Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The best ways to prepare and present a report

The best ways to prepare and present a report

Certainly the best ways to prepare and present a report are to meet the needs, requirements and standards of the client in question.

For example, strategis does provide a free software Interactive Business Planner (IBP) which includes sample business plans from regional locales across Canada.

These series of subtitles were included for a local business plan of a Bed and Breakfast in Nova Scotia:

Executive Summary
Business Description
Ownership and Management
Key Initiatives and Objectives
Marketing Opportunities
Competitive Advantages
Marketing Strategy
Summary of Financial Projections
Confidentiality and Recognition of Risks
Confidentiality Clause
Recognition of Risk
Business Overview
Business History
Vision and Mission Statement
Location and Facilities
Products and Services
Description of Products and Services
Key Features of the Products and Services
Production of Products and Services
Future Products and Services
Comparative Advantages in Production
Industry Overview
Market Research
Size of the Industry
Key Product Segments
Key Market Segments
Purchase Process and Buying Criteria
Description of Industry Participants
Key Industry Trends
Industry Outlook
Marketing Strategy
Target Markets
Description of Key Competitors
Analysis of Competitive Position
Pricing Strategy
Promotion Strategy
Distribution Strategy
Management and Staffing
Organizational Structure
Management Team
Labour Market Issues
Regulatory Issues
Intellectual Property Protection
Trademarks, copyrights, or patents are not applicable to our business.
Regulatory Issues
Market Risks
Other Risks
Implementation Plan
Implementation Activities and Dates
Financial Plan
Discussion of Projected Net Income
Discussion of Monthly Cash Flow Statement
Discussion of Projected Annual Cash Flow
Discussion of Pro-Forma Balance Sheet
Discussion of Business Ratios

A real whopper and rather long!

The Business Start Up Assistant at Canada Business provides alternative formats for business plans and a whole host of guides and online resources including a nice image map
which includes a basic list of must haves including:

General format and presentation: meeting certain business expectations.

Cover page and table of contents: identifying your business and making it easy for readers to find particular documents.

Executive summary: a high altitude description of the entire plan that emphasizes key success factors.

Business background: company-specific information, business organization, history, product or service to be provided.

Marketing plan: presents analysis of market conditions , explains marketing strategythe business will follow, provides a detailed schedule of marketing activities to support sales.

Action plans: how operational and management issues are resolved and contingency planning.

Financial projections: projections (and historical financial information) explaining how the business can be expected to do financially if the business plan's assumptions are correct.

Appendix: presentation of supporting documents, statistical analysis, product marketing, resumes of employees, etc.

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