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How to Make an Estimate

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How To Make an Invoice

Making estimates is the first step towards receiving payments. Estimates can vary widely based on what service or goods are involved, but all you’ll need are the five steps below to create your own on Invoicer.ai. 

Table of Contents


Making an Estimate

Optional Steps

More Info


What is an estimate?

Estimates are a business’s way of showing a client a best guess as to how much a good or service will cost before the work begins. This is part of the negotiation stage between the client and vendor, and allows the client to ask questions and evaluate their budget based off of the information that the vendor provides. 


Estimates will set the tone of your negotiation with your client, and there are a number of things to keep in mind when putting together your estimate

For example, consider the following: What is the scope of the job? What kind of hours will be required to fulfill this request, and what kind of materials? Is the client’s request in line with how the service usually goes? Would providing them with multiple options help? 

If there is any missing information at this point in the stage that the estimate relies upon, don’t complete the estimate just yet. Continue talking with the client until all crucial information is received. For example, if the number of hours they want you to operate plus the scope of the project is already established, you may not need to get all the details of exactly when you’ll arrive that day to create the estimate - there are often details that can be determined later. 

If you don’t already, consider overhead costs. Note that you do not and should not need to disclose to clients that you’re including any overhead costs, or what those costs include. Simply lump it in with part of your calculation. 

Lastly, even though you might calculate the precise number of nails you’ll be using and a cost, you don’t need to list all materials separately. Where applicable, keep it simple, and have “materials” as a lump sum

Overall, the biggest advice when it comes to an estimate is that even though a lot of thought can go into making one, you want the end result to read cleanly and clearly to the client so as not to overwhelm them with too much detail. In short: keep it simple

Making an Estimate on Invoicer.ai



  • Internet connection (Wi-Fi or data)
  • PC, laptop, cellphone, or tablet


  • Your company name, address, phone number
  • Your client’s company name, address, phone number 
  • The item names, quantity, unit price
  • Any applicable discounts or taxes

How to Make and Send an Estimate

Step 1: Open Invoicer.ai in your browser.

Step 2: Select “New Estimate

Step 3: Choose your currency

Choose from over 135 currencies, including USD, CAD, and EUR. 

Step 4: Fill out the relevant information 

  • “Estimate” header
  • Your company’s information
  • Your name
  • Company address
  • Phone number
  • The date issued
  • The estimate number
  • Item descriptions, rate, and quantity.
  • Any adjustments, such as discounts or taxes.
  • You can set multiple discounts, in either dollar or percentage amounts. 
  • Additional information.
  • Any other important details under the Notes section.
  • Any terms or conditions.
  • Any attachments.


  • Above all, make sure that it’s clear both in the file name and in your message that this is an estimate - not an invoice, and that payment is not expected just yet.
  • Typically, wait until the invoice to include discounts, unless an arrangement has already been met.
  • If you’re sending multiple options, make a new estimate for each. Be sure to fill out the Notes sections to clearly specify the differences between them. They do not need to refer to each other, but should clearly list the considerations that change the estimate.
  • Discounts, notes, or terms and conditions can all be saved as default for future estimates. 

Step 5: Download as PDF or Send

Even though an estimate isn’t binding, it’s always good to double-check your work. If you accidentally give a client an estimate for less than the service or goods would actually cost, they’ll want you to stick to this estimate. When in doubt, it’s better to over-estimate a cost and reduce it later, resulting in a happy client. 

Once you have your estimate all set, it’s a good idea to review it one last time to make sure all the information is correct. You can do this easily by pressing “View” to get an overview of your estimate. 

Here’s what our estimate looks like with all the relevant information filled out: 

And lastly, if you want to personalize your estimate to make it look even more official and personalized, you can follow the optional steps below. 

Optional Steps

For even more efficiency and professionalism, you can set reminders to clients about overdue payments, or personalize your invoice with your logo and an accent color. 

Adding a Logo

Step 1: Select the “drag your logo here or select a file (optional)” image

Step 2: Select your logo file on your device 

Step 3: Select Open

Changing the Color

When it comes to personalization, it’s best to have your invoice color match your logo, if you have one. You can select from pre-sets, or use your own hue, saturation, and value. 

Step 1: Select “Change Color

Step 2: Choose a preset, or your own

If you’d like, you can also select “Add to Custom Colors” if you have a colour you’re happy with. If you have a company color pallet, feel free to use the RGB value, if you know it. 

Step 3: Select “Okay

Tip: Avoid using red or yellow anywhere in the invoice, since red has a negative connotation with money, and yellow is hard to read against a standard white background. Blues and greens have connotations with business and wealth, so we’d suggest choosing one of these. 

Here’s what our personalized estimate with Invoicer.ai looks like. 

More Info

Estimate Numbers

It’s a good idea to give each estimate its own number, so that both you and the client can refer to them easily later. Like invoice numbers, estimate numbers are an easy shorthand to assign to estimates, and are especially handy when you’re offering discussing multiple estimates and possibilities.

That’s It!

Just like that, you’ve got your estimate ready to send to your client. Once all negotiations have concluded, you can easily make your invoice with Invoicer.ai, too, as well as track payments and send reminders to clients automatically.

See how fast and easy Invoicer is.

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