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How To Summarize a Long Business Report

If you’re reading this, there’s a high chance you have a report due for a business idea you’re trying to secure or market. Whatever the reason for your business report, it’s important to note that your target audience most likely gets reports all the time and might be tired of reading them.

Writing a business report is no easy task. You want to write something that is both factual and detailed but does not bore the reader.

What is a Business Report

Written on a business idea, a report is usually created with the distinct intention of appealing to a particular audience. It presents analyzed evidence and applies analysis to the particular idea, problem, or issue being addressed. This data is presented in a way that should be easy to follow by structuring it into sections and headings.

Like all summaries, a business report summary should contain no details or explanations – just a brief, concise, and helpful outline of your report. The length should be about half a page and should be at the beginning of a business report. The summary can contain four to six paragraphs. Below are the steps to a captivating business summary

1. Quiz Yourself

Now, let’s take a look at how to squeeze a 20-page report into a half-page summary that manages to capture everyone’s attention. Before you plunge into your report summary, you may want to write the answers to the following questions—these answers constitute part of your four to a six-paragraph summary.

  • If you were to use one word or clause to describe your report, what would it be?
  • What are you proposing, and why do you make those recommendations?
  • What is so unique and exciting about your business?
  • Are you partnering with anyone unique?
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • Do you have the tech involved, and what is the cost of establishing your idea?

2. Section Summaries

Take your project and summarize each section. Then make a summary of the summary through priority without getting too technical so that someone who is not in that field can comprehend you. You can include supporting research as footnotes to increase confidence (from trusted sites).

Start your sentence with an inspiring quote or thought-provoking statistics, but be careful not to sound like a cliché. Be as positive as possible without sounding false. Here are few other “don’ts” to keep in the back of your mind as you start the summary:

  • Do not repeat the same words or clauses over and over again.
  • Do not oversell yourself either by favoring words like “over the top,” “ground-breaking,” and “life-changing.”
  • While no one wants you to sell them a candy-land perfect idea, no one wants to invest in a train wreck either, so you may want to leave the risks in the body of your report. You want to pull the investors in, not have them worried.
  • Do not overwrite it or provide too much background info such that reading the summary may begin to feel like work.

3. Your Tune

You may want to ignore this one if you feel like you can’t decide who your audience may be. But if you can, it is advised that you acquire a little background knowledge about your intended audience and set your tone to match theirs. You are encouraged to use words like “we,” “our,” and “us,” as this will help the first time reader connect with your idea faster.

Confidence cannot be overemphasized. The more faith you put in yourself, the more likely it is that the reader will pick up on that. Just like animals pick up on fear and uncertainty, so do people.

4. Breaking Down Your Paragraphs

Unlike your report body, they are no structural guidelines holding your summary back, but there are tips on how to make it unique and get the intended audience to read the rest of the report. The use of precise and concise languages cannot over-stressed, and there is no need for big grammar or cliché terms.


The first few sentences should give an overview of your business while at the same time trying to get the audience to fall in line with your train of thoughts. Here is where the mention of statistics is used to pique the reader’s interest. The overview should contain your business name, its nature, and one general fact about the industry your business fails.

Target Audience

You can go ahead to talk about your intended market audience, the strategy you are employing, and the types of competition available in the next paragraph. In this paragraph, you may also want to point out what issues your business is hoping to resolve with the current advantages of starting or venturing into this business now.

How you plan to market your exciting plan should be discussed with a single line stating what platforms you’ll use to contact your intended customer base. Next, address why your strategy will work and worth exploring. Be careful not to talk about a strategy with loads of loopholes.


In the next paragraph, talk about why this business idea is the right thing for the current market. This is usually of interest to investors because that puts a timeframe on the whole idea, and they might want to read further.


Your next paragraph can capture the kind of operational activities that your company will be involved in an outline. These can involve things like possible partnerships, locations, industry, and the possibility of the business remaining strictly remote or not.

You can use estimated projections of projects and how much returns will be pulled if your business is on the ground. Avoid using phrases like “I hope,” “I wish” or “I think” and use phrases like “I strongly believe that.”


After this, you have obtained the right to hit the nail by the head. Here, provide a paragraph about financing or whatever is the motive of your report. State what is needed to start your business, but be careful not to give numbers that don’t match your earlier projections.

Make sure to keep your terms and definitions as clear and short as possible. Remember, the details are in your report. Now it’s time to write a killer summary that will captivate your audience.

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By Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday holds degrees in English education and creative writing. As an educator, Michael specializes in corporate training having worked with IBM, Philip Morris International, and the Danone food company in Paris. He is a published author and is deeply passionate about the written word.

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