If you have not done a quote before or you just want to make yours look a little more professional, then read on. In this guide, we will look at how to create a quote to how to make yours stand out just that little bit more.
A business quote (or quotation) is a document in which you describe the requested products or services and provide your customer with relevant pricing. In most cases, it is written as a response to a request for pricing, when a customer solicits your service or product.
Why should you formally quote a customer?
A quote can be used as a legal document for the price and serves as a contract. This means that in the event of a dispute, you have clear correspondence on what was offered and what should have been provided. If you have quoted verbally or on the “back of an envelope” it is unlikely that will help you in a dispute.
A professional looking quote will also give your business credibility. The customer will have more confidence in you and your ability to deliver.
A quote also enables you to carefully consider your costs of completing a job, so may help you calculate your selling price and more importantly, your profitability.
What do I need to know about quoting?
Quote vs estimate. An estimate is purely that and usually is given when the final cost is unknown due to circumstances that cannot be determined. An estimate is not a formal contract. As long as it is labelled correctly will not have the same legal obligations as a quote. If you issue an estimate, we recommend you also add the words “Pricing is subject to change”.
Always listen carefully for what the customer has asked for and quote accordingly. If you do not, you run the risk of immediately being discarded. Be careful to quote for only those products and services that you understand and can deliver.
Calculating your quote pricing is tricky. Overquote and you will not get the business, underquote and you will lose money.
How to create a quote?
If you frequently deal with quotes, you should create a template with prefilled content that you can use to save you time. Your template should be clean looking! It should demonstrate your brand identity to help differentiate you from other quotes the customer may have received.
How to create a quote?
- Quotation header
Reference your company’s name, contacts, ABN number, quotation number and date, payment terms, conditions, and the name of the recipient. The word “Quote” or “Quotation” should be written at the top of the page.
- Quotation body
Describe the goods or services you are proposing, any quantities and a breakdown of the costs.
- Quotation footer
Include the total amount of all items, including GST amount, and if there is any expiry of the quote. This is where you would also list any preferred payment methods.
- Operational section
Optional is a section for a customer to accept the quote which could be as simple as a space for a signature and date.
- Work Schedule
If there is a work schedule or a timeline of tasks to be completed, you may wish to include this information.
No matter how hard you try, words may not be sufficient to describe your product. This is especially true if it is unique and uncommon in the market. You should consider including a picture or two or a link to a video of your product.
See our guide on getting graphics done for ways of creating a company logo to improve your image.
Following up a quote with a customer might just close the deal.
If a customer asks for a proposal, then a more detailed document is required that will explain HOW you plan to achieve the work. You would need to demonstrate a full understanding of the customers’ existing problem and offer a specific solution.
You may wish to offer some call to action on your quote to close the deal sooner or encourage the customer to pay upfront. This might include a discount, a free offer or merely an expiry of this deal (customer feels they may miss out).
Having a reasonable price is only part of winning a quote. Your reputation goes a long way as does customer service. A simple act like reacting faster to customer requests, especially in providing a quote quickly can make all the difference.
Suggested templates can be found here.
Summary – How to create a quote
A written quote is a legal document that can help solve any disputes. It shows you run a professional business and clearly outlines costs to a customer for your goods and services. By putting extra effort into your quotes, you may be able to win additional business and make yourself more profitable.