You’ve slaved day and night to get the work done for your client.
Now it’s time to present your findings.
The last thing you want after all this hard work is for the client to skim or not even read your report. And if you’re running sessions over the phone given the pandemic, it’s even more important to find effective ways to communicate and avoid misunderstandings.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a consulting report?
- The importance of consulting reports
- Why you should use a consulting report template
- Consulting report templates + examples
- How to write a consulting report
- How to make a consulting report cover page
- FAQs about consulting report templates
What is a consulting report?
A consulting report is a document containing a consultant’s expert understanding and advice on a certain subject. For example, a competitive analysis report that looks at the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s key competitors:
Consulting reports are usually prepared by an expert for a client or company that doesn’t have the time or knowledge to do the necessary research and write up a report.
Preparing reports is usually part of a consultant’s job description.
What is a consulting report template?
A consulting report template is a pre-made design of a consulting report to help consultants create their own professional consulting reports quickly.
To create the consulting report above, for example, a consultant can use this consulting report template:
A business consulting report template shows:
- A problem the client is facing
- An examination of the problem from the consultant’s perspective
- Recommendations and/or solutions to the problem
The consultant may use a consulting report template to help them lay out and professionally present these insights.
Different types of consulting reports:
- Project status report
- Social media reports (current metrics vs. goals)
- Client’s supply chain model vs. industry leader’s supply chain model
- Competitor analysis or industry report
- Sample business plan
- Cybersecurity project management report
Keep scrolling to find templates for these different consulting report types. Click “Create” and our report maker tool will help you customize them, like this simple one-page report:
You can also browse business proposal templates if you haven’t won the job yet.
The importance of consulting reports
The best way to avoid a scenario where your client doesn’t understand what you’re bringing to the table is by using a business consulting report. It will help organize your ideas in a way the client will easily understand.
A happy by-product: you look professional and results-driven. Your credibility is reinforced.
Win-win for you and the client.
It’s also possible that a slowdown in clients’ business is resulting in a slowdown in yours. That makes it even more important now to show existing clients that you’re not just a budget line — that you drive valuable results.
This McKinsey consulting report template is just one way to showcase your work and improve your professional image:
Why you should use a consulting report template
Using a consulting report template saves you time and resources: you don’t need to come up with a fresh layout from scratch.
Plus, most consulting report templates (especially ones featured in this blog) contain visual aids such as images, icons, illustrations and data visualizations — this makes your report more engaging and easier to understand:
Using a consulting report template can also inspire your design: you now know the best way to visualize a certain piece of information or type of data. Take this project-specific consulting report template as an example:
Notice how the designer visualizes the project progress (schedule, scope, budget) using checkmark icons. If you like this type of visual aid, you can use it in your future consulting reports as well.
Now, let’s take a look at specific consulting templates for each type mentioned above — from project plans to pitch decks. If you’d like some more inspiration before you pick a template, check out this quick video:
Consulting report templates & examples
We’ll take a look at these types of consulting report templates + design tips for each:
- Project status report templates
- Progress report examples
- Social media report templates
- Recommendation report templates
- Business case study templates
- Industry report templates
- Competitor analysis report templates
Project status report templates
Consultants need to keep clients in the loop.
Regular project status reports deliver updates and flag any issues you’re facing.
They also show what you still need to do.
The result? Better communication and a way to build and maintain trust with your client.
Pro Tip: Pick your project status report template based on the time period you’re reporting on: weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.
Use this project status report template for any time frame:
All the essential information is neatly laid out in bite-size sections, perfect for busy clients.
The icon check mark chart make it easy for the client to check whether the project’s:
- On schedule
- Suffering from scope creep
- On budget
Progress report examples
Zero in on your accomplishments to date with a progress report. Lay them out in point form, making them easy to scan — and easy to reassure the client that you’re making progress.
Here’s one monthly progress report example:
Projects with multiple players can easily sink into disorganization.
The progress report example above clearly assigns ownership to different parties.
This can include the client, so they know exactly what they’re responsible for—and what you’re responsible for.
Pro Tip: Use Venngage’s team features to quickly share your project status reports with the client and other stakeholders. Email it to them directly or grab a private link. Update the consulting report and let everyone know immediately. The Venngage for Business plan gives you access to this feature.
This project report status template relies on a simple chart with check boxes to show the overall project status:
The focus of this report is on timetables — when milestones are expected to be completed, plus the overall revised completion date.
