A quote is a formal document which features a breakdown of a job and the amount it will cost. When well written and presented, it will demonstrate professionalism and further instil confidence and trust between yourself and the customer.
If you’ve reached the point with a customer where you’re being asked for a quote, then you’ve either been recommended or your marketing efforts have paid off and you’ve provided an estimated cost. The customer is happy and seriously considering hiring you. It’s a great position to be in, but now its time to take the next step.
Ideally, every business should have a draft template for quotes which can be personalised for each job. Completing quotes and sending them to the customer in a short time is key to increasing the likelihood of a customer hiring you over someone else. Leave it too late and they may well go elsewhere.
So, what should you include in a quote?
For each job, you should have a unique reference number and this should be included on the relevant quote. Using a reference number allows you to identify each job easily and is particularly useful to ensure accuracy.
Removal Of Waste
Something that can take a considerable amount of time and effort is the removal of waste. So, if you’re going to be providing this service, include it in your quote.
Estimate Start & End Date
On the quote, you can inform your customers when they can expect you to begin and complete work. Make a note that this is just an estimate and is subject to change. Unexpected circumstances can cause jobs to run over schedule whether that’s parts not being available or the good old British weather.
Payment Schedule & Methods
Provide customers with the date/dates on which you require payment by and how they’re expected to pay. This could be in one lump sum or through several smaller payments throughout the project. Do you accept payment via bank transfer only or do you accept cash and cheques?
Parts & Labour
Some customers will provide materials and parts for you, but should they not, state what parts you will provide for the job and the cost of them. Don’t forget to include quantities but be sure you will be able to provide the materials and parts quoted beforehand. As well as parts, don’t forget to include labour costs. Whether you have an hourly or daily rate, account for it. Some tradespeople choose to combine parts & labour into one whole sum. Find what you prefer and what works for you.
Not something you may first think of when it comes to quoting for a job and even if you include this in overall parts & labour, it’s worth considering parking costs. A lot of the time, you’ll be able to park at a property or site free of charge. Other times, you won’t be so lucky and you’ll be required to pay for parking.
As well as the reference number, include the details of the customer and the location of the work to be carried out within your quote.
Subject To Change
Though prices are fixed once a quote is accepted, sometimes the unexpected can occur. You may discover an existing problem the customer wasn’t aware of that will require further work. Ensure you discuss this in detail with your customer. Should they agree to the extra work being undertaken, then provide an updated quote covering the changes.
Quote End Date
Things change, prices fluctuate and if you’re bound to honour the cost of a quote but material prices increase, you’re the one who’s going to have to swallow the cost. To avoid that, provide customers with a date on which the quote becomes invalid. Plus, they’re more likely to move quickly and accept the quote once they see it has an expiration date.
Basic Spec Of What They’re Getting
Be accurate but brief. Include an overview of what has been agreed between you and the client and what they need to know without including irrelevant and excessive details.
Enough, But Not Too Much
Bear in mind that unfortunately, if a customer thinks they can get work done cheaper by someone else, they may well take your quote elsewhere. If you provide too much detail, it can backfire. Someone else may be able to offer to do the same work but for a lower cost.
What Should You Include In A Quote?
What you include in your quotes is up to you. The most important thing is that you quote quickly and are clear. If you’re not confident creating one from scratch, they are plenty of templates available online that can be altered to suit your business.