Most business owners hire consultants when faced with business challenges without the knowledge or time to analyze and solve them.
Once hired and after the analysis, the consultant generates a consulting report, which provides an in-depth analysis of the problem and offers expert recommendations addressing the issue.
A consulting report example is when a business faces stiff competition and wants to know how to beat the competition. The company can hire an expert consultant to analyze the competitive landscape and request them to do a competitor analysis.
In this instance, the consultant must provide a professional consulting report outlining the competitor, their competitive advantages, and what weaknesses the business can exploit to beat them.
Once the consulting report is provided, the business can implement the recommendations.
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Consultants create a consulting report as a summary of their considered recommendations based on facts and their years of experience.
When writing consulting reports, they analyze relevant data points and use a logical flow to derive insights into the root cause and what might be done to solve the problem.
These key findings are contained in a consulting report encompassing the consultant’s professional advice, citing key metrics and detailed insights in easy-to-understand language.
The report’s contents comprise relevant information based on the consultant's expert understanding of the industry and business niche, providing coherent answers to pertinent questions and possible solutions.
As a new consultant, you might wonder how to draft a consulting report.
You might have questions like:
Using a consulting report example answers these and other questions.
Since most consulting report examples are created by seasoned consultants with vast experience in the business world, they contain all the critical information required.
The following section details all the sections consultancy reports should have.
Here's a quick breakdown of what a consulting report example should have.
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Most consultant reports start with a cover page. It briefly shows the consulting report in a visually appealing format.
The page should have a title, your consulting company’s name, the client’s name, and the date the report was published. You can also include your logo and the client’s logo.
The title page provides a bit more detail and includes the report title, a brief description of the report, and the names and credentials of the report authors.
The title page often lacks visual design elements, retaining a strictly text-based format of black text against a white background.
The table of contents provides a navigational structure that readers can quickly read through to know what the report contains.
This section can include section headings and subheadings and provide linked text, so the reader can click on an item and jump to the specific page.
An effective executive summary covers all the important findings, answering the client’s questions through a concise explanation.
This section should give the reader a rough idea of what the rest of the report contains, providing key points on what the consultant report covers.
Think of this section as laying the groundwork for the following sections. It outlines why the report was commissioned and underscores the necessary research conducted and how to interpret the business consulting report. The introduction can also include summaries of the main sections of the consultant report.
This section addresses the consulting project scope, so the reader can know what the limits of the analysis were.
For example, a marketing consultant might indicate that the scope of the consulting report is restricted to marketing matters and does not cover finance or sales. The consultant can also include the time period of the consulting project under this section.
Most consultants have strong analytical skills and therefore include an analysis section as a mandatory section.
When writing reports, consultants will consist of key metrics and the main data points considered during the analysis, providing detailed information on the entire analysis process and outcomes.
The recommendation report section provides important details on how to solve problems identified during the analysis step.
Using a concise explanation to highlight each recommendation, the consultant may offer insights on optimizing the management model, making the sales team more effective, or any other suggestions relevant to the commissioned statement of work.
In brief terms, the summary/conclusion provides a rock-solid idea of what take-outs the client should infer from the report. Here, the consultant can also offer some parting shots to solidify client trust in the report findings.
Some report templates include an appendix containing citations, a bibliography, data sources, methodologies, and links to additional resources. Business consulting reports containing an appendix are often associated with exhaustive research and a long list of data sources.
The consulting report's last page contains the business’s profile and contacts. Most consulting report templates will also include brief bios of the consulting report authors in this section.
Using business consulting report templates can save you time regarding design, formatting, sections, and even how to fill in the sections. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel if you are a new consultant.
Consulting report examples have all the information you need to quickly input your consulting findings and deliver a professional report to your client.
Nothing appears as unprofessional as a consulting report with missing sections or sections listed in the wrong order. Consulting report templates have all the sections in the correct order, and you can delete the sections you don’t need without rewriting the entire report.
Are you wondering how to format, design or even present your consulting report? Are you torn between a Microsoft Word document and a PowerPoint presentation?
Consulting report examples can give you all the ideas you need to develop the correct format and representation for your report.
As a consultant, design might not be your strength. Instead of submitting a drab-looking report, look for consulting report templates with beautiful designs that can make your report stand out. Most report templates also make it possible to tweak the design in case you don’t like something about it.
Whichever consulting report template you use, approach the report writing with a problem/solution mindset.
Avoid spending too much time providing background information and other details; instead, balance all this information with information that helps the client solve their problem.
After a client reads your consulting report, the one thing they should take away is a practical way to solve their problem. Throughout the report, from the executive summary to the last page, ensure all the information you input is actionable and grounded in sound methodologies that the client can understand and implement.
Although some consulting templates use complex language, you don’t have to follow this theme. Your main priority should be to use language your client can easily understand.
Keep in mind this also depends on the type of client you have. You might need to use more complex language to communicate deeper insights if it's a management consulting report.
While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, your client sure will judge your report by its cover. Don’t make a poor first impression by presenting a dull, unimaginative report. Instead, go through some consulting report examples and find some that have a visually appealing design.
Some consulting report templates come with sample text to give you an idea of how each section should appear. However, no matter how tempting, you should not use this text in your report.
Besides the issue of plagiarism, your client might have used the same report template previously and discover that you did not author the report in its entirety, casting your business in a bad light.
Consulting report examples span dozens of categories, industries, and use cases. For instance, consulting report templates exist for the management, healthcare, and project management industries.
Below are but a handful of report examples:
Management consulting addresses challenges in governance in a company. Suppose a company is struggling to succeed with its current management model.
In that case, it can hire a management consultant to analyze its governance structures and make recommendations for better aligning management to represent growth going forward.
Business processes include operations, manufacturing, expansion, customer service, and others. Companies often hire business process consultants to determine the best way to improve processes for better efficiency and productivity.
A business process consulting report typically has all the draft information needed to create an impactful report.
Marketing reports, including social media reports, provide a detailed account of how a company’s marketing activities are performing.
In the report, the marketing consultant addresses issues like marketing channels, marketing impact, cost of marketing, and marketing mixes, offering professional recommendations to help the company generate more ROI from its marketing activities.
A supply chain consulting report addresses issues like a client’s supply chain model, looking at how issues like transportation, logistics, manufacturing, and geopolitics might affect performance.
Supply chain consultants will typically interrogate a company’s supply chain, often traveling to suppliers overseas to better understand all dynamics.
Sales consulting report examples can give you a good idea of how to structure your report. If you are assessing sales team performance, the report template will have sections like historic sales, sales projections, sales challenges, and sales recommendations. You can always structure the report based on the specifics of your consulting project.
Now that you have a solid understanding of consulting report examples and templates, how do you start using them?
You can get free report templates from the Microsoft Office website or try a free trial of Bonsai, where over two hundred thousand templates are available.
PowerPoint also has some great report templates. Open your PowerPoint desktop app and head to the templates section to explore dozens of free report templates.
Besides these free sources of consulting report templates, you can also borrow inspiration from hundreds of consulting report examples on the Internet.
Search for the term ‘consulting report examples,’ and you’ll find examples that you can use to help you craft a fantastic consulting report.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?