Keep Calm, It’s Business Report time!!
Around about now, if you listen very carefully, you might actually hear the combined groans of students like you from all over Ireland who are facing into writing the dreaded Business Report! But actually, this, seemingly daunting, but essential, part of the Student Enterprise Programme doesn’t need to be dreaded at all.
The Report cannot be any more than twenty pages long. This may seem like a lot of paper to fill, but when you include photos, graphs, market research results, a SWOT Analysis and your accounts, you’ll have the pages filled in no time. You want the judges to find reading your Report an interesting and pleasurable experience. They will be reviewing up to forty reports in advance of the County/National Final and there are a full thirty marks available for it. This is your chance to make a BIG first impression and do yourselves and your business justice! A well structured Business Report is a joy to read.
The first thing to do is to go to the “Student Resources” link on www.studententerprise.ie Under “Student Resources” – “Useful Templates/Forms” you will find documents which you can download including “Business Report Template” and “Business Report Cover Sheet”. Under the “Report Template”, you will find eight different section headings from “Introduction” to “Review and Conclusion”. Each heading features various really useful prompt questions to help you tell your own unique SEP story. If you literally answer all of these prompt questions in your own words, expanding on each one, then Hey Presto – you’ll have your Report done and dusted!
Step by step:
It’s likely that different team members were responsible for different aspects of the business (e.g. Sales and Marketing, Finance), so one option is to have everyone write their own relevant section. If you decide to take this approach, it’s advisable to have an editor ensure that the Report reads well and the various writing styles match.
- Start with the prompt questions from the Business Report Template.
- Write bullet points under each question heading.
- Expand on these bullet points, to complete full sentences.
- Use clear, concise English and make your sentences as snappy as
- Keep to the point!
- Try to vary your language. Avoid using the same words or phrases repeatedly. Your thesaurus can help you with this!
- Ensure proper use of grammar. (e.g. know the difference between “they’re”, “there” and “their”!)
- If you are unsure how to spell a word, look it up!
- Ensure the correct use of commas and apostrophes.
- Make sure all sections are in the same tense.
- Use a font that is easy to read.
- Ensure photos you use print out clearly.
- A bit of humour can make all the difference to the reader!
- Tell your story in your own way.
- Be professional.
- Avoid the temptation of getting someone else to write the report for you! The judges will always know!
Some words of wisdom:
The power of the mind is amazing. Visualisation can really help you to achieve your goals. An excellent tip for approaching any dreaded task is to simply relax, close your eyes and conjure up the satisfied feeling you will get when you have the task completed. So, imagine putting in the very last full stop on your Business Report. See the Report in your hand, perfectly neat and tidy, with flowing, concise language. It is the best representation of you and your business that it can be and you are super proud of it.
Now, take a deep breath and start writing!