If you play the role of an independent contractor or specialist, then you should know by knowing that customers will always expect you to know just how much a job will cost. While you can’t always tell the cost of each job as there are certain factors that could affect the final price, the least you can do is provide them with a document which tells them of the possible prices. You may also see free blank estimate templates.
But what kind of document would that be? Well, that’s what you would call an estimate and this article is going to give you all the information that you will need to learn how you should go about in creating them. You may also see construction estimate templates.
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Free Cost Estimate Template
What Is a Price Estimate?
Again, the point of this document is to give your customers the possible amount of what they will have to pay in the event that they agree to avail your services. Remember that this is not a guaranteed amount and it can change at any given point in time. Considering the fact that there are too many factors that could ultimately change the final price, it’s best that you provide your customers with different estimates. This way, they won’t be shocked when they see if the final price is lower or even higher than what they initially expected. You may also see free work estimate.
So when you put it in simpler terms, the estimate is a guess as to how much a job will cost. The more estimates provided for different sets of circumstances, then the better will customer will feel knowing that he or she has a rough understanding as to how much money it will take to pay for the job once it has been completed. You may also see contractor estimate templates.
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What are the Elements of an Estimate?
Whether you’re an independent contractor or a freelance worker, then you should know just how important it is that you know how to make estimates for every job you take on from customers. If you want to make sure that you provide the customer with all the information that they need on how the job will be done and how much it will cost, then that just means you have to place all of them within the estimate. You may also see work estimate templates.
So here are a number of things that you should always include in every estimate that you end up creating:
1. Contractor Details
The customer will want to know exactly who he or she is working with before making any kind of agreements, meaning that you will have to provide the necessary information about yourself. First, you want to start off with your name. Be sure that you write down your first name, last name, and even your middle initial to let the customer know exactly who he or she will be doing business with. You may also see roofing estimate templates.
Next, provide the customer with the name of your business if you’ve opened one up. You can even include your personal logo as that will help you stand out from your competition as well as make you look professional in the eyes of your customer. Be sure that whatever logo you come up with is one that matches the kind of jobs you do so that anyone can easily identify your brand via the estimate. You may also see free construction estimate templates.
Then you will have to provide your physical address. There might be a situation where the customer won’t be able to contact you via phone or email, so having your home or business address in the estimate can help solve that problem. Also, the customer will have to meet with you at some point to sign the paperwork needed to finalize the sample agreement, and what better place to do so than your office? Be sure that you write down everything from the name of the street to the block number.
And lastly, provide the customer with your contact details. This is useful in the event that the customer has any questions regarding the job or the amount provided in the estimate that he or she has received. Make sure that you give the customer your phone or home number and include any emails that you frequently check on. You may also see painting estimate templates.
2. Contractor’s Licensing Information
If you want your customers to know that you’re legally allowed to provide them with the services that they need, then you’ll have to include your licensing information within the estimate. If you want to know that kind of licenses you will need in order to do the whatever job’s you’re willing to provide your customers, then visit your local government office and ask. Make sure that you have everything that you need so that you won’t have to deal with any issues regarding your legitimacy. You may also see building estimate templates.
3. Estimate of Time Completion
No matter what kind of job that you will take on, you should always learn to give your customers the amount of time it will take you to complete it. This way, they won’t be surprised in the event that it takes you a long time to finish a particular project. Make sure that you’re absolutely clear whenever you provide a figure as to how long you think it will take to finish the job. Whether it’s days, weeks, or even months, just make sure that you come up with a reasonable amount of time. You may also see landscaping estimate templates.
Because if you tell your customers that you can finish a job within a week’s time that would normally take everyone else around two weeks, then he or she would obviously be skeptical with the quality of your work. You may also see free construction estimate.
4. The Scope of the Work
Let’s say that you had to work on a construction project for a client, that would mean that he or she would like to know what will take place as you go about its completion. This means that you will have to provide everything that one needs to learn about what will take place and what will be needed while you’re working on the job. You may also see cost estimate sample.
