Every professional entrepreneur continually seeks opportunities to grow their business. A quote can be the difference between what feels like a fly-by-night operation and a legitimate business. Quotes are especially applicable for most service providers and vendors competing against other companies for bulk product deliveries.
In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about quotes, including:
So, read on to learn how to easily create professional quotes for every project.
A quote for your products or services is so much more than an estimate of cost. Yes, it does provide an estimate, but it goes well beyond this simple job.
Quotes help establish credibility and communication before your project ever starts.
A quote helps differentiate your business from others competing for the same project. When it comes to comparing the quotes from multiple companies, the details included in the quote is what makes all the difference.
Quotes are additional work to put together, and are tempting to skip when you’re already overwhelmed with trying to deliver on current projects. However, there are many benefits to using quotes that make the extra work pay off for your business.
If you want to save time and get the most from your quotes, you’ll want to include more than a price tag associated with your project. Include the following information in every quote to keep communication and expectations clear. Plus, when it comes time to turn your quote into an invoice, you already have the key information every invoice should have, so you can seamlessly make that transition.
Start with the product or service you are providing. Include the base rate and the quantity expected during the project.
The project scope is your opportunity to define the parameters of the project. Think about what the project includes and what it does not. Also, consider the different aspects and additional costs.
You will want to itemize the costs of your project. Include the individual item and quantity costs for the base product or service. You will also want to itemize other costs, such as pass-through expenses and fees, supplies, outsourced costs, and applicable taxes. These details give your client a clear understanding of the total cost of the project or products you are providing.
Think about the things you will not include in your project, even for an additional fee. Exclusions are often the difference between a satisfied customer and one feeling that they didn’t get something they think they paid for as part of the project.
Whether you are selling products or services, a timeline is crucial. A timeline guides your client through the various stages of your project and when your team will complete each phase. A timeline is critical if the project is complex, with multiple steps before delivering the final product. If your project is ongoing, it will give your client an expectation of when you will complete the repeated task.
Your client will want to know when they can expect the final delivery of your product or service. It can be a firm date if you control all aspects of delivery. If you depend on input from your client, it could be a certain amount of time from the client’s final approval. If you have a seasonal, ongoing project, such as lawn care, include the last date you will provide the service.
The terms are vital to include to keep everything moving forward. The project terms should have details such as if any payment is due to start the project and when payments are due. You’ll also want to include how you accept payments, plus fees for late or returned payments.
Think through the client-side obstacles to completing the project on time and any fees associated with these delays. Finally, give a date for how long you guarantee the quote to remain valid.
A professional quote should have the company’s branding, such as a logo and/or color scheme. If you have designated colors for your company, use those as part of the design. Be sure to include your address and phone number as well.
You can grab a basic business quote template from some programs like Word or Google Docs. However, you should make sure the template includes all of the components listed above. From there, customize the template to fit your needs and company brand. However, manually creating quotes can be time-consuming and frustrating Especially, when changing your quote into an invoice.
Want an even better alternative?
An even better alternative is a tool like Invoicer.ai -- You can easily generate new quotes and estimates that suit your company brand. This intuitive tool helps you tack the status of the quote, and move it into an invoice once you’ve completed the project. Invoicer also stores your client’s information so that you only have to enter it once, then just select the client for whom you’re writing an invoice or estimate.
Give Invoice.ai a try FREE for 14 days and find out how easy it is to deliver quality quotes, estimates, and invoices for all of your projects.