As an independent contractor, you pride yourself on providing prospective clients with estimates in a timely and hassle-free manner. Unfortunately, while almost always accurate, these estimates don’t look particularly professional. In many cases, you simply provide estimates via email without going into much detail regarding the services you’ll be rendering. Although this isn’t an issue for clients with whom you’ve been working for years, this lack of professionalism is liable to make newer clients think twice about giving you their business. In the interest of stepping up your game in the estimate department, put the following tips into practice.
Use a Professional Template
It’s not difficult to see why new clients would be turned off by unprofessional-looking estimates. Simply including an estimate in the body of an email creates the impression that you’re just pulling numbers out of your head and didn’t put much thought into working out the final number. Considering how easy professional templates are to come by these days, you have no excuse for neglecting to use one. In fact, Anynax welcomes you to download this professional estimate for free. After seeing how convenient professional estimate templates are, you’re sure to stick with them for the foreseeable future.
Go into Detail
When being presented with an estimate, people like to know what they’re being charged for. Estimates that only contain a few slipshod notes and projected fees smack of laziness and unprofessionalism. A prospective client would be fully justified in thinking that you put very little thought and effort into such an estimate. With this in mind, make sure your estimates contain a detailed rundown of the services being rendered, as well as informative notes regarding each individual service. This will help clients better understand the rationale behind your fees, effectively preventing accusations of price-gouging or misguided attempts at haggling.
Provide a Disclaimer
After receiving an estimate, a number of people believe that the projected fees found therein are 100 percent reflective of the final cost. While this is true in some cases, most of the time, the actual final cost is slightly more than the one found in the estimate. Since a surprising number of individuals regularly misinterpret the term “estimate,” it’s in your best interest to include a small disclaimer at the bottom of each estimate you send out. This disclaimer should state in no uncertain terms that the fees quoted in your estimates are always subject to change based on the amount of time, manpower and resources you ultimately have to expend to complete the job.
Estimates have the power to make or break potential business relationships. If a prospective client isn’t happy with the amount you’re charging, they may contact you in an effort to negotiate a more mutually beneficial price. However, if they’re displeased with the lack of professionalism reflected in the estimate itself, they may not even give you a chance to redeem yourself before moving onto to another contractor. With so much potential income at stake, estimates aren’t something you can afford to take lightly.