When a potential new client (or even a current one) comes to you asking for a quote, it might be all too easy just to send out a figure and be done with it. However, you should not under any circumstances do this, as it will not end well. Unlike estimates, quotes are taken as a more definitive price and are much harder to change once they’re out there.

How to build an estimate - Numberjuice

This guide gives you some tips on how to prepare and build a solid, professional quote for your work.

Pick Up The Phone

When you get an email from a potential client asking for a quote, don’t be too quick to cobble one together. Instead, use this as an opportunity to build a relationship with them. Give them a call, tell them who you are and say that you’re calling about the quote and you would like to know more specifics about their needs.

By taking the time to understand what they need, you may be able to offer a better solution for them and perhaps even make a further sale.

Other important questions to consider include:

  • Are they are the final decision maker and will they be able to say yes or no to your offer over the phone?
  • Is it a high priority request? (High priority can sometimes equal extra money).
  • Are there competitors that will try to undercut you?
  • Is what they have asked for the right thing for them?

Consider The Pricing

The price you charge can’t always be a set fee. Each client has different needs and each job will take you a different amount of time. Whilst you might have a base rate for your work, you should first consider whether the project might go over the allotted time and if the client fully understands everything that is needed to get the job done.

Always double check and discuss what your clients want, otherwise you can’t quote fairly. Alongside this, keep in mind that you’re running a business and give yourself a good but sensible profit margin. Too many small businesses give away their time for free, so remember you are there to make money.

What To Include

Good quotes are brief but information rich and should include everything you and your client spoke about on the phone or via email.

Quotes should include

  • Basic business information – Your company name, address, phone number etc.
  • Pricing – If there are several services, these should be broken down into separate amounts.
  • Taxes – These could include sales taxes if you are registered for them.
  • Due dates – A scheduled timetable for when you will deliver the work.
  • Payment terms – These should be your standard terms of payment.
  • Quote end date – The time period your client has to take up the offer on the quote.
  • T&C – Simple, easy to understand terms and conditions for the work.
  • Signature box – Of course, you will also need a space for you both to sign your names.

Keep It Professional

Traditionally business quotes would be created in Excel and whilst these still get the job done, they can often come across as unprofessional. Instead, you may want to consider using online accounting software to quickly produce fool-proof, professional quotes which can be transformed into invoices later down the line.

You should send your quotes quickly and always follow them up after 2-3 days, to keep things moving and ensure you don’t lose the sale.

Approach business quotations in this professional way and you should have no problem offering and receiving a fair price for your work.