It’s best for a quick update where not a lot of explanation is needed. The report title page is simple, but easy to customize, and can be adapted for any industry.
Design Pro Tip: If you need to add more detail to any of our templates, copy existing pages or add blank pages. Add or delete elements like text boxes, charts, and icons as needed.
Social media report templates
Marketing consultants use social media reports to report on their progress.
The tricky part? Presenting the report so your client actually understands it.
Here are 2 hacks to make a better social media report:
- Focus on the stats that actually matter
- Use a consulting report format that is easy to understand. Use a social media report template with simple charts or graphs.
This social media report template uses icons to highlight key stats:
The social media report template above uses icons to help explain results: a funnel for conversion rate, money to stress savings.
Design Pro Tip: Use icons to capture your point. Try bright and colorful illustrated icons for creative industries like marketing and simple line icons for more conservative fields like management consulting.
Here’s how icon replace works in the Venngage template editor:
Clicking “Replace” will open our library of thousands of free, creative icons. Select one to automatically replace an existing icon in the social media report template.
This social media report template has the same format as the above example, but with a different color scheme and icons:
This consulting report template takes another approach: nothing but stats.
No words are necessary — the stats speak for themselves in this progress report example:
The up and down red/green icons quickly let a marketing consultant tell the client if the stat is good or bad.
And everything in this social media report template is nicely segmented by channel.
Pie charts simply and effectively communicate user breakdowns and growth opportunities.
The client will appreciate the clear overview and your attention to progress and growth.
Here’s another version of this consulting report template, with a different color scheme:
Design Pro Tip: Marketing consultants can use this social media report template for any industry; it’s not just for marketing consultants. Click any text box to change the content. Delete or copy text boxes, as needed. Click any icon to replace it — we have thousands of professional icons you can use for free. Add or delete pages, too. And change the overall color scheme with one click. We make it easy—promise.
You may also enjoy: our post on how to put together a LinkedIn presentation post.
Recommendation report templates
The client’s hired you to help solve a particular problem at their company.
You’ve sweated through hours of problem-solving. Now it’s time to present your findings.
Your next challenge is to make a recommendation report that communicates those findings in a way the client will understand.
You can use this quick one-pager consulting report template to outline your growth goals, or any other recommendations:
This recommendation report example has a bold look and is hyper-organized, with a report title page, introduction, table of contents, and divider pages, to help your client quickly grasp your ideas:
Pro tip: Add jump links to your table of contents to make navigating your document even easier. In the Venngage editor, select the text you want to hyperlink, click on the link icon in the top bar, and then select the page it should take your clients to. When you download the document, download it as an Interactive PDF.
This recommendation report example is simple but eye-catching. The background image and colors can easily be changed using our online editor and free stock photo library.
This recommendation report example works for real estate, but you can adapt the icons, text and photos to fit any industry.
Design Pro Tip: Adjust the consulting report title page for your industry. Click on the icons, then “replace” and you’ll access our icon library to quickly swap out the images. Type a keyword for your industry to search.
Or use the third page in this template to showcase your recommendations:
Here’s how you can customize the third page in the template above to make a recommendation report:
- Change “Next Steps for Lighthouse Metrics” to “Recommendations for [insert client name].”
- Use the bolded subheadings to outline each recommendation, then provide more detail.
- Use the three icons to highlight results that’ll come from using your recommendations.
- Delete the other pages, if you desire, to condense your recommendation report.
Or create a more graphic recommendation report with this case study template:
Design Pro Tip: Brand your consulting report template in one go with our My Brand Kit tool. Click the green button and enter the editor (see image below). Open the “My Brand Kit” tab. We’ll pull your (or your client’s) brand colors from any website. Or you can set the colors manually. Click once to apply this color palette to the entire recommendation report. No design experience required!
Business case study templates
Consultants can use business case studies to promote how they helped past clients scale their marketing, growth or other efforts.
A business case study educates potential clients. It also shows the benefit they’ll get from hiring an independent consultant.
As a result, a business case study helps convert potential clients to new projects.
Here are 2 uses for business case studies:
- To present to new clients as “proof” as part of their portfolio
- To establish themselves as thought leaders e.g. offer business case studies as downloads in their business blogs, newsletters, social media ads, guest blog posts or eBooks.
Here’s a business case study template:
A business case study usually has the following content:
- A problem a company (or sometimes a specific decision maker) needs to solve
- Context of the problem
- Available solutions
- Why the winning solution was picked
- Results of using this solution, with data to back it up
The above business case study has most of these sections.
