If you work in any sort of business that provides a service, your success relies almost on satisfied customers. Whether that be engineering, construction, or any other similar field. To cultivate a loyal customer base, you need to meet certain expectations. This is to ensure that those customers keep coming back. One of these expectations is providing potential customers with some sort of a rough idea of how much your services actually cost. That’s where the job estimate comes into play.
 
For a job estimate to be effective and not turn off a prospective customer, it needs to have an easy-to-follow layout. So that the customer does not feel overwhelmed. Customers would also know what to expect going forward at least in capacity. Here, we’ll delve into a few of the defining factors of the job estimate. We’ll also present five different job estimate templates that may work best for you.

What Is a Job Estimate?

Before getting into the different job estimate templates, it’s important to answer some important questions first. The plainest one being, what exactly is a job estimate?
 

Now, a job estimate is sometimes confused with a job quote. A job quote includes the exact price of a service and is binding. A job estimate is not binding because it only offers a rough idea of what the job will entail. It can include everything from estimated costs to a loose job. And from payment schedule to various other terms and conditions. It is usually given to an inquiring customer before piecing together the exact details of a project.

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The Important Elements of a Job Estimate

A job estimate is not exact. However, you should still put an appropriate amount of time and effort into crafting one. You need to maintain an air of professionalism throughout the entire job process. And this begins with the job estimate.

But what should you include in a job estimate? First, you’ll want the word “estimate” to be prominently displayed at the top of the page. This will let the customer know that the estimate is just that and is in no way legally binding. It’s also vital to include your company’s information, such as the company name, logo, and other major contact details. Immediately following your company’s information, you should include all pertinent customer information.
 
In the body of the estimate, you’ll want to include a description of the service. Try to be as detailed as possible. Include the location, what sort of materials will be used, and how long you anticipate the project taking.
 
The biggest concern of the customer is most likely the cost of the project. So you’ll want to try to lay that out as plainly and accurately as you can. Presenting both the cost of the line items along with any applicable taxes.
 
Lastly, you’ll want to include some sort of statement addressing any relevant terms and conditions. Again, remind the customer that this is an estimate and subject to change. While also laying out some sort of proper payment terms, such as when and how payment should be made.

5 Job Estimate Templates

There are dozens and dozens of job estimate templates, but we’ll focus on five that should be able to sufficiently serve you well in most projects.

1. Simple Job Estimate Template

This is an easy-to-edit Excel-based template where you can go in and add inline items and prices.

2. Hourly Rate Template

This hourly rate template offers a large and simply formatted table for job description and hourly rate.

3. Project Estimate Word Template

This Word document template is broken into project description and project details sections. In the project description section, you can enter a summary of the project, while the project details section should include any specific items or tasks as well as their prices.

4. Project Cost and Project Estimate Template

More complex than the other templates, this spreadsheet allows you to enter a number of items so that you can calculate the cost of both labor and products.

5. Technical Template

A technical template, such as an engineering template, is helpful for more niche projects.

Remember to Take a Job Estimate Seriously

Again, provide customers with a rough estimate. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a job estimate. Remember to lay out as many details as you possibly can. Hammer home to the customer that they are subject to change.
 
Last but certainly not least, be sure to choose the template that works best for you as well as your customer. Pick one that is easy to digest, for your customer’s sake, as well as one that’s easy to go back and edit for your sake.

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