Business quote templates are a form of automation that can save you not only a tremendous amount of time but a lot of money as well. Instead of having to create personalized quotes every time a client asks for one, you can have a ready-to-go template that has all of the necessary information you need, presented in a professional layout. By automating business quotes you can spend time doing what matters most, whatever that might be.
So what should go into your template? How can you make it the best that it can possibly be?
The top is, naturally, the first part of the document that the prospective client will actually look at. As such it’s important to put all of the most important stuff right there at the top of the page. This should include a letterhead that includes the name of your business, address/location, and contact information. It’s a good idea to get in touch with a graphic designer who can create a customized letterhead that A) makes your quote stand out, and B) represents the whole ethos of your business.
The next feature to include, believe it or not, are the words ‘Estimate’ or ‘Quote’ written in large font and spelled out clearly so the reader knows exactly what they’re looking at. Not because your clients are idiots, but because if they’re looking for your quote in a big ream of shuffled papers, it’ll stand out. You should also include a quotation number as a way to keep track of all of the quotes you may have given out over a period of time, as well as the date that you give them.
Directly underneath that, you’re going to want to include the payment terms. This may seem like common sense but many businesses don’t include how soon the payment is to be expected. If you don’t actually mention to the client that the payment is due at a certain point in time, you’re opening yourself up to late payments and having to chase invoices down. No fun. By simply including the payment terms on the business quote template you can avoid any sort of miscommunication on the topic as potential clients will know that certain payment types are accepted by a certain point in time. For instance, your business may only accept cash on delivery, and it could spell trouble if this is not included on the business quote template and prospective client only wants to pay by credit.
The last feature to include at the top of the business quote template is the prospective client’s information such as their name and address. This is useful to include because it can help you keep track of which quotes were given out to which clients if a quotation number is not used; and if you do need to hunt down a late payment, you can use the client’s details on your template to do just that.
The middle of your business quote template should basically be characterized by what it is that you are offering the potential client. In other words, front and centre should be your description of what you’re offering to the client. It’s important to leave no room for error when it comes to this part of your template. Some templates include only two columns, description and amount, while others include those along with hours, price per hour, quantity, unit of measure, discount and gross total among many others. Make sure to include anything that you’d want to know if you were the client, but don’t go overboard as far as including every minute detail. You want to make it easy for the prospective client to look through the quote and know exactly what they will be charged and what they will be getting in return.
The bottom part of the business quote template should always, always, always give a total amount for what was included in the middle section of the template. It is advisable to include any sort of taxes that could be involved as well, as including this small feature will make your quote much more accurate and shows that you are willing to go the extra mile for the client- they won’t have to figure it out for themselves. At the very bottom, you should have a comments section too. This can include any sort of legal policies, how long the quote is valid for and any other fine print that’s relevant to your business. For example, you need to let the prospective client know upfront what would happen if they miss a payment or want to make a return of an item, and including a comments section at the bottom does exactly that.
To Wrap Up...
So: there are three basic parts of any business quote template. The top, middle, and bottom. Let’s take a look at what an example quote might look like:
The top includes the bulk of the details:
- Name of your business
- Your contact details
- The word ‘QUOTE’, preferably bolded and in a huge font point size!
- Your logo
- Any payment terms you have (e.g. whether the client pays via bank transfer, PayPal or another route)
- When payment is due
The middle is the outline of what’s on offer:
- What are you actually doing? Repairs, installation, web development…
- Pricing details
And the bottom is the ‘money shot’ of your quote:
- Gross/net total price
- Details of any discount
- A ‘thank you’ message
Now, that’s a lot to fit in one document. But bear in mind, this is just the bare-bones quote. It’s fine not to include each and every detail here. For that, you might want a proposal, which we have another guide to here!
Our last tip? Get a professional to work on the design of your template when you’re done with it. An eye-catching and functional design goes a really long way to make your quote stand out, not least because most small businesses rely on DIY tools like Word to, well, Do It Themselves. For a relatively small initial outlay, you’re going to bring in more clients based on something as simple as a template!