Tips for Freelancers to Make Good Estimates for their clients

If you are a freelancer or a small business you might find the tasks of creating an estimate a stressful one. As you might know, although an estimate is an approximate guess of what the project costs, it can work as a boon for your business if they are good and accurate enough.

Now, let’s say you have been approached by a client and they haven’t set a price for the project. It’s upon you to decide how much the project costs. Seems a little scary? If you are capable of estimating as accurately as possible, you are sure to make a lot of money from your project. That does sound great, isn’t?

So, we have come up with a strategy to help you.

Take a look at the best tips to make a good estimate for the success of your business.

1. Communicate and get the requirements correctly

Remember, the key tip to make a good estimate is to communicate well with your clients. You are working for the client and it is your job to understand the requirements of your clients. Discuss with your clients personally or over the phone about the project in detail. Only when you have a thorough understanding of what the client wants from you, could you frame a perfect estimate for them. This, moreover, helps you build a strong client relationship with your clients.

2. Track your time

You need to have an idea about how much time the job will take, before you carry on with a price estimate. Analyse how much time you have spent on similar past projects and assess the timeline. For freelancers and small businesses, who are charging for an hourly rate, it is important that you follow this step. You don’t want to be sold short for the work you do. If you want to know how you can track time effectively, read this time management tips for freelancers.

3. Work out all your costs

working out costs

While you make a cost estimate, break down every task and assess how much each of it costs.

  • For example if you are a photographer, according to the requirements of the clients. create a project estimate based on the following factors:
  1. Assess how much the services ,tools (including camera, lenses, lighting etc..)and materials (prints, photo books, digital files) cost.
  2. Consider the pre production time, shoot time, travel time, post production time and estimate a price for them. If you are not sure how to find your total costs, try this free photography costs calculator.
  3. If you feel the client’s requirements cost you way more than your budget, you can opt for sponsor funding or decline the project.

4. Research the Competition

The most important step before you make a deal with your client, is to conduct a proper research of the project by comparing it with your competitors. Understand how your competitors are charging for similar services including the tools and materials. While it is important that you take the market and your competitors into account, you should keep in mind that too much reliance on them could sometimes have an adverse effect. While researching, always have an idea about how you can make a profit considering your budget as well.

5. Include Risks and Assumptions

The best way to avoid the risk of an out of pocket expense is by giving a disclaimer that your estimates are within + or -10% of the actual cost. Also, make it clear to your client that the charge in the estimate is for the work you have mentioned and any additional work could cost higher charges.

6. Final Step of Creating an Estimate and Sending to Clients

Now that you have understood how you can make a good estimate, you might be wondering how to proceed to the next step of creating and sending an estimate to your clients.

After you have followed all the above steps, you have to create an estimate including all the details and send them to your clients. This job is nothing to worry about if you are using Zenys online estimation software. This estimate software, tailor made for small businesses and freelancers, has a very simple user interface that anyone can handle. The steps are very simple :

  • From the multiple estimate templates available, select a template that suits your business.
  • Type in all the estimate details you have finalized by following the above tips ( the client address, item and service charges etc) in the estimate template using the estimate generator.
  • You can charge taxes for the items by enabling the option.
  • Using the estimate maker, add your logo and signature to the estimate template to make your estimates look professional.
  • Once done, click the Download button and download a PDF Estimate
  • Send them to your clients via mail, Whatsapp or any other means.

You can build estimates in just a minute using this estimate generator. Go ahead, try creating an estimate now and impress your clients.

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