An annual report affords a complete overview of your small business’s yearly operations. Because the content material in these experiences is heavy-hitting, it’s important to current it in a method that helps your viewers perceive and visualize your successes.

These experiences additionally incorporate varied design components that help your metrics and create a novel, artistic, and visually interesting story of your small business actions.

On this put up, we’ll define annual report design best-practices, present a template you should utilize to create your individual, and go over examples of annual experiences from different companies that you should utilize for inspiration.

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What’s an annual report?

As a refresher, an annual report is a doc created by companies that show yearly efficiency, together with successes and challenges. It offers a big-picture view of operations and methods whereas additionally going in-depth on key efficiency metrics.

Annual experiences differ from weekly experiences in that they handle something and every little thing that has occurred over the previous yr, together with content material you’ve already talked about in weekly, month-to-month, or another fashion of report you’ve made.  

Designing an annual report is a cautious course of, as it’s essential to discover a stability between highly effective graphics and readability and understanding. Most experiences comprise information visualizations, like charts and graphs, to reinforce the expertise and actually name consideration to heavy-hitting metrics.

Under we’ll present a template that you should utilize to design an annual report for your small business and description the sections that ought to be included in each report, no matter business.

Annual Report Design Template

The template you select to make use of to design your annual report ought to be based mostly in your particular person enterprise wants and the metrics you’re hoping to incorporate.

Nevertheless, you may adapt most templates to suit your enterprise wants, like this template provided by HubSpot. The picture beneath options two pages from the downloadable template, together with an organization overview and a yearly efficiency evaluation.

annual-report copy

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The template lets you go in-depth into elements of your small business that the annual report will focus on, whether or not it’s advertising campaigns or yearly gross sales efficiency. Regardless of this, there are particular components that ought to be included in all annual experiences, and we’ll focus on these beneath.

1. Summarize your yearly targets and methods.

The primary part of your annual report ought to summarize your yearly targets and methods. This gives your viewers with an outline of your annual focus and provides the data obligatory to know and contextualize the remainder of your report.

Primarily, it units the tone for the remainder of the report because it explains the intention behind your operations. When you’re a advertising enterprise creating an annual report, this part might define your advertising targets and the campaigns you created to achieve these targets.

2. Define key efficiency indicators (KPIs) and aims.

One other portion of your annual report ought to define the KPIs you used to measure successes. This part is actually the guts of your report, as you’re displaying the outcomes of your year-long actions.

Goal to make use of charts, graphics, and another artistic design components, as they are going to enhance the impression of your phrases and actually exhibit the significance of your information. For instance, say considered one of your general targets was to extend ROI throughout all channels. When you can actually clarify that Twitter ROI has elevated 15% YoY, a chart that visually shows the distinction between the years paints a clearer image of success.

A powerful annual report is a well-rounded annual report, so this part can even embody an evaluation of challenges and anticipated outcomes, the place you clarify areas that you might have fallen quick by way of attaining your targets.

3. Clarify key takeaways and make future suggestions.

Whereas the part above will go into particular element, it can even be useful to incorporate an overarching abstract of a very powerful components of your yr. You possibly can take this time to deal with the metrics and campaigns that you just suppose are most vital in your stakeholders and viewers to know.

You must also purpose to make suggestions for future enterprise actions based mostly in your findings from the present yr, which may be invaluable by way of getting buy-in from stakeholders and the groups you’re hoping to work with sooner or later.

Under we’ll focus on finest practices for designing a visually interesting and informative annual report that incorporates all the info talked about above.

Annual Report Design Finest-Practices

Clear and deliberate design will show you how to create a visually interesting report that captures consideration. Let’s go over one of the best practices for designing your annual report.

Incorporate branding.

As your report is restricted to your small business, incorporate branding that lets viewers know that it’s particularly for your small business.

Branding additionally aids in recognizability and lets viewers know that you just’re proudly owning the successes, challenges, and general metrics defined within the report.  

Use highly effective visuals.

As talked about earlier than, a high-quality report incorporates visuals that help within the understanding of your metrics. Take particular consideration to create visuals for probably the most important, heavy-hitting content material, like yearly income.

Leverage colour and fonts.

One other method to make sure that your report captures consideration and leaves a long-lasting impression is through the use of colours and fonts to name consideration to vital info. The excellence between an everyday metric and an excellent metric referred to as out in colour can go far in making a dent in your viewers’s reminiscence.

Nevertheless, it’s important to discover a stability between design and content material.

Don’t be too busy.

Though you may (and may) incorporate varied design components into your annual report, be conscious of normal design principles, and don’t overload your report with pointless colours and graphics that can distract from and out shadow the metrics you’re outlining.

A report that’s busy, crowded, and crammed with completely different fonts and colours can be more durable to know and gained’t go away the impression you need it to go away. Make cautious selections and be certain that your selections are centered round showcasing successes, not merely making the report look fairly.

Annual Report Examples

Let’s take a look at some examples of high-quality annual experiences which you could draw on for inspiration.

Google Annual Variety Report

Google’s 2020 Annual Diversity Report is a high-quality report.

The report begins with a high-level overview of Google’s efforts to extend inclusion on the firm, range targets, and visuals that show the outcomes of their efforts and present that they’re dedicated to the duty. The picture beneath is a visible depiction of their range hiring efforts YoY.

google anual 2020 diversity report diversity hiring data page

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Ablynx is a pharmaceutical firm that took a novel, artistic strategy to an annual report via 3D charts. The picture beneath is an instance of the charts they used to create visible representations of the place the most important variety of enterprise shareholders are positioned to show their enterprise’ market development.

ablynx annual report page displaying a chart that demonstrates the geography of their shareholders

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Duni focuses on table-setting and takeaway packaging for eating places and international companies. Its annual report is simple, clearly organized, and minimalist however nonetheless makes use of colour, pictures, and varied design components to strengthen its phrases’ impression.

The picture beneath shows their YoY monetary goal development that attracts in viewers consideration with massive fonts, colours, and line graph visualizations.

duni annual report page displaying yearly business financial targets compared to YoY growth

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Annual Stories Paint a Image of Success

It’s important to know easy methods to create an annual report that shows your small business’s successes and incorporates design components that emphasize your phrases’ significance and permit your viewers to know, visualize, and soak up your accomplishments.

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