You work hard to promote your business and generate leads, and whether potential clients or customers try to get in touch with you by phone or through web postings and your own business website, or even through a referral from one of your loyal customers, when talking to a potential client, you want to make sure that you end up getting the job. That right there is your goal. You can also check out quotation templates.
If you’re a small business owner, a freelancer or an independent contractor, knowing how to properly write a quote to those requesting for it, is very important to building and keeping your customer base intact. However, the fastest way to feel exhausted and lose motivation is not being able to prepare enough quotes to compensate for your services. Whether you belong in the creative industry, construction, media or lawn care, having a well-prepared quote with the following elements is very important:
1. Company Name: This is pretty much obvious but it’s important not to forget it. For your company to get noticed, your target customers need to know who you are, so make sure that you provide your business name along with your company logo when you send or print your quotes. Besides, providing your business name and contact information is considered a legal requirement in most cases.
2. Contact information: Write down your updated contact information and make it clear and readable enough for your customer to take action on the quote and contact you when they decide they want your services.
3. Variations: Explain how different situations may impact the cost of the product or service being offered. For example, you can indicate that a window cleaning service only covers straight-up window cleaning and that replacements will incur and added 25%. Adding variations on our quote template can also be a good opportunity for upselling.
3. Notes: Not all quotes are created to be the same. If the quote is valid only for a certain period of time, or there are special details that your customer needs to know, be sure to include this information in the quote to avoid misunderstandings.
5. Line Items: A proper quote helps the customer understand what is being provided and they are getting for what they are asked to pay. Customers are wise when it comes to what they are paying for so make a list of the product and service with the corresponding price. Also, don’t treat this as your invoice because this part serves more as a reference and not anything else.
If your website has one of that online booking software or even just a phone number listed, chances are, you’re very much used to getting all kinds of messages from potential customers or clients asking for a standard quote for a particular product or service. And you might have a baseline. But the baseline is always where the quote starts and it often doesn’t end there either. Follow the steps below to create a good quote:
1. Write down what the job requires: Your quote should include things such as the amount of time it took to research what your client needs or their industry, time/gas spent driving coming to meetings, going to supply stores to get all the materials, time spent performing the service and any setup or breakdown time you may require.
2. Do an estimate of the task’s material cost: If you will use up part of a print cartridge, paper stock, paint, lawn care items or food items, estimate the cost. Include the costs you will pay for shipping and handling or tax in your calculations. Or, if it is within your means, just provide a ballpark figure of the materials you need.
3. Get it in writing: Whether you like it or not, from the customer’s perspective, a quote is some written record that allows them to compare rates for similar products or services from different companies offering them. It is therefore important to have a quote in writing which you can hand, send by mail or email to your client instead of just providing them a dollar figure over text. A written quote also makes this transaction as professional as it should be and it is an easy reference for calculating the cost of the service the customer is interested in.
4. Prepare to defend or negotiate: No matter how reasonable and honest you think it is, your client could still negotiate your rates so it’s very important to show up in your meeting with a good idea of the lowest price you will accept for the task. If your client still wants to go lower than your suggested price, you’re free to walk away, especially if you know that the amount they want to pay doesn’t cover for the time and trouble you would be subjected to, for the project.
Preparing quotes doesn’t have to be complicated and stressful. Follow these simple tips to make it easier for you to prepare one:
Below are the most common types of price quotes which are often based on the products, the type of service and could also include the delivery:
When a project doesn’t offer many possibilities for working from a standard price list, you have to provide a price quotation. In some cases, an estimate is acceptable, but the main difference between a quote and an estimate is that a quote is the fixed price you have committed to and agreed with the client. An estimate, on the other hand, is a ballpark figure for a cost or price that may still change.
Most of the time, a quote is legally binding on both parties as long as it belongs to or is a part of a written contract. In such cases, you cannot be asked to pay more than the agreed price which should also be the price that’s indicated on the quote, unless there are special circumstances written in the quote or if you have agreed to vary the quote.
Sometimes customers don’t need a quote and are ready to put you to work. But other times, you may be competing against two or three other service companies to land a job. With the right plan and enough research, you’ll go a long way in being rewarded for a job well done or a quality product when it’s time to ask for payment from the customer. Let’s get real. Writing quotes alone wouldn’t really put money and food on the table because you still have to win the project or the job, make the sale or get that contract. How you interact with customers and the way your quoting process represents your company can have a big impact on the number of jobs you book.