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How to get quoting right for jobs you do often



How to get quoting right for jobs you do often

I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get quotes right, it’s vital to you making a profit. On average, 30% of a trade business’s revenue comes from quoting, so if you want to grow your business and not go bankrupt you need to get it right.

How? On quoted jobs we have to assume you know how long a job will take and what materials will be used. Think of all the jobs that you’ve done over the years that are essentially the same: toilets, showers, power boards… Yes, it’s a different customer in a different location, but essentially one shower install is much the same as another - it takes the same amount of time and the materials you use are fairly consistent, too. Am I right?

Now tell me how many times you’ve repeated the calculations for each of those jobs? And how often you come up with a different price? If this sounds familiar, there’s something wrong and you definitely aren’t making the profit you could (and should) be…

Imagine how much time you’d save and how much more accurate you’d be if it was as simple as selecting from a range of kitset modules in your software system, and the labour and materials are pre-populated within seconds? It’s possible, with a bit of effort on your part.

The idea I’m promoting here is to build a module for each ‘component’ or type of job in your software system. “Kitset quoting” you could call it.

Going back to the shower install for a second, you put in wingbacks, elbows, screws - every nickel and dime that you’ll use into a module. Then you look back at previous jobs and check how much labour it took to do the work and calculate a realistic average for how long it takes, and add that in too. Then you do the same with all the other repetitive jobs you do on a day-to-day basis, creating a bunch of modules inside the software. When you put all the modules together, you know exactly what materials are required and what labour is involved for each individual job. You know how much each job costs, and you also know the absolute minimum cost you can do that job for.

Now, when you get asked to quote a job the hard work’s already been done. You just have to pull all the relevant modules together to create a quote. This means when you submit your quote to the owner you know it’s accurate. And when you win the job, you’ve got a head start because a) you already know the materials required and can order them in advance, and b) you also have a clear idea how many hours the job should take and can schedule your tradies accordingly.

Or, if you miss out on the job because someone else has gone lower, so be it. You know you couldn’t have done it for less than what you quoted and you don’t want to be working on jobs that are going to cost you money, so in some ways it’s more of a win!

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