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For the untrained job estimator quoting on a job can sometimes feel like rocket science. When it comes to costing, previous job experience can make the world of difference. Those reference points of things gone right and wrong on previous jobs, the lessons learned, are all things that matter. They all factor into your equation. And let’s of course not forget that you are there to make money and to make your customer happy at the same time. When the numbers don’t add up in the end, one of you isn’t happy.

In Person or Over the Phone

While quoting over the phone is often done, there’s really no replacement for being in the right space at the right time. Meeting at your customer’s location not only gives you that all important face time/get to know you moment. It also allows you to factor in all the unknowns that don’t get seen on a phone call. What shape the job/space/work area is in. In many cases job preparation dictates the length of time the job will take. I am of course generalizing here across a broad spectrum of industries and types of service calls.

The Nitty Gritty

So just how much do you actually want to make per hour anyways?  It is the most basic question that is so often overlooked. This is the cost of your time and effort. This is your labor cost. And this comes before you even begin adding up the cost of supplies and materials.

Once you have this figured out you now know exactly how much you’re going to make per day outside of supplies and materials costs. And now you have a paycheck; something you can literally take to the bank.

Pricing the cost of your labor based on hourly rate is a great motivator to work faster and more efficiently. And isn’t that what it’s all about. Finishing more jobs in a day.

Speaking of efficiency… What software are you employing?

Are you doing this all on pen and paper? If so you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Finish your steps by logging it into your estimating software. This will not only keep you organized and efficient but will also serve as a great reference point for future customer quotations.

Robert Ducharme is the CEO of Routezilla, a one-of-a-kind Geography driven scheduling and booking software that’s designed for service companies who must visit customer locations. Routezilla to date has scheduled over 50,000 Tesla appointments and continues to be a world leader in the mobile scheduling software industry.

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