Estimate forms best practices

How to create a professional estimate as a contractor

A good estimate attracts new customers and builds trust by clearly stating expectations from start to finish.

Here, we’ll walk you through the steps of generating an exhaustive estimate form that accurately describes your offerings and demonstrates your professionalism. 

We will give you vital tips and strategies to ensure your estimates stand out from the competition.

Thus, let’s explore the world of cost estimation. 

What is a cost estimation?

A cost estimate is an essential roadmap for businesses to foresee and plan for the financial impact of their projects. 

You can calculate the costs of your products or services including,

  • The services you’ll provide
  • The due dates for completing the job
  • A timeline of project benchmarks along the way
  • The cost of materials and services to complete the project 
  • An estimation of the total cost

Businesses can better manage their budgets, increase profitability, and support future growth by using accurate cost estimation. 

So whether you’re starting a new project, researching a company idea, or just trying to make your present operations run more smoothly, learning the art of cost estimation is essential for success.

How to write an estimate: A step-by-step guide

Knowing how to create a task estimate is essential if you work in business development or are a freelancer. For writing a strong job estimate, follow these important steps:

1- Understand your client’s expectations.

Understand your project scope before drafting an estimate. By asking the correct questions, you should be able to satisfy your client.

Sometimes, the client is unsure about his exact needs. Here are some questions you may ask to assist them in getting what they need and have better project planning: 

  • Which products or services are you looking for?
  • Do you require any particular services?
  • Do you need a cost breakdown?
  • Do you want this project to last a certain amount of time?
  • With this initiative, what do you hope to achieve?
  • Any other goals or objectives for this project that you have in mind?

Learn more about how to create a job estimate with Formaloo.

2- Suggest specific services

Once you discuss the expectations of your clients, it is important to analyze them to know what you will offer.

You can give service suggestions as the client may not be aware of the specifics of each service. 

For example, company A needs you for a website development project. After carefully analyzing their needs and goals, you can suggest taking care of the web design, SEO, and social media presence. 

estimation form

How to calculate estimated costs

A price estimate gives project stakeholders knowledge of future costs, allowing them to evaluate the project’s potential, manage resources wisely, and come to smart decisions.

Learn more!

3- Map the project timeline

Predicting the project timeline is also critical in the cost estimate process. 

Start with meticulously listing all essential deliverables, project phases, and resources required. Based on your experience and expertise, assess the time required to complete each task.

It’s important to provide clients with a rough completion date when projecting a timeline. 

Clients frequently use this information to plan further actions related to the project you will be working on.

4- Price your services

Now that you know what your client requires and the project timeline, it’s time to determine the pricing for your services. 

To ensure transparency and build trust with your client, it’s recommended to provide a detailed price breakdown.

Itemize the cost for each service or deliverable you will provide as part of the project. This way, the client gets a clear view of how you calculated the total cost and what they are paying for each specific service.

Price your services

5- Determine the extra costs of materials

Include any additional costs, such as materials, in your estimate if they are necessary for your work.

Formaloo can significantly simplify the process of calculating the total project cost estimation. 

You can make estimate forms that calculate prices based on client choices using the logic feature.

Adding product fields and extra costs into the form, can simplify the estimation process and eliminate the need for manual calculations.

The logic works by setting up conditional rules within the form. When the client chooses options or enters values (like material quantity), the form calculates the total cost using pre-set formulas.

quotation form template

6- Create a cost estimation form

Now that you gathered all the information during previous steps you can create the final version of your estimate.

Calculating the costs of a project manually can be very time-consuming. Creating the perfect cost estimator with Formaloo has never been easier!

You can design a custom form with all the necessary fields and set up dynamic calculations using the logic feature.

You can use a ready-to-use free estimate template and customize it to match your brand. 

cost calculator form

Costs calculator form

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Calculation-based pricing

Quotation form

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job estimation form

Job estimation form

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7- Send your estimate to the client

Once you finish creating your estimate form, you can send it to your clients. You can also embed it and get estimation requests directly from your website. It’s a great solution for lead generation and customer engagement. 

With just a click, you can seamlessly send it via email, or add a personal touch with a custom email template. If you prefer a more professional approach, create a table displaying the costs and services breakdown.

You can also automate the process more using Zapier. Trigger estimate delivery as soon as clients complete the form and send automated follow-ups.

Use your Gmail SMTP server

How to use your Gmail SMTP server

You can send emails from your website, web app, or domain using the free Google SMTP server. But you can also use Gmail’s SMTP server to send emails from your Formaloo account.

Learn more!

What to include in an estimate 

  • Details about the company, such as an address, email, and phone number.
  • Contact information of the client.
  • Date of issuance for the estimate.
  • A thorough list of the services you intend to provide.
  • A detailed breakdown outlining the costs of both services and materials.

Tips and tricks for an accurate estimate

1- Be realistic with your timeline: Take into consideration any probable difficulties and leave a bit of flexibility.

2- Offer a variety of choices: Provide various price levels or package deals to accommodate differing customer preferences and budgets.

3- Consider competitive research: Analyze your competitors’ pricing and offerings to understand the market trends. This research can help you position your estimate competitively while showcasing your unique value proposition

4- Meet with your client if necessary: Schedule a meeting with the client to discuss their project requirements in person. Face-to-face interactions provide valuable insights and build connections.

Start with Formaloo today and experience the convenience of generating professional cost estimate forms! Follow us on our YouTube channel for more tips and tricks.

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