Free estimates are a common marketing and sales tool used by many field service companies. However, they’re not always the right choice for all businesses. The decision to charge for estimates depends on the scope of the job, industry standards, and company philosophy.
A free estimate is a rough calculation of the value, number, quantity or extent of something. It’s not to be confused with a firm quote or exact cost pricing. This is a significant distinction, as most prospective clients want and expect an exact cost pricing when asking for an estimate.
Some business owners feel that charging for estimates helps to ensure that the client is serious about the work and isn’t just shopping around. Other business owners find that it’s more efficient to provide free estimates, which allows them to focus on more important aspects of the job, like scheduling and completing the work.
Ultimately, it comes down to what works best for your business and the customer. Just be sure that your terms and conditions are clearly stated in any agreement you send to your customers. This will protect you from any misunderstandings or disputes down the road.
The first step in creating an estimate is to determine whether the project is a good fit for your services. In addition to evaluating your company’s capacity and resources, you should also consider the project type and complexity. Some projects are not appropriate for free estimates, including add-ons to a home, major modifications to kitchens or bathrooms and more extensive design-build remodels. These projects require a considerable amount of planning, inspection and design, and may involve multiple stakeholders.
Other jobs are more complex and require an in-person estimate and/or inspection of the problematic areas. This is often necessary to get a complete picture of the work that needs to be done and can take hours of your time to make. Advertised free estimates can commit you to spending this time with homeowners who may not even be a suitable fit for your company and its services.
Creating an effective and professional estimate is critical for your success in the remodeling and home improvement industry. With the right estimating software, you can streamline your quoting process and save time writing and sending estimates to clients and vendors. InvoiceOwl’s online estimating tool provides pre-designed templates for maximum efficiency and a professional finish. Our software allows you to customize your estimate template, incorporating your company’s branding and details, as well as item fields, and payments and business terms. In addition, you can easily create and save a new estimate in seconds. Try our estimating tool for free today.. Preventivi gratuiti