To accurately prepare a quote it’s important to first see the location you are pricing out. You could:
visit the quote location in person and take pictures yourself
ask the client if they can email you pictures of the building
find images of the address online or on google street view
Option 1: Visit the Location
A lot of time and money can be spent on this option for quoting. When I first started doing my own quotes, I would drive all over the place doing up a ton of quotes.
I did a lot of sub-contract quotes in the beginning for another company. I figured it would be a good experience for learning how to quote. And it was.
The problem with quoting for another contractor was that I had to keep my prices low so they could add in their cut and still get the job.
As you will learn in time, you will only get a certain percentage of the jobs you quote.
So when you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to visit the quote location in person so you can see the details of the job for yourself.
If it’s a window cleaning quote, you may want to count the number of window panes and multiply it by a certain amount per pane. Use your discretion here.
You also want to see if your ladders will reach all areas you will be cleaning. If not, do you have a water-fed pole you can use to reach high windows and/or hard to reach windows?
In the beginning, if you have built relationships by subcontracting with other businesses in the industry, you may be able to ask if you can borrow their equipment when you get jobs you don’t have the equipment for.
In time though, you will want to invest in buying your own equipment so you don’t have to keep borrowing other people’s tools.
If you have been driving to each individual quote location, you will find out how much time and money can be wasted using this option for quoting a job.
This brings us to:
Option 2: Have the Client Send you Pictures
This option depends entirely upon whether or not the client is willing to take pictures of the job and email them to you.
If they are willing and follow thru, the pic’s may still not give an accurate enough representation of the job for you to create an accurate quote.
In time, as you get more experience with quoting jobs, you will get better at discerning what prices to charge based on pictures.
When quoting a job based on someone else’s pic, it can tend to be a craps shoot if they don’t get all sides/areas of the building in the pics.
Having experience with quoting is important for this option. Also, knowing that with the law of averages, you will get some jobs and won’t get other jobs and that’s okay.
Option 3: Find Images Online
This option is for the more advanced/experienced business owner. If you already have a lot of experience in quoting jobs using the first 2 options, you can become even more efficient at pumping out quotes using this process. And as we know with the law of averages, the more quotes you do, the more jobs you will get, and the more money you will earn.
If you don’t have a lot of experience using google maps it would be good idea to start learning how to use this powerful app in your business.
If you’re on a computer, open an internet browser, go to google, click on the menu icon, and then on the maps icon. If you’re using a hand held device, go to your app store and download the google maps app.
Once you have access to google maps, open the app, click/tap on the search bar, and enter the address of the location you wish to quote. (Please note that occasionally the address may not be accurate. If this is the case, it may take some searching to find the correct location on the map.)
Next, you want to access the “street view” option.
On a computer, you can usually click on the street view image and it will take you to street view. You can also drag and drop the little golden stickman onto the spot on the map you want to see on street view.
On a device there will should be smaller image in the bottom corner. By tapping on this little image, it will navigate you to street view.
Once you are on the street view, you can navigate up and down the streets in the area to find your quote location. (Please note that sometimes the numbers on the building can be blurred out or blocked by trees or other things. Also, you likely won’t be able to see all sides of the building, only the view from the street, so you will need to use your own discretion when figuring out your rate for your quote.)
It may be challenging when you first start viewing locations on street view. With experience, you will get better at using this option.
If you absolutely cannot see the location on street view, you can use option 2, and if that’s not possible, use option 1 as a last resort for quoting.
In time, the amount of time and money you will save using option 3 may gradually make this your favourite method for viewing quote locations.
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William currently lives in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada with his wife Natasha and cat Noah. He has been cleaning windows professionally since 2004. William has worked for multiple window cleaning companies as both an employee and a subcontractor until he committed to building his own business in 2012. His business has grown since to provide a very nice income for the family. Natasha now helps out more with the business as it continues to grow.
With 10+ years of experience in the industry, William's intention with this website is to share his experience and knowledge with people who would like to learn how to create their own window cleaning business. Plans include sharing free content on this blog and in time, creating a "how to create a successful window cleaning business" online course.
William is a small business owner/entrepreneur who has created a successful + profitable window, siding, gutter + roof cleaning business in lower mainland, BC.
He enjoys learning personal development, photography, loves nature, traveling and sharing creative content online on his blogs and on YouTube.
His loving wife Natasha supports and encourages him to go for his dreams and they enjoy an amazing life together in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.