small business

How to Make a Quote for Services

September 15, 2022
Time to Read: 
6 minutes

Making a quote for services is vital for running a successful trade business. Plumbers, lawn care technicians, electrical engineers, and HVAC contractors all must make detailed, precise quotes before providing work. The quote contains an itemized list of proposed services and prices to give the client a clear picture of the final job cost. A well-written, professional quote with a competitive price can go a long way to help you win a contract or otherwise get hired.

Regardless of your particular service industry, knowing how to make a quote for services is crucial. A sloppy quote missing vital information puts your business in a bad light. Even if your proposal is competitive, a poorly-written quote can prevent a potential client from hiring you. 

On the other hand, an accurate, detailed, and professional-looking service quote will help you get more work. Making a good quote shows your attention to detail and professionalism and that you value the services you provide. 

This article shows you how to make a quote that can help you win more jobs. In addition, you will learn the benefits of using a quote template and how to use quote management software. 

What is a Quote?

A quote (quotation) is an agreement between a prospective client and a service provider to specify two things. First, the estimate has a breakdown of the individual services, their costs, and the total cost of the entire project. Second, the service quote specifies the timeframe to provide the service. 

Why is Making a Quote in Service Industries Important?

Service quotes in trade businesses are vitally important because prices vary depending on specific conditions. Very often, service-based industries like HVAC, plumbing, landscaping, and electrical installations don’t have fixed prices like commodities. Instead, job costs are calculated based on a unit price and a variable — for example, the scope of work or square footage.

Service quotes are critical because they typically are the first point of contact between you and a prospective customer. Therefore, a professional quote has the opportunity to turn a prospect into a paying customer. The quote also becomes an agreement between both parties.

How to Make a Quote for Services in Six Easy Steps

The goal of making a quote for providing a service is to give as much detailed information as possible. However, it must be made in a clear, easy-to-understand way without ambiguity. For example, the client should know exactly how much the service will cost and the timeframe. 

Here are the six steps involved in making a quote for a service.

1. Select a template

The easiest starting point for making a price quote is to select a predefined professional quote template. Software like Microsoft Office, Word, or Excel has free quote templates to create a professional-looking document. In addition, if you use a service tool like VIIZR, you can choose from one of the pre-defined estimate documents.

To make the service quote professional, include your logo, brand name, and other relevant information. The term quote should be boldly displayed so that the document’s purpose is clear. 

2. Add client details

The next step is adding the client’s name, email address, phone number, and other contact details. This is where you’ll be able to send them a copy of the proposal or ask questions about their requirements. Additionally, you’ll need to add the date as a reference point. 

Also, don’t forget to include your contact details. However, this should already be clear from the branding at the top of the quote. 

3. Make an itemized list of services provided

The central part of making a quote for services is to specify the individual cost of each service you plan to provide. Ideally, you should enter these details as line items, including a description, quantities, product number, unit price, and total price.

Depending on the service industry you are in, you could divide the quote into different sections — labor and material costs. For example, are you an electrician, painter, plumber, or HVAC engineer? In that case, one part of the quote could be for materials and their costs. Another section could be for labor. 

For lawn care service providers, the quote could list the various landscaping services — lawn mowing, edging, fertilization — and the cost specific to the yard size.

You should include the subtotal, tax, and final cost at the end of the list. 

The benefit of using an itemized list is that it allows the prospective client the possibility to negotiate. For example, maybe they want to emit a specific service. Itemizing gives the client a clear idea as to how this affects the price.

Finally, include information on the quote’s validity — 30 days, six months, etc. 

4. Use a unique quote number

Using service software like VIIZR automatically generates a unique quote number. This is useful as your business grows and you get more customers. In addition, you will need an effective management tool to track quotes, invoices, and billing — all handy features of VIIZR.

5. Include terms and conditions

When making a quote, don’t forget to include the terms and conditions. This way, the client knows what to expect from the timeframe and what is not included. Including disclaimers will also help you avoid disputes and disappointments if the client is unaware of certain conditions. 

Here are some examples of terms and conditions for a quote:

  • Disclaimers — Specify what happens in case factors affecting the timeframe are out of your control. For instance, shipping delays and inclement weather can often affect service companies. 
  • Payment details — Outline how you expect to be paid and the payment timeframe. Some service businesses require a deposit to be paid in advance. And include how to be paid — direct deposit, check, or debit card. 
  • Additional work — There may be circumstances when there is unanticipated work. For example, when installing a new kitchen, you discover mold that requires remedying. Or a lawn could develop a problem of grubs or other pests that need eradicating. Therefore, it’s best to specify how much additional work will cost.

6. Add any extra details

Having a section for optional details is helpful when making a quote. For example, this section could include discount codes, sales tax numbers, referral discount codes, a business number (EIN), and a signature. 

After completing the quote, check it thoroughly for typos and grammar errors and double-check the figures. Finally, ensure that the quote reflects the professionalism of your business. 

Quote vs. Invoice: What’s the Difference?

A quote and invoice typically contain similar information — itemized lists of services provided and their costs. A quote is sent before the prospective client hires you for the job. Conversely, you issue an invoice after completing a project and when you bill the client for work performed.

For regular clients, you may only send them one quote before you start work. However, you may send recurring invoices to request payments if you perform routine work. This would be on the agreed payment schedule — usually monthly or after finishing a specific job.

How VIIZR Can Help You Make a Quote for Services

After the client accepts your quote for providing a service, it’s time to fulfill your promise on the quote. But how will you manage the many clients you hope to get? Many businesses in service industries rely on VIIZR as an all-in-one tool to manage business operations. 

VIIZR has management features to help you make professional-looking quotes and price estimates. The software produces PDF-format documents that you can email to your clients. Additionally, Pricebook features help you cross-sell or upsell on existing jobs. 

But there’s more. Running a successful business is not only about reaching out to new potential customers. You must schedule jobs, manage employees, communicate with customers, send invoices, and track payments. VIIZR automates many of these tasks, giving you more time to concentrate on your core business — providing the best service in your local area. 

What are the benefits of using VIIZR if you’re a service business owner? 

Here are a few reasons to start using VIIZR today: 

  • Business growth — Make professional-looking quotes for services to win more jobs.
  • Streamline operations — VIIZR makes it straightforward to communicate with crews, technicians, and customers — all from one place. 
  • Efficient payments — You can shorten the payment cycle because VIIZR sends digital invoices automatically on completion of the work and tracks payments. 
  • Effective tech scheduling — The drag-and-drop feature optimizes your team’s daily flow, allowing you to schedule jobs effectively. 
  • Maps and routing — Reduce maintenance costs by keeping schedules running smoothly and your customers in the loop. 

Make a Quote for Services to Win More Jobs

Making a quote seems like an insignificant part of your business process. However, creating attractive, professional business quotes is vital to get more customers and retain existing ones. In addition, automation and investing in cost-effective service tools like VIIZR can help your business flourish in a competitive market. 

The bottom line is making a quote for services is easy if you have the right tools. With VIIZR, you can create professional-looking, consistent quotes quickly and easily. 

So, why not try VIIZR for free today? If you think the software will benefit your business, you can take advantage of the affordable pricing plan. 

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