Providing Customers a Written Estimate

Posted 03/04/2014

Why contractors need to put customer estimates in writing.

As much as we would all like to be taken at our word and have a handshake take the place of a contract, times have changed and a written contract is not only smart business but a necessary step to ensure a higher profit margin.

A few reasons why written estimates are necessary:

  • Putting your estimates in writing will eliminate guess work and assumptions that may be created both on the side of the customer and you. By placing in writing the scope of work you will perform, the time frame it will take, and the products to be used you will eliminate the possibility of miscommunication.
  • Include in your estimates what the customer should expect as far as any necessary preparations they may need to perform before your arrival. Also, put in writing what prep work and clean up your crew will perform, along with a general timeframe the job will take.
  • Place in writing the products to be used, and if necessary, the reasons why a particular product is necessary. This will help you justify cost should the customer question it. Often times you may be performing a higher quality of work then someone else who provided a lower estimate.
  • You can expect a higher profit margin if you take the time to calculate the necessary labor and material costs plus double check your numbers.
Avoiding customer miscommunications will make for happier customers who will in turn use your company again and provide referrals to their family and friends. Lead generation provided by word-of-mouth is the most credible form of marketing your painting business can ask for.

So the next time you are tempted to give a price quote over the phone or verbally at a potential customers home or place of business, stop yourself and take the time to gather the necessary information and calculations needed, go back to your office and work up the numbers. The future success of your business might just be a function of your estimates.

Next week’s article will discuss what customers look for when hiring a painting contractor.

Read all 6 articles on low cost marketing strategies for painting contractors.

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Written by: Barbara Walsh,