Be sure that you write everything from the kind of materials that you will need, their individual and total estimated costs, and the amount of additional labor that you will need and place them all within the estimate. Cover everything that you know your customer will want to hear about so that you won’t have to deal with questions which surround how you will go about the project. You may also see building contractor estimate.
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These would be things that you, the contractor, will not be responsible for or the things that the customer does not want you to work on while you’re providing your services. Basically, this is the section of the estimate where it points out what the contractor is supposed to do and what the contractor shouldn’t do. You may also see repair estimate template.
6. Project Payment Expectations
With every estimate, it’s expected that there’s a section which contains how much the contractor is expected to be paid. It’s likely that you, the contractor, will take payments throughout the project, with a portion of the costs as a down payment. The payment schedule will vary depending on your preference and what the customer is comfortable with. Try to negotiate with the customer so that the two of you can come to an understanding about when you expect the payment.
7. Estimated Totals
This is the section where you will be providing a list of everything that you will provide, as well as the total amount of their cost. By providing your customers with the total amount, it will help them review just how much everything will cost them. This is where the information of what the customer will need will come in handy as you’ll want to know exactly what kind of materials or services that you will be providing and how much each will cost.You may also see sample estimate template.
Since you’re giving a rough estimate, just list all of them down into the document. Remember that this is all still subject to change so provide a disclaimer. List down everything along with each of their estimated price. This way, the customer will know exactly what he or she has to pay for once the project is completed. After you’ve listed everything down, then you may proceed to give the estimated total. You may also see landscaping estimate template.
8. The Date of When the Estimate was Made
Never forget to include this piece of information in the document. The reason for this is because you’ll never know when you have to prove when the estimate was made, so having it on the estimate will definitely help with that. So as you’re writing it down in the document, be sure that you include the month, day, and year so that the people who go through it know exactly when the estimate was made. You may also see free job estimate template.
9. The Contractor’s Signature
If you really want to make the document official, then you will have to ensure that the contractor’s signature is on it. This way, nobody can deny as to who made the document and it can be used in the court of law as physical evidence in the event that there’s any dispute regarding the matter. Be sure that it’s written along with the contractor’s complete name at the bottom of the estimate. You may also see project estimate template.
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Tips for Making Your Estimate
Now that you’ve learned what it is that you should place into an estimate, the next step is for you to learn how you should go about in creating it. There are many different things that you will need to think about as you make an estimate, meaning that you will have to make sure that it has all the right information and in a way that gives you and advantage over your competition. You may also see estimate templates in word.
So here are a couple of tips that can help you do just that:
1. Review What Needs to be Done
Before you can provide a customer with an estimate of your services, you’ll need to know exactly what it is that you will need to provide first. You won’t be able to do that unless you know exactly what it is that your customer wants from you, meaning that you’ll need to ask the appropriate questions to get an understanding of what their needs are. You may also see repair estimate templates.
Keep in mind that customers often don’t know what would take place in a job. What they usually want to figure out right away is what the outcome will be. If you want to know what it is that you have to provide as well as what the final outcome will be, this would usually mean that you will have to visit the work site so that you can evaluate everything that you need to know about. You may also see sample project estimate templates.
2. Know How Long It Will Take
Your customer will want to know exactly how long it’s going to take you to finish whatever job you have been given. This means that you will need to provide an estimate in terms of when the job is going to be completed. However, you have to set a realistic goal as this will be one of the factors that will play into the estimated price that customer will have to pay for your services. If there will be outside work involved, you’ll need to make allowances for possible weather delays depending on the season in which the work will be done. You may also see project estimates.
As you’re trying to determine how long it will take, remember that you should never be too confident. There have been many instances where contractors say that they can finish a job in less amount of time than it would normally take, only for the customer to end up disappointed with how long it actually took to complete it. So always make a realistic time frame so that you won’t end up lowering customer expectations and make them want to work with you instead. You may also see job estimate templates.
