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10 Elements To Include in Your Annual Report

What can marketers glean from the annual reports of some of the world's top brands?

Quite a lot, it turns out.

Annual reports are more than just accounting documents—they're valuable tools for understanding how companies think about themselves and what they want their audiences to know about them.

10 Elements To Include in Your Annual Report: eAskme
10 Elements To Include in Your Annual Report: eAskme

Here are 10 elements to include in your annual report:

1. Tagline or mission statement:

If you're looking for an organizational refresher, turn to your annual report.

You'll likely find a tagline or mission statement that captures the essence of who you are and what you do—something you can share at meetings with potential business partners or possibly even use a copy on your company's website.

2. An overview of the year (i.e., highlights and challenges):

An overview is a great way to remind people of the crucial moments over the last 12 months and how you faced your biggest challenges.

It's also an opportunity to show off your company's personality.

After all, everyone knows at least one person whose year-in-review emails are nearly impossible to get through without cracking up.

That same lighthearted tone can make your annual report memorable—and possibly inspiring for some readers.

3. An explanation of changes made to the company's business model over the past year and how they influenced financial performance, if applicable:

If your business made changes to its model (e.g., new products and services, a merger or acquisition), share this information with readers to get a sense of how it might impact future earnings.

For example, describing the rationale behind the change may inspire trust in some audiences and allow you to position your company as an industry leader.

To give you an idea, here are some progress report samples from Venngage.

annual report: eAskme

Modern Annual Report: eAskme

annual-report highlights: eAskme

4. A snapshot of key metrics by which you measure success (ex: total market share, brand awareness, customer satisfaction index) and percentage change from the last period accordingly:

This is a great way to lend concrete evidence of the progress you've made as a company.

Whether it's new product lines or increased sales, this information can reassure investors and business partners that you're on track to achieve your goals—and may even inspire them to join you.

5. A summary of significant changes made to products/services for this reporting period and overall strategy moving forward if applicable:

Audiences like to know that companies they work with or invest in are staying relevant and producing new products and services (that is, if you'd prefer readers not to wonder when the last time your company made a significant change was).

If you've come up with something exciting, it's worth telling readers about.

It might drum up business—and who knows? You could even generate some media coverage.

6. A brief history of how the company came to be and its vision for the future:

Use this space wisely if your annual report is your only opportunity to explain why you do what you do—or even who you are as a business.

Dig into your archives and dust off old documents that detail how and why your company was

7. A list of key milestones achieved over the reporting period:

This is another opportunity to share your accomplishments with readers.

Did you meet your previous financial targets?

Did you open new stores or hire more employees?

You can use this information to show how the company has evolved—and might even inspire some people to make a career out of working for you.

8. A snapshot of the company's ecosystem, including suppliers/vendors, business partners, and customers/clients:

Your annual statement is a great chance to introduce your audience to the company's partners and collaborators, as well as its biggest customers and suppliers.

This allows you to strengthen your connections throughout the local and global business world—and might even help you forge new ones.

Also, many people hire consultants or work with vendors whose businesses may complement yours; giving these individuals exposure could result in valuable leads for future collaborations.

9. A recap of any significant partnerships in place for this reporting period and any news to share about future collaborations:

This can be an excellent place to announce any notable partnerships formed or lost over the previous year—or even ones that may be on the horizon.

If you're working with someone new, it's worth telling readers about; this will make them feel like they're part of your success story and show what makes your company unique.

10. A glimpse into the future as to where you see yourself in five years (or more) and how you plan to get there:

The annual report is an excellent opportunity for business leaders to share their vision for the future of their companies.

If investors have been asking questions about your key milestones, this section might help answer some of them by giving readers a sense of how far along you are toward reaching your goals.

This can also be an excellent place to discuss any challenges that may need to be overcome on the way—and how you'll go about doing so.
 
Yes, annual reports can be a lot of work. But they're also a chance to show your company's true colors.

Suppose you think about your report as an opportunity to reach out to potential business partners and investors.

In that case, while also giving readers a glimpse into the progress you've made over the last year—you'll find that it's worth the effort.

Conclusion:

To make things easier for you, check out Venngage — an online editing platform that provides various report templates you can use for your presentation.

With Venngage, you can make more reports in just a few clicks. So check out their page and make your very own annual report today!

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Gaurav Kumar

Gaurav Kumar is the founder of eAskme.com. He is the professional blogger, writer, motivational speaker and online. He the man behind "Blogging for money guide" and "complete domain name guide". eAskme will help you to become an online entrepreneur. You can learn SEO, Money MAKING, SEO, blogging and more.

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