Are your quotes well presented? If not, follow these 5 key points to write better quotes.

Quoting your jobs is an essential part of running your trade business. It involves giving clients accurate and transparent estimates, and ensuring you and the client clearly agree on what’s involved and the associated costs.

Here are 5 key points to help you write better quotes:

1. Visit the work site.

As soon as a client asks for a quote, arrange to visit the site. You can estimate by phone but quotes need a site visit.

A site visit includes:
Checking the current site conditions.
Understanding what the client wants. Clients might not speak your trade jargon or they might have unrealistic expectations. You both need to be clear.
Identifying potential problems, including hidden ones.
Listing the necessary resources, including human.
Timeline for job completion.

2. Provide a Clear Scope of Work.

The client shouldn’t have any little surprises throughout the work. Your assessment of the scope of the job must cover all possibilities.

Clearly outline:

  • The exact work to be carried out e.g. removals, installations, repairs or upgrades.
  • The tasks involved, e.g. removal of old eaves, replacing existing eaves, painting new eaves.
  • Detailed list of materials.
  • Services involved e.g. Electrician, Painter.
  • Specify any exclusions or limitations e.g. in a heritage building there may be limitations on what can be changed or what has to meet heritage criteria.

Every aspect should be covered and be clearly communicated so there are no misunderstandings at all.

3. Itemised cost breakdown.

Your quote must clearly show what costs the client will face. It must be itemised by category. Divide your costs into categories such as labour, materials, tools and equipment, permits and any other expenses.

Clearly state the hourly rate for labour, costs of individual materials and any other additional charges. If there’s a chance a job might need extra materials and perhaps time, add these details and the possible additional costs.

This gives the client the information they need to make an informed decision on your quote, ask for amendments or look at different options.

4. Contingencies plan.

Many jobs can end up with unexpected issues during the work which can add extra costs and delays. It’s essential you let the client know of any possibilities and include contingencies in your quote. This demonstrates you have foresight and are prepared for unexpected challenges that could impact the final cost.

5. Professional presentation.

The presentation of your quote makes an impact on clients. It could be the decider between you and another tradie.

Your quote should be:

  • Well laid out.
  • Easy to read.
  • Error free.

Depending on the size and scope of the job, you could include a cover letter that summarises the key points and highlights your understanding of the project.

Consider using quote writing software to give a consistent polished appearance.

In summary, quoting your jobs needs a systematic approach that involves a thorough site assessment, a clear scope of work, itemised costs breakdown, contingencies plan and presenting your quote professionally.

By implementing these key points you can increase the accuracy and transparency of your quotes, build client trust and increase long term success.