What is a consulting report?
As aforementioned, an expert writes the consulting report template for a client who doesn’t have the time or lacks the knowledge to do the necessary research on a certain subject. For a consultant, preparing the consultancy report sample is part of the job.
They start with a consulting report example as a guide in making their report. This template shows:
- The problem that the client is currently facing.
- An examination of the problem from the consultant’s perspective.
- Recommendations or solutions to the problem.
To help their clients out, consultants make use of a consulting report format which serves as a guide in laying out and professionally presenting their insights. Here are some examples of consulting reports:
- Client’s supply chain model vs. industry leader’s supply chain model
- Competitor analysis
- Cybersecurity report
- Industry report
- Project status report
- Sample business plan
- Social media reports
Format of a consulting report
Depending upon their requirements or their subject, consulting report templates can differ completely from one another but basically, they follow a fairly standard structure. Consultants use this basic format to keep themselves organized and allow a flow of information that’s logical and which keeps the customer reading instead of getting confused. Here’s the basic consulting report format:
- The name of the report
- Your name
- The name of the company
- The name of the client
- The date when you deliver the report to the client
Table of contents
- You may create this part after finishing all the other sections of the business consulting report.
- Make a list which includes all the sections of your report and their page numbers.
- You may write this after finishing all the other sections of your report too.
- This is a summary of the issues. Also, include the solutions and analysis in your report.
- The purpose of your report.
- Problems or issues which need addressing.
- Methods to use to analyze the issue or problem.
- List all of the issues then analyze and describe each one
- Analysis must include data and statistics. Cite all of your sources too.
- Write down your recommendations on how to solve the issue or problem on hand.
- Using bullet points keeps these recommendations brief and direct.
- This part summarizes all of the recommendations and findings from your report.
- This part is optional
- If you plan to provide one, it should include any relevant supporting citations like bibliography, references, photographs, etc.
- Include any information which supports all of your recommendations.
Writing the executive summary of the consulting report
As the name suggests, an executive summary contains a brief explanation of the report’s content. This is an important part of any consultancy report sample. It usually comes before the report’s introduction and won’t include any high-level or critical information. Rather, it offers figures and facts gathered from your results including any recommendations.
Remember that decision-makers might only concentrate on this part of the consulting report. Generally, they tend to skim through the rest. This is one reason why you should allot more time in making the executive summary. To ensure that you’re doing this right, ask another person who isn’t part of the project to critique your summary.
If you’ve created an effective executive summary, the reader should understand the report without having to go through the entire document. Should the reader feel puzzled or feel that there’s missing vital information, then you may have to edit your report. Don’t inhibit yourself from incorporating visuals for emphasis.
This summary is an important aspect of a consulting report example which relies on a “mind map” which aids in the explanation of its primary concept. Most consultants write the executive summary after finishing the other parts of the report as it will only be then that they will understand the information they should include.
Generally, though, all Executive Summaries include the following elements:
- The current issue or problem
- The findings including any figures and facts
- The analysis of your findings
- The recommendations for the client
Every executive summary presents problems and their respective advice or recommendations. They should have a terse format. Here are a few pointers you may consider for writing a great executive summary:
- Keep the summary to 2 pages only for long business consulting reports.
- Keep the summary to one paragraph only for consulting reports which are 3-4 pages in length.
- Use bullet points and subheadings to make the text more readable.
- Use a graph or chart to emphasize your main recommendation or finding
Tips for writing a consulting report
Consultants today are an integral necessity in the modern business world from the large international companies to small non-profit organizations. Many of these establishments now depend on the expertise of professional consultants before they make significant business decisions. In general, consultants get hired on a contractual basis and their final reports depend on the nature of the industry.
The consultation report templates they produce for the clients offer expert insights into the subject. In doing these tasks, they need preparations, excellent writing abilities, and superior attention to detail in order to produce a comprehensive consulting report. Here are some tips for you:
- Creating a Title Page
This should include your name, your company’s name, the report’s name, and your client’s name. Also, include the date you submitted the report to your client.
- Include an Introduction
Compose a short introduction which explains why you wrote the report. Make an outline of the basics of the report including approaches and methods used in the analysis of the topic.
- Provide an Analysis of the Issues
There should be a descriptive heading for every issue. Under every heading, write details about each particular issue and a detailed analysis of such. It can include possible solutions, alternatives, and even recommendations for each of the issues. If possible, use researched statistics and data.
- Create a List of Recommendations
In one separate section, list all the possible recommendations you’ve taken from the analysis. Use concise yet easy-to-understand language.
- Compose the Executive Summary
As taken earlier, an executive summary is a condensed explanation of what the consulting report example is all about. You can copy the most important sections of your consulting report sample then paste them in the executive summary. Highlight the report’s major analysis, findings, and conclusions.
A great and effective executive summary permits the readers to comprehend the basic contents of a consulting report even without having to read the report itself. Place this before the report’s introduction.
- Create the Table of Contents
List every section of the consulting report. Then include the page numbers where the reader can find the sections. Place this before the page of the executive summary.
- Other tips
Use appendices for bibliographies, references, and photographs when applicable. In consulting, you use an appendix for detailed information to support the report.
Use a Footer Watermark or a Header with your name and contact information on each of the pages.
Tips for writing the cover page of the consulting report
The first thing your client sees when handed a consulting report is the cover page. It is, therefore, paramount to give this part its due attention. You should create this page professionally and it should include all important details to give the reader an idea of what the report is all about.
Even movie advertisements make great enticing posters to grab the attention of the viewers. Same with a report cover page. Make sure it isn’t boring. You can start by making the title compelling enough to make the reader want to turn to the next page. For the consulting report template’s cover page, choose the color schemes, the icons, fonts, and images very carefully.
These elements should already give the reader a rock-solid idea on what to expect next. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to keep your design as simple as possible. Simplicity too can also be as effective. Here are some design tips when making your Report’s cover page:
- Only use clean, conservative Sans Serif fonts to make the text readable. Never use handwritten, calligraphy-style fonts or any fonts that are hard to read.
- Remember the report is all about the client. Brand your cover page by using the client’s logo, brand colors, and font
- You may also use photos to set the tone for the report’s content. You may either use a photo that represents the industry or a metaphorical photo, like plants to represent growth
- Make sure that the font, images, and text you choose all work together in design harmony.
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