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Chapter 14

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Chapter 14 Chapter 14 Document Transcript

  • Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e 103 Chapter 14 Masters © 2006 South-Western/Thomson Chapter 14 WRITING PROPOSALS AND FORMAL REPORTS Preparing Proposals Introduction ● Explain why the proposal is being made. ● Develop a persuasive “hook.” Suggest excellent results, low cost, or exclusive resources. Identify a problem or name a key issue or benefit. Background, problem ● Discuss the proposal’s significance, goals, or purposes. ● For unsolicited proposals, describe an existing problem. ● For solicited proposals, show that you fully understand the problem and its ramifications. Proposal, plan ● Present your plan for solving the problem. ● Describe implementation and evaluation. ● Outline a schedule showing dates. Staffing ● Explain the specific credentials and expertise of the key personnel for the project. ● Show how your support staff and resources are superior to the competition. Budget ● Itemize costs carefully. Proposals are contracts. ● Present a deadline for the bid figures.
  • Authorization ● Ask for approval. Make it easy to reply.
  • Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e 104 Chapter 14 Masters © 2006 South-Western/Thomson Preparing an Effective Business Plan Letter of transmittal or executive summary ● Explain your reasons for writing. ● Provide contact information for all principals. ● Describe your business concisely. ● Introduce parts of your plan. ● Ask for support. Table of contents ● List topics and page numbers. Company description ● Identify business form (proprietorship, partnership, corporation?) ● Specify business type (merchandising, service?) ● For existing businesses, explain founding, growth, sales, profit. Product/service description ● Explain what you are providing and how it will benefit customers.
  • ● Describe why your idea is better than existing products or services.
  • Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e 105 Chapter 14 Masters © 2006 South-Western/Thomson Preparing an Effective Business Plan (cont.) Market analysis ● Discuss market characteristics, trends, and projected growth. ● Describe customer behavior, complementary products and services, and barriers to entry. ● Identify your customers and how you will attract, hold, and increase your market share. ● Specify the strengths and weaknesses of competitors. Operations and management ● Explain how you will run your business: location, equipment, personnel, and management. ● Emphasize experienced and well-trained staff and advisors. Financial analysis ● Outline a realistic start-up budget. ● Present an operating budget that projects costs. ● Explain how much money you have and will need. A ppendixes ● Provide extras such as managers’ résumés, promotional materials, and product photos.
  • Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e 106 Chapter 14 Masters © 2006 South-Western/Thomson Preparing Formal Reports Analyze the report problem and purpose. Develop a problem question (Are customers satisfied with our service?) and a purpose statement. (The purpose of this report is to investigate customer satisfaction and to recommend areas for improvement.) Anticipate the audience and issues. Consider primary and secondary audiences. What do they already know? What do they need to know? Divide the major problem into subproblems for investigation. Prepare a work plan. Include problem and purpose statements. Describe sources and methods of collecting data. Prepare a project outline and work schedule. Collect data. Search secondary sources. Gather primary data. Document data sources. Prepare note cards or printouts citing all references (author, date, source, page, and quotation). Use one documentation format consistently.
  • Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e 107 Chapter 14 Masters © 2006 South-Western/Thomson Preparing Formal Reports (cont.) Interpret and organize the data. Arrange the collected data in tables, grids, or outlines to help you visualize relationships and interpret meanings. Organize the data into an outline. Prepare graphics. Make tables, charts, graphs, and illustrations--but only if they serve a function. Use graphics to clarify, condense, simplify, or emphasize your data. Compose the first draft. Write the first draft at a computer. Use appropriate headings as well as transitional expressions to guide the reader. Revise and proofread. Revise to eliminate wordiness, ambiguity, and redundancy. Look for ways to improve readability, such as bulleted or numbered lists. Proofread three times for (1) word and content meaning, (2) grammar and mechanics, and (3) formatting. Evaluate the product. Will this report achieve its purpose? Encourage feedback so that you can improve future reports.
  • Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e 108 Chapter 14 Masters © 2006 South-Western/Thomson Formal Report Components Title page Balance the following lines: ● Name of the report in all caps ● Receiver’s name, title, and organization ● Author’s name, title, and organization ● Date submitted Letter or memo of transmittal ● Announce topic and explain who authorized it. ● Briefly describe the project and preview the conclusions--if the reader is supportive. ● Close by expressing appreciation for the assignment, suggesting follow-up actions, acknowledging the help of others, and offering to answer questions. Table of contents
  • ● Show the beginning page number where each report heading appears in the report. ● Connect page numbers and headings with dots.
  • Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e 109 Chapter 14 Masters © 2006 South-Western/Thomson Formal Report Components (cont.) List of illustrations ● Include a list of tables, illustrations, or figures showing the title of each and its page number. ● Place on the same page with contents if possible. Executive summary or abstract ● Summarize the report purpose, findings, conclusions, and recommendations. ● Gauge the length of the summary by the length of the report and by the organization’s practices. Introduction ● Explain the problem motivating the report. ● Describe the problem’s background and significance. ● Clarify the scope and limitations of the report. ● Consider reviewing relevant literature.
  • ● Consider describing data sources, methods, and key terms. ● Close by previewing the report’s organization.
  • Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e 110 Chapter 14 Masters © 2006 South-Western/Thomson Formal Report Components (cont.) Body ● Discuss, analyze, and interpret the research findings or proposed solution to the problem. ● Arrange the findings in logical segments that follow your outline. ● Use clear, descriptive headings. Conclusions and recommendations ● Explain what the findings mean in relation to the problem. ● Make enumerated recommendations, if requested. ● Suggest actions for solving the problem. Appendix ● Include items of interest to some, but not all, readers, such as data- gathering tools like questionnaires. References and bibliography ● If footnotes are not provided, list all references in “Works Cited” or “References.”
  • ● Optionally, include a bibliography showing all the works cited (and perhaps consulted) arranged alphabetically.