3. Decide if You Need Additional Help
You will no doubt encounter jobs where you know you won’t be able to handle alone. In the event that you do take them on, you will then have to hire additional help to ensure that you can complete the project. If you already have a reliable crew that you’re used to working with, then this shouldn’t be much of a problem for you. However, if you’re working alone and you don’t have the necessary contacts, then you will have to look for dependable sub-contractors or specialists that’s willing to take on the project.
Before you agree to help them aid you, you need to make sure that all of you have come to an understanding in terms of how and when they will be paid, along with what jobs they’re tasked with and when they’re expected to finish. Remember that the date of when the customer expects the job to finished will also factor into this as the number of people you take on can speed up the process. Hire the number of people you need as you don’t want to work with a crew that has more people than you need or one that doesn’t have enough. You may also see estimate invoice templates.
4. Know What Materials You’ll Need for the Job
Every estimate will require a list of tools and materials that will be used throughout the job’s completion. If you don’t have everything that you need, then you will have to figure out the costs of what you will either rent out or purchase. List down the estimated prices for all of them when placing each into the document. You may also see cost estimate templates.
If you’re purchasing new tools that you know that you will be using frequently on future jobs, then you can decide to put them in your additional expenses. Just take note that if you’re going to do so, then you shouldn’t list down its price into the estimate.
Also, if you have any basic materials that you’ve used a lot in previous jobs and ones that you know that you will keep on using for future ones, then keep their price lists as a reference. This way, you won’t have to spend so much time trying to figure out the estimate of a particular job if ever they happen to be something that needs to be included. You may also see quotation formats in PDF.
5. Do Your Research on Your Competition
You want to make sure that customers flock towards your simple business rather than that of your competition, meaning that you will have to provide them with estimates that they would want to hear. However, you have to remember that you still have to earn a profit, so it won’t help if you provide them with lower estimates but it ends up with you losing money instead of gaining it. And that’s exactly why you’ll need to take the time and effort to look into how much your competition charges customers for services similar to that which you provide.
To find out what similar professionals in your area are charging, check listings on websites where professionals can advertise or promote their services. If you know the ones that are within your area, then it would help if you pay them a visit and inquire about their prices. This way, you’ll have a much better idea as to how you should go about in pricing your services in a way that’s fair, will make customers want to do business with you, and help sustain your business. You may also see auto repair estimate templates.
6. Focus on the Project’s Completion
There are a lot of customers who would rather not know what it takes to finish the project, but would rather immediately understand what the final outcome would be. This means that you should keep your language focused on the result and not on process of finishing the job. You may also see printable construction estimate template.
7. Deliver Your Estimate Quickly
We all know that it takes time to come up with an estimate, but potential clients will usually avail the services from the first contractor that they hear from. This means that you have to come up with an efficient process which will allow you to create estimates in the fastest way possible, all the while ensuring that it has everything it needs to let customers know how much they’re supposed to pay, what they’re paying for, and other details about the job. So do what you can to give your customers a proper estimate in the fastest time possible. You may also see job estimate templates in PDF.
8. Schedule Follow-Ups
After you’ve delivered your estimate to the potential client, you may hear back from them immediately. However, there are moments where you will need to contact your customer within 2 to 3 days if they have yet to give you a response in terms of whether they would like to avail your services. You may also see landscaping estimate templates.
Keep in mind that often people who hire one contractor won’t bother to call any others and tell them they’ve decided to go with someone else. So doing a follow-up can save you a lot of time and trouble. You may also see free roofing estimate templates.
If you would like to learn about the different types of estimates you can create or if you want to learn about other types of business documents, then all you have to do is go through our site. It has all the different articles that you need which should be to help you with whatever situation you’re facing. Just make sure that you are able to go through them thoroughly to make effective use of whatever you have gathered.