It also elevates the typical business case study with a contrasting background color (navy) and font (hot pink) and a bold rainbow graphic.
Design Pro Tip: Use different colored text to highlight important information. In the example above, hot pink is used to draw the eye to the title, customer recommendations and important stats.
The below business report works hard to establish the author as an authority:
This business report effectively sells the consultant’s services, thanks to:
- Client recommendations
- A bar graph of results (which you can customize within the template)
- Top deliverables, explained twice on the third page using icons and subheadings
Context is provided on the report title page, to show the clear need for the service.
Results are on page one—there’s no need to bury results farther down in a business report.
Design Pro Tip: Build charts and graphs within the Venngage editor and add them to your business report. Enter your data in a spreadsheet or import your data directly from a Google Sheet. Watch the chart or graph transform automatically.
The below consulting report template works as both a business report and presentation. It also makes great use of different types of charts and graphs to present information:
Click “Create” to customize this presentation. Once in the editor, click any of the charts or graphs to modify them.
You can also edit the overall color scheme by applying your brand colors.
Here’s another case study template that uses contrasting font colors and icons to highlight results:
Industry analysis templates
Industry analysis reports help clients understand the future of their business.
Consultants create an industry analysis to collect and analyze industry data. Clients can then create a plan for their business’s future.
Industry analysis reports can focus on any of these topics:
- The value competitors provide to customers
- Who competitor customers are
- New competitor products/services
- How to edge out potential new competitors in the future
- How to make sure business strategy aligns with company culture/values into the future
- Skills new recruits need to have for the business to remain competitive
Here’s an example of an industry analysis template that focuses on industry trends:
This consulting report template uses bold, illustrated icons and a vibrant color palette to say that its contents are anything but ordinary.
Design Pro Tip: Use color psychology to communicate an idea. For example, yellow is associated with confidence and creativity. If you like another industry analysis template, but want it to have more yellow, open the “My Brand Kit” tab in the editor. Pick one of our custom color palettes with yellow in it. Click to apply, then shuffle through different color combinations.
Here’s a color psychology cheat sheet, to help you pick the right shades:
Our blog post on brand colors delves even deeper into how to pick and use colors for your business.
Here’s another example of an industry analysis report that uses a bold color palette:
It nicely contrasts warm pink (“energy”) with blue (“stability”).
Meanwhile, the below industry analysis report plays it safe with black (“prestige”) and hints of blue “trust”):
Design Pro Tip: Make your charts and graphs really pop by putting them in a contrasting color to the dominant color. Above, the green charts really pop against the gray and black color scheme. Also, using different types of charts (horizontal vs. vertical stacked bar charts) keeps the reader interested.
Competitor analysis report templates
A competitor analysis report is similar to an industry analysis or market overview report.
But, it focuses on specific competitors. That could mean one main competitor or several.
As a consultant, collecting strategic research about rival firms is old hat.
You just need an effective way to communicate that research to the client without their eyes glazing over.
Look at how this competitor analysis report template segments and visualizes key research:
Here’s how the above template structures its data:
- Page 3: Key industry stats have their own blue text box and the figures are enlarged
- Page 4: Website analytics are listed and stats are bolded
- Page 5: Social media stats are organized by bold icons and big numbers. The SWOT analysis uses bullet points and columns.
This structure helps avoid the dreaded “wall of text.”
The result: a report your client will actually read (and understand).
Design Pro Tip: Try different font sizes and weights (like bold) to highlight important data. Use subheaders and colored text boxes to section off data and make it easy to scan. Marketing consultants can use this template, but it can be adapted for any industry.
Here’s the same competitor analysis report, but with a different color scheme:
Design Pro Tip: Change the entire template’s color scheme by using our My Brand Kit tool. Or click on individual sections, open the Background tab and apply colors and gradients. Click “Undo” to nix mistakes.
The next competitor analysis report template does double duty as a report and presentation:
A consulting report template can also take advantage of using a graphic SWOT analysis to visually lay out opportunities and threats. Icons help explain key points.
Click the template to enter our online SWOT analysis maker tool and customize the template to your liking.
Design Pro Tip: Change the stock photos in any of our templates. Our in-editor photo library has thousands of high-quality, professional stock photos that are completely free to use. Search by keyword (ex: “healthcare” or “marketing”) and click to add your choices to the report. Or, upload your own photos.
