Quote Jobs – Part 3
Series: How to Quote Jobs
This is part 3 of a 3 part series on ‘How to Quote Jobs’ for your window cleaning service business.
“The more quotes you send out, the more income you will generate.” – William R King
Part 3: Preparing and Delivering the Quote
There are 3 steps to this process:
- Figure out the prices for each service
- Prepare the quote
- Send it to the customer
Step 1. Figure out the prices for each service
Figuring out the rates you will quote for your services will likely take time to learn in the beginning.
I usually quoted way too high or too low when I first started doing my own quotes. If you quote too high, you won’t get any jobs. If you quote too low, you will get so many jobs you will be working too much for too little money.
Here are a few ways you can gauge your rates.
- Choose an hourly rate
- Total number of window panes and/or height
- Size + height of building
This option can be a good starting point for someone who is used to getting paid by the hour.
When using this method to quote, remember that you are responsible for all your overhead expenses like tools, liability insurance, auto insurance, disability insurance, therefore you don’t want to short-change yourself by quoting a low hourly rate.
I’ve been in this industry since 2005, so I will generally quote based on a $75-$100/hr rate due to my experience, proficiency, skill-level, insurance, tools, truck/trailer insurance, fuel, end-product, etc.
If you’re in the beginning stages of getting your own business started a good starting point could be $25-$50/hr depending on your overhead expenses, skill-level, and experience in doing the work.
So let’s say you’ve chosen an hourly rate. Next, you will want to look at the scope of work the entire job entails and get a rough idea of how many total hours it will take you to complete the job in full.
Finally, multiply the hours by your hourly rate and you have a price for your quote.
In some cases such as when quoting larger jobs, it is a good idea to add a few extra hours to your price just in case it takes you longer to finish than you originally thought.
Total Number of Window Panes
This is an excellent method for quoting commercial and/or industrial buildings. It’s not the most efficient method for quoting residential jobs.
This option is good for someone who is starting out on their own, but is not recommended for a long-term method for quoting.
With this method you will have to visit the location in person to get pictures that show all the window panes on the building.
In some cases you could have the customer take pics and email them to you, but they could miss some windows and/or sections of the building which will cause you to under-quote.
Once you have your total number of window panes, simply multiply that number by how much you are charging per pane. If the number seems way too high or low, adjust the rate per pane.
Depending on the size/height of the building and size of panes you might choose to quote at $0.50-$2.50/pane. In some cases you might decide to charge $5.00 for large or high panes.
This is your business, so use your discretion. The total has to look good for the customer. Is this a figure they will hire you for? Is it too high or low? With time and experience you will get good at finding the sweet spot.
“Secret Tip: Be sure the final digit is always an odd number.”
Since this method requires you to visit every quote in person, it’s better to get used to quoting using google street view and other images online.
Size + Height of Building
This is a great method for quoting residential homes, but not good for quoting commercial or industrial buildings.
When I quote homes, I use google street view to find images of the house. I can usually find most homes on google street view. The exception is when it’s a new home or when something is blocking the house from the camera. In some cases I have to “google” the address to try to find an MLS listing with images of the house.
Factors I use for quoting residential window cleaning are:
- square feet
- ladder accessibility
- screen removal and/or washing
- squeegee or water-fed pole clean
- Inside windows
Ask yourself these questions when preparing a quote:
Do you have a variety of ladders that will allow you to safely reach all the windows?
Is the house 1, 2, 3, or 4 stories?
If windows are beyond your safe reach by ladder, do you have a water-fed pole that will reach the high windows?
Will you have to remove screens by ladder, will they remove them for you, or will they allow you to remove them from the inside?
Do they want their inside windows cleaned as well as the outside?
Is the house a rancher (one floor), a 2-3 bedroom 2 story house, a 4-5 bedroom 3 story house, or is it a mansion?
Using house size/height is a great thing to base your rates from. This is the method I personally use when quoting jobs for residential clients.
Now that you have figured out the price for each service you are quoting, the next step is to prepare the quote for the customer.
Step 2. Prepare the Quote
Quote delivery options:
- hard copy in person
- hard copy by mail
- digital copy by email
hard copy in person
I don’t recommend hand delivering hard copies of a quote, unless you are already on location, or if you are willing to do a lot of driving to deliver quotes.
In some cases neighbours will ask how much for their house. I’d suggest giving them a hand written quote when people approach and ask you for a price. (You can buy a handwritten quotation book from most office supply stores.)
hard copy by mail
If you’re not very tech savvy, this would be a good delivery option for you. Make sure you have plenty of stamps, envelopes, and quotation sheets on hand.
Once you’ve prepared the quote, be sure to get it into the mail box the same day so they receive their quote as soon as possible.
digital copy by email
This option is faster and for more tech savvy individuals.
You can use a template using Microsoft Office or Mac’s Pages or design your own using another app. You could also use google docs for free.
I personally use the Invoice2Go application. It works on all my devices and syncs to the cloud. I can create, deliver, and access my quotes anywhere I have data or wifi.
Once you have your quote finished, proceed to step 3.
Step 3. Send Your Quote to the Customer
As mentioned in the previous section, you can hand-deliver the quote in person, by mail, or by email. This final step is pretty self-explanatory.
In some cases people will hire the first company that sends them a quote, so be sure to follow through by delivering your quote as soon as possible to your potential customer.
I’d highly recommend doing your best to let go of any expectations of getting the job. I know this may be easier said than done.
In the beginnings of building your business, you might be broke. If you are struggling financially, you will likely feel a little desperate/hungry for money. It’s important that you manage your state/stress levels.
If you create and deliver quotes in a stressed out or desperate state, the customer will sense it, and may ask you for a lower rate or even not hire you.
Don’t allow people to push you around or take advantage of you. Stick to your prices. Stay centred and confident in your quote and your ability to deliver excellent service.
When you are detached from whether someone hires you or not, you will feel more relaxed and confident. You won’t care if someone hires you or not. You’ll find yourself saying: “there’s plenty of fish in the sea. If they don’t hire me, someone else will.”
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