It's hard to manage and grow your business if you don't have visibility into how the company is performing and where you can improve. That's why business reports are essential to assessing your company and putting you on a path to success.
By analyzing the information contained in several types of reports, you can see what is and isn't working and where you can make improvements and adjustments.
Below are some of the most common types of reports that business owners usually find most useful.
1. Annual report
The main purpose of an annual report is to let you see what your company has accomplished over the preceding year.
You may also choose to use this type of performance report as a marketing tool to get people, particularly potential investors, and customers, excited about your company—if the financial numbers are in your favor.
Publicly traded companies are required by law to submit annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
2. Sales and revenue report
A sales and revenue report is among the most basic types of business reports you can compile, as it simply lists your sales statistics in a given time period. Most importantly, you can quickly compare these numbers to your expenses to determine your profit margin.
Also, by comparing these numbers to those of other time periods, you can get a quick snapshot view of how to best manage future sales efforts, such as pinpointing the best time to conduct marketing campaigns.
3. Inventory report
Inventory reports let you know how much of your product you have on hand at a given time. This type of report doesn't have to be complicated and, in fact, it can even be a simple checklist.
If you want something a bit more involved, you can compile an inventory ranking report, which can show you how well your products sell compared to the overhead cost of keeping them in stock.
4. Marketing report
One of the most important aspects of many businesses is marketing, and keeping track of your efforts and their results is critical. By compiling and analyzing this information, you can monitor where your sales are coming from to make sure you're getting a good return on investment for your marketing spend.
5. Website traffic report/social media report
These types of business reports give you a feel for the online performance of your business. You can tailor them specifically to your needs to get all kinds of information, from demographics to engagement levels.
Although you can always choose to keep track of your business reports yourself, some owners find it easier to outsource this task. Another benefit of doing so is that having an objective third-party run your reports can ensure accuracy free of subjective influence.