Trade quote


19th March, 2019

How to quickly create a trade quote on the go

With the right know-how and the best tools, creating a new trade quote is faster and simpler than ever before – getting it right will save you time, money and improve the job’s perceived value in the eyes of your client.

As a tradie, you need to keep writing quotes regularly, so that the work keeps on flowing in.

However, sorting out costings and creating quotes is time consuming, and most tradespeople dread the task.

The trick is to work out ways to generate quotes more easily, and to put the effort into ones that actually win you work.

Read on for some key tips to help you create a trade quote quickly while you’re on the go.

Have a qualifying process

First up, it really helps if you have a qualifying process for enquiries.

When people get in touch about a job, ask them plenty of questions about what they’re looking for.

By picking their brains, you’ll get a good idea of whether or not you stand a chance of winning the quote.

It pays to politely say no for those jobs you’re sure you’re not going to win, as this will save you a whole lot of time.

Spend your precious hours on quoting for jobs you are likely to win, instead.

Don’t delay in quoting

When you’re busy, it’s easy to let quoting slide until the end of the week when you’re playing catch up on paperwork.

However, when you leave things, you reduce the likelihood that people will say yes to your quote.

Consumers expect to receive information quickly these days. When they don’t, they move on.

As such, responding to people on the same day with a quote is ideal. You’re more likely to win the job, so your time is well spent, plus it should also be quicker for you.

If you quote ASAP, the information about the client’s requirements will be fresh in your mind.

You won’t have to go over notes to try to remember what to include or not (or risk missing things you have to amend later).

Set up flat rates for common jobs

Most tradies do the same kinds of jobs over and over again throughout the year.

If you’re the same, why not build yourself a flat rate price list, particularly for small jobs?

Rather than having to do every quote from scratch, use a pre-planned list you can choose from on the spot.

Quoting will be quick and easy, and you can impress potential customers by sending them a quote while you’re still on their property or shortly after.

Give ballpark figures for tyre kickers

Often, when clients ask for a trade quote, they’re not necessarily needing to know the cost down to the last cent.

This is usually the case when people are just thinking about getting some work done, but haven’t committed yet.

READ: 4 ways to turn a quote into a sale

Since their needs are likely to change as they think about the project more (and they may not go ahead for months or years anyhow), there’s little point spending time on a detailed quote.

Instead, give them a ballpark figure and let them know that once they’re further ahead with their planning and schedule, you can give them something more concrete.

This will make a large percentage of the people who ask for quotes happy, and save you many hours.

Avoid the wrong kinds of jobs

Another tip is to avoid the wrong kinds of jobs in the first place.

While a client might seem lovely, the job itself may not be your cup of tea.

Don’t feel that you have to say yes to work simply because someone asks.

You might realise, for example, that a job won’t be profitable, will take too much time, or simply isn’t the type of work you actually enjoy or want to continue doing.

READ: How to avoid the dreaded scope creep

Save yourself from doing the far-from-ideal jobs by not quoting in the first place.

If you feel bad about saying no, tell people you think someone else would be better suited for the role and, where possible, recommend another tradie for them to approach.

Use helpful software

Of course, these days one of the essential factors in quoting quickly is technology.

There are all sorts of brilliant software programs on the market now which automate and streamline the creation and management of trade quotes, no matter what type of work you do.

You don’t have to outlay a lot for access to these programs, either.

READ: Bookkeeping basics in trades and construction

Many of the top online accounting software options have in-built quoting features that you don’t have to pay any extra for.

As an example, MYOB has recently added new quoting features that make it easy for quotes to be generated right from your mobile device.