As a business, you want your services to be delivered on time and in the best possible manner. One simple way to achieve this is by learning how to create professional estimates. It will help you provide the right service to your customers and price them correctly. But, what are the tools you should use?
Well, the best free project estimation software and free expense management software can help you design professional estimates and get more business.
Here are some tips you should follow to create professional-looking estimates for your small business.
1. Understand the Project Scope
Before you sit down to write an estimate, make sure you have a thorough understanding of what your customers want. One way to be sure of making them is to ask questions and get clear answers. You must also have a clear idea of their budget and the time frame they expect the project to be completed. The best free project estimation software will help you achieve this and much more with ease.
2. Decide on the Time and Pricing
Now that you have an idea of client needs, you must determine the time, cost, and expenses required to complete the project. To have a professional-looking estimate, you must use expense management software to determine your budget. Besides, it would be great if you also considered things such as permits, client approvals, and other things that might cause delays.
Expenses may include material costs which may change from time to time. Furthermore, having price lists for all equipment and supplies will let you price your services accordingly.
You must also check out what your competitors are doing and how they charge their clients. As a result, you will get the best cost estimates and be able to charge your clients better.
3. Include All Estimate Components
Components like contact information, your logo, the potential customer’s information, project scope, the services you provide, milestones, and completion date must be included in your estimate.
Besides, it would be great if you can include your payment schedule, safety measures, and disclaimers that your actual cost may go higher or lower in case of damages or other reasons.
Few other things which are a must are terms and conditions and for how long will your estimate be valid.
Last but not least, don’t forget to mention your accreditations or licenses. For instance, as a freelancer, you will be bound by some local and state regulations.
4. Leverage Online Tools
Rather than being dependent on traditional programs, like Excel and Microsoft Word, consider using the best project estimation software and expense management software. These tools will ensure that your projects look polished. Besides, you will also get access to templates and make your job easier.
5. Job Estimate Template
Whenever you make an estimate, you must focus on the value your services offer. While your estimate will have the supporting facts and figures, it is imperative that you present this information in the best possible manner. It is also very important to highlight why your company is the best. You can also make templates to focus on results and stop worrying about making an estimate. The best project estimation software will help you automate the entire process.
Another idea is to add client testimonials to your estimates and exhibit professionalism. Also, if there are any challenges to the project, you can include their solutions in the estimate. Finally, make sure you do not forget to include a note of thanks for your customers.
6. Timely Completion of Estimate
You must not forget that time is a scarcity, and your potential customer is eager to have your estimates. While it is essential to have all the correct details, make sure you don’t take long to complete it. It could lead you to lose the customer and them going to one of your competitors.
7. Schedule Follow-ups
An essential aspect of writing an estimate is the follow-up part. First, you must keep in contact with your client and see if they are willing to proceed with the project. Ideally, you should wait for 2-3 days and then send a mail or call.
This will show that you are interested in working, and you will get insights on how to plan your work if the deal is finalized.
This post discussed how the best project estimation software and expense management software could help you make clear and comprehensive project estimates. Not only will they help you get better business prospects, but they also help you build better relations with your clients.