set up the exact item or problem statement to research. With that focus in mind, you can do the research needed to answer the questions and determine how to share your results in an orderly fashion.