How To Design An Annual Report [+ Template & Examples]

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

These stories additionally incorporate varied design parts that assist your metrics and create a singular, 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 personal, and go over examples of annual stories 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 provides a big-picture view of operations and techniques whereas additionally going in-depth on key efficiency metrics.

Annual stories differ from weekly stories in that they handle something and all the pieces that has occurred over the previous 12 months, 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 steadiness between highly effective graphics and readability and understanding. Most stories comprise information visualizations, like charts and graphs, to boost the expertise and actually name consideration to heavy-hitting metrics.

Beneath 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 supplied by HubSpot. The picture under 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 means that you can go in-depth into facets of your small business that the annual report will talk about, whether or not it’s advertising and marketing campaigns or yearly gross sales efficiency. Regardless of this, there are particular parts that ought to be included in all annual stories, and we’ll talk about these under.

1. Summarize your yearly targets and techniques.

The primary part of your annual report ought to summarize your yearly targets and techniques. This supplies your viewers with an outline of your annual focus and offers the data needed to grasp and contextualize the remainder of your report.

Basically, it units the tone for the remainder of the report because it explains the intention behind your operations. If you happen to’re a advertising and marketing enterprise creating an annual report, this part may define your advertising and marketing 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 center of your report, as you’re displaying the outcomes of your year-long actions.

Intention to make use of charts, graphics, and another artistic design parts, as they’ll enhance the impression of your phrases and really display the significance of your information. For instance, say one in all your total targets was to extend ROI throughout all channels. Whilst 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 robust annual report is a well-rounded annual report, so this part may embrace an evaluation of challenges and anticipated outcomes, the place you clarify areas that you could have fallen quick by way of reaching your targets.

3. Clarify key takeaways and make future suggestions.

Whereas the part above will go into particular element, it’ll even be useful to incorporate an overarching abstract of a very powerful parts of your 12 months. You possibly can take this time to concentrate on the metrics and campaigns that you just suppose are most vital on your stakeholders and viewers to know.

You must also goal to make suggestions for future enterprise actions based mostly in your findings from the present 12 months, which may be priceless by way of getting buy-in from stakeholders and the groups you’re hoping to work with sooner or later.

Beneath we’ll talk about greatest practices for designing a visually interesting and informative annual report that accommodates all the data talked about above.

Annual Report Design Greatest-Practices

Clear and deliberate design will allow you to create a visually interesting report that captures consideration. Let’s go over the perfect practices for designing your annual report.

Incorporate branding.

As your report is particular 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 total metrics defined within the report.  

Use highly effective visuals.

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

Leverage colour and fonts.

One other approach to make sure that your report captures consideration and leaves an enduring impression is through the use of colours and fonts to name consideration to vital data. The excellence between an everyday metric and a fantastic metric known as out in colour can go far in making a dent in your viewers’s reminiscence.

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

Don’t be too busy.

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

A report that’s busy, crowded, and stuffed with totally different fonts and colours will probably be tougher to grasp and received’t depart the impression you need it to go away. Make cautious selections and make sure that your decisions 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 stories that you may 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, variety targets, and visuals that show the outcomes of their efforts and present that they’re dedicated to the duty. The picture under is a visible depiction of their variety hiring efforts YoY.

google anual 2020 diversity report diversity hiring data page

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Ablynx is a pharmaceutical firm that took a singular, artistic method to an annual report by means of 3D charts. The picture under is an instance of the charts they used to create visible representations of the place the biggest variety of enterprise shareholders are positioned to show their enterprise’ market progress.

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, photos, and varied design parts to strengthen its phrases’ impression.

The picture under shows their YoY monetary goal progress that attracts in viewers consideration with giant fonts, colours, and line graph visualizations.

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

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Annual Studies Paint a Image of Success

It’s important to grasp learn how to create an annual report that shows your small business’s successes and incorporates design parts that emphasize your phrases’ significance and permit your viewers to grasp, visualize, and take in your accomplishments.

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