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Ch. 13 Completing business proposals and Business reports

How completed reports affect your Credibility
As a report writer, your personal credibility is tied to how well you provide facts, conclusions, and positions that help decision making (competence), involve decision makers and address their needs (caring), and report information honestly and transparently (Character).
Developing Business Proposals
– Most successful proposal writers speak to decision makers before submitting and official proposal
– By negotiating some of the details ahead of time, proposal writers have a better sense of what decision makers want and expect
Components of a business proposal
– Cover page
– Executive summary
– Current situation
– Specific objectives
– Deliverables overview
– Time line
– Results enhancers
– Pricing/ budget
Excellence in thinking for reports
Business problem
Facts
Conclusions
Recommendations
Demonstrate excellent thinking by applying a precision oriented style
– Start with a clear states end of the business problem or challenge
– use fact based language
– Document secondary research and avoid plagiarism
– Base recommendations on facts and conclusions in the report
– Provide specific and actionable recommendations
Use fact based language
You can raise Credibility of your report by:
1) Supplying the facts with precision
2) Providing supporting details for your conclusions
3) Carefully dealing with predictions and cause-effect statements
4) Responsibly citing your research sources.
Document Secondary research and Avoid Plagiarism
– You should provide a reference list at the end of the report that contains all your sources
– Throughout your document, you should provide citations to indicate the information you have drawn from other sources
Plagiarism
“steal and pass of (the ideas of another) as one’ s own.”
“to commit literary theft”
Direct quotations
Verbatim restatements from another source
Paraphrasing
Involves using your own words to express the meaning of the original speaker or writer
Designing your reports to help decision makers
– Assume that decision makers may not read your report from start to end, and design it so they can navigate the information rapidly
– One way to make your report easy to navigate is to provide a structure that decision makers are familiar with
Components of a Trend Report
-Executive summary
– Intro
– background
– trend analysis
– Recommendations
– References
– Appendices
Components of a Survey Report
– Executive summary
– intro and background
– methodology
– findings
– conclusions
– recommendations
– References
– Appendices
Executive Summary
Purpose is to summarize the most important contents, including key findings, conclusions, and recommendations, so that busy executives and other decision makers can quickly understand and act on the report.
Create a cover page, a Table of Contents, and Appendixes
– reports of more than 10 pages often include a cover page
– At a minimun, the cover page should include a title, names of those who wrote and/or are submitting the report, and a date.
– It is expected for nearly any reports over 10 pages long
– reports also frequently include appendixes to provide reference materials
Achieving objectivity and positivity through tone
-More so than positivity, you should project objectivity- the sense that you are providing information, analysis, and advice that is sound, reliable, and unbiased
– Ensure that your enthusiasm and strong positive emotion do not appear to cloud your judgment
Assessing Key features of a Completed Report
– Value to decision makers
– Precision
– Documentation
– Easy navigation
– Objectivity
Reviewing your reports for fairness and effectiveness
-When possible, discuss the report with the ultimate decision makers so that you can best tailor the final product to their needs
– Review it at lest once from typos or mechanical errors

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