Home Forums Money matters I think I’m making a mess of quoting / estimates for new clients. Please helP!

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  • #1000441
    soundslike
    Member
    • Total posts: 5

    I’m freelancing in a creative business, so while many of my jobs are similar, none are exactly the same, so it’s not appropriate to have a cookie cutter per product pricing structure, which means I’ve just been doing a new budget for every new client, but (luckily for me) I’ve been getting more new client approaches than ever, and the process of adjusting a messy template spreadsheet for each new project is just ridiculous. So – I’ve scoured the web for some sort of app / platform that might help me, but I can’t see anything that actually helps to automate/simplify the calculation of a quote/estimate – there are a million apps out there that make your quote look pretty, but none will help you actually calculate it.
    My method at present is just putting in each task / stage of the project (Like ‘Development workshop – 1 x day @ whatever day rate’ and so on) then tallying it all up, adding a small margin and sending it off. But I really have just made it up and I have no idea what people do in the rest of the world. So – can anyone help me with this? Is there software I should use? Or a process? Or something?
    I’m just wasting a lot of productive time on this and it’s effecting my ability to meet the deadlines I have with clients who are actually already paying me.
    Thanks for the rant reading and I hope someone can help!

    #1224377
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,173

    Hi And Welcome to Flying Solo.

    It is great to have you!

    I had this exact issue and did a similar search but didn’t find a product that met my needs either.

    In the end, I developed my own “system” that incorporates a template approach with a few twists.

    First of all, you can try to assemble a few templates that will meet recurring themes in your business.

    Eg, insert what is typical in one day of work, 2 days of work, 3 days of work.

    In red writing I put in custom spaces and I am either ready to write to them or just delete them completely if not needed.

    Eg, I might say soemthing like:

    “It is clear that your current service provider has made promises to you they have not kept. My inspection revealed the following deficiencies:

    • Common Problem 1
    • Common Problem 2
    • Common Problem 3
    • Common Problem 4

    We promise to address these issues now and in future. We want you to hold us to our promises…..

    I have a series of these template components that I can insert small pieces of text or delete the whole section or part of the section quickly.

    I leave these sections in red to remind me to address them.

    I hope this gives you an idea around different ways to tackle the problem.

    Cheers

    #1224378
    soundslike
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 271290, member: 78928 wrote:
    Hi And Welcome to Flying Solo.

    It is great to have you!

    I had this exact issue and did a similar search but didn’t find a product that met my needs either.

    In the end, I developed my own “system” that incorporates a template approach with a few twists.

    First of all, you can try to assemble a few templates that will meet recurring themes in your business.

    Eg, insert what is typical in one day of work, 2 days of work, 3 days of work.

    In red writing I put in custom spaces and I am either ready to write to them or just delete them completely if not needed.

    Eg, I might say soemthing like:

    “It is clear that your current service provider has made promises to you they have not kept. My inspection revealed the following deficiencies:

    • Common Problem 1
    • Common Problem 2
    • Common Problem 3
    • Common Problem 4

    We promise to address these issues now and in future. We want you to hold us to our promises…..

    I have a series of these template components that I can insert small pieces of text or delete the whole section or part of the section quickly.

    I leave these sections in red to remind me to address them.

    I hope this gives you an idea around different ways to tackle the problem.

    Cheers

    Thanks Paul – I really appreciate your getting back to me. I have actually tried something similar to this previously and I’m really hoping for something more sophisticated/permanent and scalable if I can find something. I do really appreciate your help though.

    #1224379
    UmarBatchelor
    Member
    • Total posts: 26

    You need to know the value of what you are providing. Can you break it up into the smallest component of what you are providing.

    You also need to know the customer as well. Prequoting, its important to suss out the customer. Each customer has a different value to what you are providing.

    It appears what you want is a tool that ultimately negotiates for you. There is none.

    #1224380
    soundslike
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    UmarBatchelor, post: 271315, member: 65049 wrote:
    You need to know the value of what you are providing. Can you break it up into the smallest component of what you are providing.

    You also need to know the customer as well. Prequoting, its important to suss out the customer. Each customer has a different value to what you are providing.

    It appears what you want is a tool that ultimately negotiates for you. There is none.

    I’m really not looking for something to do my negotiating for me. I’m all good on that front. I’m just looking for something that works better for me than a spreadsheet to do the calculations of what it costs me to do the component parts of the project.

    #1224381
    Dave Gillen – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,554

    Hi [USER=119497]@soundslike[/USER]!

    Just to clarify – what are you looking to do that a spreadsheet doesn’t get done for you? Where is the spreadsheet taking up your time?

    Dave

    Dave Gillen - Client Acquisition | Brisbane | (07) 3180 0288
    #1224382
    soundslike
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Dave – FS Concierge, post: 271318, member: 49676 wrote:
    Hi [USER=119497]@soundslike[/USER]!

    Just to clarify – what are you looking to do that a spreadsheet doesn’t get done for you? Where is the spreadsheet taking up your time?

    Dave

    Thanks Dave. I am just terrible at spreadsheets. I’m a composer and sound designer and the whole spreadsheet thing just makes my eyes blur. So it’s possible they do the job I need – I just don’t know how to do it with them or where to start, hence looking for a purpose built app / web thing to help me do it with greater ease.

    #1224383
    Dave Gillen – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,554

    @soundslife I’m a bit the same. Simpler quotes have been the way forward for me (rather than finding a way to manage complex quotes, if that makes sense).

    Dave

    Dave Gillen - Client Acquisition | Brisbane | (07) 3180 0288
    #1224384
    soundslike
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Dave – FS Concierge, post: 271320, member: 49676 wrote:
    @soundslife I’m a bit the same. Simpler quotes have been the way forward for me (rather than finding a way to manage complex quotes, if that makes sense).

    Dave

    Thanks Dave. I guess I just struggle to get accurate quotes if I make them too simple. I’m really flying blind with this stuff and can’t figure out what I’m supposed to be doing to do this better and more efficiently.

    #1224385
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,173
    soundslike, post: 271323, member: 119497 wrote:
    Thanks Dave. I guess I just struggle to get accurate quotes if I make them too simple. I’m really flying blind with this stuff and can’t figure out what I’m supposed to be doing to do this better and more efficiently.
    You could take a swings and roundabouts approach as well if generalising saves time and stress. On some you will make slightly more than ordinary, on others, slightly less.

    Cheers
    Paul

    #1224386
    cherylgr
    Member
    • Total posts: 1

    [USER=119497]@soundslike[/USER] have a look at Steamtime. Able to integrate quoting, workflow and job management. They also have a great support team and are continually improving the product for creatives.
    PS I don’t work for Streamtime!

    https://streamtime.net/features/quoting

    #1224387
    UmarBatchelor
    Member
    • Total posts: 26

    Thanks [USER=119497]@soundslike[/USER] for expressing your challenge. I made an incorrect assumption. I’m wondering if you would pay for someone to develop a customized quoting system for you?

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