Plumbers live a busy life. Often, you get calls to deal with emergencies while in the middle of another job. You need a way to create detailed and professional estimates quickly and easily.
Skynova makes it remarkably simple to create plumbing estimates and send them to potential customers promptly. Imagine being able to create and send an estimate from your laptop while standing at your customer's kitchen. That scenario may only work for smaller jobs, but it's still a lot better than hastily scribbled words on a piece of paper.
Do you make your estimates on Microsoft Excel or Word? Skynova's estimating software will help you create detailed documents in half the time. You'll get a professional-looking template that you can edit, print, or download as a PDF. You also get a private link that you can email to your customer. This allows them to accept or decline the estimate online. All of this means you'll spend less time doing administrative work and more time doing paid work. If you're a plumber, check out the template we've made below just for your business:
You probably enjoy being a business owner, but not the administrative work that comes with it. After all, very few people like doing paperwork. But they are part and parcel of running a plumbing business. And it's best to stay on top of things.
Creating and sending bids and estimates are where most of your paid work begins. But with Skynova's free estimate template, you can get them done easily and send them promptly. To make an estimate using Skynova's template, follow the steps below.
Estimates that you send out must always include your information and your customer's name and address. Adding your customer's name and address will make sure they'll pay attention to it. So, double-check that you spelled their name correctly and have the right address.
You should also provide a name and address that your customer will recognize. Most people do not want unsolicited advertisements or emails. And a name they don't recognize might send your estimate to the trash pile. Also, don't forget to provide a contact number and/or an email address where your customers can contact you if they need to.
Customize your estimates with a business logo. With Skynova's estimate template, it only takes three easy steps to add a logo.
Find it under the customization options at the top of the estimate template page. Check the "Logo" option, click on "Browse," and upload the image file of your choice. Voila! You have a professional-looking estimate complete with your own logo.
Is this your first time dealing with customers? Do you know that your estimate needs an identifying number just like invoices? If you haven't been attaching numbers to your estimates, it's time to start this practice now. These identifying numbers are an excellent way to track and refer to estimates.
With Skynova's template, you can also add an associated purchase order (P.O.) number. You can do this under the customization options at the top of the estimate template page. Check the "P.O. #" box to add it to your template. To make your life easier, you can also automatically convert estimates to invoices once your customers accept.
The estimate date keeps track of when the document is created or sent. It's good to have them because cost estimates are generally good for 30 to 90 days. This way, potential customers can't get back to you after a year and ask to pay the same price.
As a plumber, you probably charge for the materials you use when you take on a project. Most of your customers expect this, but it's still a good idea to communicate it in advance. Skynova's template allows you to identify and list the materials you need for the job. Select the unit price (how much one item costs) and the quantity (how many you bought), and it will automatically tally up the total amount.
Make sure your estimates use language that your customers can understand. You also may need to factor in expenses such as an on-site dumpster and haul-away, the correction of existing plumbing code violations, and the removal or replacement of damaged pipes. These are unexpected expenses that will cut into your profitability if you don't include them in your estimate, and your customer refuses to cover them.
If you are doing the job yourself, calculate your hourly rate and enter that under the "Unit Price" after you select "Hours" from the "Item" drop-down on the estimate template page. If you are working with a subcontractor or an employee, you can also list their hours and hourly rate the same way. Remember to use the "Description" box to add an explanation for each item.
It may not happen often, but if you are estimating for one job without the need to specify hours worked and hourly rates, you can select "Service" from the "Item" drop-down list and enter the amount.
In your plumbing business, you probably offer discounts as a way to promote your services and attract customers. If you offer a discount by bundling two plumbing jobs, simply enter the services and their corresponding prices on the estimate form first. Then, select "Discount" from the "Item" drop-down list and enter the amount (calculated by adding the full price of the services and subtracting the bundle price). The subtotal amount will then show the bundled rate.
Use the "Discount" section to let your customers know how much they're saving. It creates transparency. It's also a marketing tactic to gain your customers' loyalty.
In some instances, you may need to explain the line items you've added to the estimate, or you may want to remind the customer how long this particular estimate is good for, generally 30 to 90 days for construction projects. You can add all of these in the "Notes" section of Skynova's estimate template.
You can also use it to remind your customer that the price of the plumbing work might increase if you discover that pipes, the domestic water heater, or even drywalls have to be replaced. If none of these applies to your job estimate, take advantage of the opportunity to leave a personal note. A simple "thank you for your business" can go a long way in establishing your reputation.
The biggest barrier owners have in achieving their plumbing business profitability goals lies in the proper job estimation. If you are underestimating projects more often than not, consider plumbing estimate software like Skynova. Also, be guided by the following best practices for plumbing estimates.
When you meet with customers to discuss the plumbing job, make sure you ask the right questions. To bid on construction projects as a general contractor, ask who your contact will be and go to that person directly. It's important to get the answers you need from the right person.
And before you canvass for materials to prepare your estimate, make sure you understand the customer's goal for the project. You should also know their expectations. It will help you come up with a winning bid if you have all of the information about the project's budget, timeline, background, and possible pitfalls.
You should try to present material costs and labor costs as close to the correct figures as you can. In doing this, you will not only avoid possible pushback from customers, but it also inspires confidence in your professionalism. To be safe, utilize a change order to cover the possibility of additional work that can increase the price beyond the initial estimate.
With Skynova's estimate template, it's easy to include a breakdown of the costs. This is important to assure your customers about the transparency of your estimates. It also saves time because you can efficiently convert estimates to invoices. Win-win all around!
Whether your customers are home renovating, getting new plumbing, or updating their HVAC system, they're probably operating off a budget. For your protection and theirs, refrain from promising to do more than what their budget can cover.
It is not best practice to deliberately quote high-end prices to get your customers to spend more. However, at the same time, it's not ethical to limit the scope of the job and source cheap materials to keep the cost below budget. It's always best to adapt and work within the available budget.
Always follow up with your customers. Prepare answers for common questions that come up at this stage of their decision-making process. By taking the time to follow up and answer questions, you are also building trust.
Seal the deal. Be the best marketer for your business. Make them see why this project and how you plan to do it is in their best interest. Understand your unique selling point and use it to convince your customers that you are the better option.
Start by making it easier for your customer to accept the estimate. With Skynova's template, your customer can receive, review, and accept the estimate online. It really is a time-saver for everyone.
Create professional-looking, detailed bids that you can easily print, download, or send through email to your customers. Get your bid in before the competition. With Skynova's estimate template, customers can review and accept or decline your bids online.
Explore our invoicing and accounting options and coordinate all the administrative aspects of your business. We make sending invoices and creating expense reports easier for you. Partner with Skynova to grow your plumbing business today!