​Back to Basics: Breaking Down the Quote Process

what is a quote

We cover the three ‘W’s of the quoting process: breaking down what a quote is, when you should send one, and why you should send one.

Imagine your fridge breaks, so you call a local repair service and they tell you that it’s going to cost $200 to fix.

You’re desperate to get your fridge working again, but you pause after getting the quote. What does this amount actually mean? How much work is involved, and what will that $200 really be covering?

Knowing the total price of the service alone doesn’t provide this information. In order to properly answer these questions, preparing a quote is a best practice.

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What is a quote?

Simply put, a quote is a breakdown of the individual charges that are added together to create the total cost of a job, and a quote cannot change once agreed upon between the service provider and the customer.

When should you send a quote?

Typically a quote is sent following the request of a customer.

When a customer calls inquiring about your services to complete a particular job, and you confirm that you are available to take the work on, the next step should involve you offering to send them a quote.

READ MORE: Learn how work request forms can help you win more clients

You should issue a quote, and there should be a formal agreement on the quote between the service provider and the customer before any work begins.

From the customer’s perspective, a quote is a record to refer to as they call a few service businesses to compare rates. Email a customer a quote after you speak to them on the phone and you’ll look more professional than the business that simply texted them a dollar amount. Your information is also easier to reference than the business that just told the customer the dollar amount over the phone.

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Why should you send a quote?

A quote provides a client with clarity on what exactly they are paying for—transparency that marks your business as professional and trustworthy.

It also provides you, the business owner, the assurance that each and every aspect of your service is accounted for in the total cost of the job, including the costs of any materials you will need to source in order to complete the project.

Legally speaking, you should send a quote in order to provide a legally binding agreement between you, the person providing the service, and the person receiving it. This way, regardless of what happens once the project has started, there is an acknowledged document you can refer to should any questions or disputes arise from your employees or the customer during the job process.

What should your quote include?

There are several important details to include in a quote, starting with your company name and contact information.

In terms of outlining the job itself, a quote should contain several line items detailing exactly what is going in to the project. This may include hard costs, such as the cost of materials like fertilizer if you’re a lawn care business, lumber if you’re a contractor building a fence or deck, or gas that will be used getting to and from the location. A quote will also include the cost of the labor spent completing the project.

Want to polish or refresh your pricing to ensure you’re making a solid profit? We’ve covered how to price your services.

Include any notes specific to the project that you may have discussed with your customer on the phone or by email, as well as a timeline for jobs that may take more than one visit to complete.

Jobber’s quoting feature allows to you customize a quote template like the one below. A couple more clicks and you can send the quote to them by email.

How to make a quote: example quote for a job

Time well spent

For service business owners, being able to write an accurate quote that fully covers the cost of their services is essential both as a business best practice and a customer service offering.

Spending a little bit of time up front to ensure that all costs involved in a project are outlined in the quote you provide your customer is worth it. It can ultimately save you several hours of hassle in the long run should any questions arise. It will also ensure your customers are happier knowing that they understand exactly what they are paying for.

Looking to improve your quoting process? Check out Jobber’s quoting feature, and don’t forget to follow up!

Here are 4 Reasons to Follow Up on Your Quotes.

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