How to write a consulting report
Even though the content of consulting reports will be completely different, they usually follow a pretty standard structure.
Stick to this structure to keep yourself organized, allow for a logical flow of information and keep the client reading (and not confused!).
Here are tips for writing a consulting report:
- Create a title page and include:
- Name of report
- Your name
- Name of your company
- Name of client
- Date report delivered to client
- Make a table of contents
- Complete this section after you finish the rest of your report
- List each part of the report and the page number it’s on
- Write an executive summary
- Write this section after you finish the rest of your report
- Sum up the issues, analysis and solutions included in the report
- More information below on how to write an executive summary (click to jump)
- Write an introduction that includes:
- Purpose of report
- Problems/issues to be addressed
- Methods to be used to analyze the problem/issue
- Include analysis of the issues
- List the issues, describe and analyze each one
- Analysis should include statistics and data (cite your sources)
- Include recommendations
- List your recommendations as bullet points to keep them short and to the point
- Write a conclusion
- Summarize all your findings and recommendations from the report
- Add an appendix (optional)
- Include any supporting documentation like references, bibliography, photographs etc. Basically, anything that supports your recommendations.
Check out this consulting report template. It has most of these major sections:
This consulting report template is missing an executive summary, recommendations and a conclusion.
You can play around with the consulting report format based on what the client hired you to do.
Still, it’s easy to add these sections to the template if you need to.
You could copy the introduction and findings pages in the Venngage editor. Then, change the headers and content.
How to make a consulting report cover page
A consulting report cover page should be professional, include all important details and give the reader some idea of what the report’s about.
Pro Tip: Don’t settle for a boring title! Make sure the title/subtitle on your cover page are compelling and make the reader want to keep reading.
Here’s how to write a consulting cover page for a report:
- Include a title, such as “Vortex Co. Case Study”
- Include a subtitle, such as “How Vortex Co. used Network’s Social Tracking Tool to Make Their B2B Conversion Skyrocket”
- Include your name i.e. the name of the consultant
- Add the name of consultant’s company
- Include the client’s name and logo
- Include the date of submission
Here’s an example of a cover page template:
Choose the color scheme, icons, font and images that you use in your consulting report cover page carefully.
They should give readers a rock-solid idea of what they’re about to read.
When in doubt: keep your design as simple as possible.
Design tips for consulting report cover pages:
- Use clean, conservative fonts: Sans Serif fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri
- Avoid handwritten or calligraphy-style fonts. Or any fonts that are hard to read.
- Brand your cover page template by using the client’s logo, brand colors and font
- Optional: use photos to set the tone for the report’s content. Here are two types:
- A photo that represents the industry
- A metaphorical photo, like plants to represent growth
- Your font, images and text should all work together in design harmony. The best way to avoid sending mixed messages? Yes, again: a consulting report template.
For example, the color scheme, image, and fonts in the above cover page template are strictly professional and muted.
In contrast, the below cover page template uses a bold image and color to say “futuristic” and “innovative.”
FAQs about consulting report templates
What is an executive summary?
An executive summary is a short description of the contents of a report. It goes before the introduction in a typical report.
It shouldn’t include high-level information but instead facts and figures from your findings, plus any recommendations.
Pro Tip: Decision-makers may only read the executive summary of a consulting report (and skim the rest). Spend the most time on this section.
Here’s a test to make sure you’re on the right track: show the executive summary to someone not involved in the project.
Do they feel like they get an overview of the consulting report and don’t have to read further to understand it?
If they feel confused or like they’re missing information, you need to tweak your copy.
Don’t be afraid to incorporate visuals, too. This executive summary is part of a five-page report:
It relies on an icon mind map to help explain its central concept.
A two-column report format for the text helps break up the information and a punchy color scheme keeps the reader engaged.
How to write an executive summary
Consultants should write an executive summary after< they write the rest of their report.
Only then will you really understand what information to include.
Your executive summary should include:
- The problem or issue at stake
- Your findings (including facts and figures)
- Your analysis of these findings
- Your recommendations to the client
Here’s an example of an executive summary:
It presents problems, recommendations and next steps in a concise format.
Here are some tips to write an effective executive summary:
- Keep it to two pages maximum for long consulting reports
- Keep it to a paragraph for reports that are three to four pages total
- Use subheadings and bullet points to break up the text
- Use a chart or graph to highlight your main finding or recommendation
What’s your #1 tip for writing a great business report? Let us know in the comments below.
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