7 Steps Guide to Create Effective Quotes & Proposals

create a quote

What is a Quote?

A quote or proposal is a formal document that describes a set of goods or services offered within the total price of the work. A quote contains:

  • An itemized list of goods and/or services requested by the client or customer
  • Prices for each item, including labor costs, taxes, and discounts
  • Disclaimers on the scope of the product or project
  • Company branding in the form of a logo or letterhead

Quotes are provided by suppliers to potential buyers and can be created quickly and easily with quoting software.

Creating a Quote:

Select a Quote Template 

The easiest way to begin is by choosing a predefined, professional-looking template that covers a quote’s standard elements. You can also customize your template and make it even more professional by adding your company letterhead or logo.

There are many templates available for price quotes. The right template for your business quotes format will depend on what sort of software you have and what programs you use the most. 

If you already have the Microsoft Office Suite, the Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel quotation is a great place to get started. They are easy to customize and familiar to most users. You can save these in a quote PDF format, making it easy to send a professional version to a client.

The below price quote template for photography has some of the basic elements we’ll explore in the following steps:

Add Client Information 

After you have selected a template, add your client’s details. This includes information such as;

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Fax number (if applicable)
  • Email address
  • Contact name and title

Also, don’t forget your contact information. That said, if you use company letterhead, you may not need to include it.

Enter the quote number

Using accounting software, it will generate a quote number itself for you, where it will add increments of one to each new quote.

However, you should be able to edit the quote number if you like. If you’re using a template in Word or such, you can start with “1” and go from there.

If you have multiple pages that you are sending off in the same email, the accounting software will include individual page numbers on your quotation sheets to keep everything precise.

Include a Date of Issue

This is the date you send the quote to the client. This is important because quotes are often time-sensitive. You can insert something along the lines of “Valid for 30 days” and adjust the timeline based on continuing conversations with your client.

Add an Itemized List of Services or Goods Provided

Add the products and/or services you’re quoting as line items. Provide an itemized list of the services or goods you are providing, including:

  • Item description
  • Quantity of each item
  • The unit price of each item (if applicable)
  • The total price of each item (if applicable)

It might also be useful to separate labour and material costs if applicable to your situation. You can also arrange these according to the different stages of the project. A quote template specific to your industry will likely be organized in a way that makes sense for your business.

A‌t the end of the itemized list, provide the following for all goods or services that you are quoting:

  • Subtotal
  • Tax
  • Grand total

Specify Your Terms and Conditions

Including a “Terms and Conditions” section is useful for explicitly addressing unexpected variables, such as:‌

  • Disclaimers: Conditions that might delay or otherwise alter the terms of the delivery (for example, having to delay shipping due to weather conditions)
  • Additional work: Charges and costs for additional work beyond what is listed in part 2 (if, for example, you are a freelance writer and the client wants an extra round of revisions)
  • Payment method: How you expect to be paid (check, credit or debit card, direct deposit, etc.) and when (half-up-front, lump sum, etc.)

You can also specify what is not included in the scope of the project. For example, if you’re a web developer, you may charge for designing and building a website but leave copywriting and selecting header images and other assets to your client.

Consider using this section as a way to highlight costs you will not be covering that the client will have to be responsible for once your contract ends, such as website hosting costs.

Include Any Extra Details

Insert any extra details that you think might be useful for recordkeeping, such as a section for the client’s signature, any discount codes that have been used, or your sales tax number.

You can also add a section for notes. Here, you can add more information regarding timelines, highlight additional services or products offered by your company, summarize the project scope, and/or thank your client for their time and the opportunity to work with them.‌

For more useful information, browse the resources guide today!

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