How to Estimate Quickly to close your Sales

"Laying off the help means you have to do more...
....but where do you get the time?"



You're going to enjoy reading this. 


Does your day look like this? Up at 5:00am and heading for your office desk whether it's in the other room or at the office you're renting? Maybe if you start early you can be done early enough to make it to your son's little league game. Your wife said if you miss another one you're sleeping on the couch and eating leftovers. You already missed family dinner three times this week. Doesn't she understand you are working hard so the family can have things and go places? Doesn't she realize how tough this market is?


Maybe you can do it! 


You only have two estimates to work on and you need to write the proposal for the Henderson remodel. Open up Excel, get your notes out, drawings out, and start working on the pricing. 7:00 am: Your cell phone goes off. It's a carpenter at the lumber yard -- needs a PO and wants to know if you have joist hangers or should he get them now. A couple questions about another project come up and its 7:30. Your job foreman walks in talking about the ball game last night grabs some coffee and sits down by you to "chat". "What cha working on?" he says, and you try to be polite but make him understand that you are in a pinch for time.


8:00 am and your foreman is on the phone with your cabinet supplier trying to replace two cracked doors and a caved in side on a cabinet box. Funny it's the perfect shape of a forklift tang but they accuse you of doing the damage on the site. You're still not done with the first estimate and your cell phone rings...again. This time, it's the client from the project you completed three weeks ago wondering when you're going to install the new hardware that finally came in for the windows and re-caulk the sill on the garden window. She had a bee in the house yesterday and is certain it came through the dark area under the sill.


Its 9:00am and you just realize that you didn't get those joist hangars to the job site and your foreman is already out on a bathroom demolition. You drop everything and drive out to deliver the hangars. The crew is a man short and they need you to hang around and help stand up a couple walls. While you're out you should stop by the Simpson job and check the drywall so you can schedule the trim carpenter.


You and I both know that there is no way you will be at little league. It's already noon. You'll be lucky to get one estimate and proposal together and it is going on a week since you had the site visit with the prospective client. You know in your gut, they are starting to slip away and the great introduction meeting is a fading memory. I'll bet you are starting to wonder if I'm hiding in your truck or office.


Keep reading..


There is a way to regain control and be successful! 


There is a way to be successful in remodeling and keep your marriage solid. Let’s realize that the devastating downturn in the industry left most of us with half the help or less. Big offices got smaller and small offices moved back into the house. The so-called recovery is too slow to hire anyone back yet so you are wearing several hats. You have your phones forwarded to your smart phone, you are running a few jobs yourself instead of hiring a project manager, your bookkeeper is part time and you may or may not have a part time office "wonder woman" to help out. This is not what you envisioned when you wanted to own your own company and be the boss.


You're working harder and making less money. The bottom line is slipping because you don't have the time to watch everything and you are starting to justify paying for convenience instead of proper planning for orders and quantities of materials. The schedule is more like a daily fire drill. Is your wife checking her wedding vows to see where it said for better or worse, to balance the daily ledger, reconcile statements and call overdue invoices? She's not happy. It gets better keep reading.


Let technology help. I know this about you because I lived it, too. I owned a successful remodeling company for over 10 years, I have 30 years in your industry and as a consultant I see the stress in your eyes. The only difference between me and you is that I put together a system that saved me time in creating sales, definitely saved me money, reduced operating costs, and reduced slippage. I got my life back. I don't know exactly how your company is operating but you're welcome to call me and we can discuss it for free but that's not why I sent you this email. Your work week can drop to 30 hours and your weekends can be all yours. Yes it can.


· How long does it take you to figure out an estimate, write a scope of work and then the contract? What would it mean to you to be able to reduce the time it takes to create an estimate from days, to minutes?


Did you know that the "hot time" to get back to a prospective client is 72 hours? After that you're another bid on the pile and they are trying to remember what you look like.


What is the value of this feature alone? If you spend 8 to 10 hours creating an estimate and you had four of them to do, it would take an entire week to complete them. What do you earn per week? If you earn $30.00 per hour, the estimate time involved for you is 30 x 40 hours = 1,200.00. If this tool cuts that to 4 hours per week your time is now only 120.00 which amounts to a 90% savings. This saves the company approximately 50,000.00 per year. Free estimate my butt.


If you have design /sales people they can reach 4 times as many prospects as they do now and will sell as much work as four designers would. They will make more money with less stress and love working with you and your company. Your design / sales team will have more time to service clients, which we all know, leads to referrals. Isn't it easier to manage and track less people? Of course it is.


· How much time is spent looking for a misplaced file or a piece of paper missing from the file?


Don't you love it when someone can't find a file and then another someone comes to help them and as they go room to room, file cabinet to file cabinet they pick up another volunteer to help search? Now there are three people wasting company dollars looking for a file that is out of place, or worse, out of the office.


· How many times have you made less profit on a project than you expected because of being unorganized or unclear of what is included with the project?


More than you want to know. Consistent mark ups lead to consistent margins which lead to profit...finally. Money in the bank and your wife off your back. This system is flawless when it comes to writing a clear scope and including quantities of material or install labor. The client finally pays for what they get. No Slippage.


· How much money do you spend on printing forms, contracts, change orders, ink cartridges, paper, file folders, etc...?


Add it up and see for yourself. Anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 per year. Wonder what else you could buy with that money. IRA fund? Kid's College fund? Vacation!! Rio here we come.


How can you do it? How do you get your business to work for you? 


It's very simple and easier than you think. One day I'm working on an estimate at a coffee shop and I meet a young man from India. We chat about the remodeling industry, estimating, the process involved, how a client wants to see the proposal presented but how sales needs flexibility to show the proposal by room or by trade scope. I needed to be able to add in or take out items or entire rooms and not have to completely redo the contract.


It would be really nice if the prospect could just electronically sign the tablet at the X and have the credit card deposit go directly to my bank account while the client receives a welcome letter and their copy of the contract via email. While you're emailing, you might as well have a copy of the contract go to the bookkeeper, the owner of the company, the production department, and the same thing should happen for change orders.


Before you know it, pages of legal pads are flying, ink scrawled over the pages with lots of arrows. My remodeling friend, you are going to be amazed. Thanks to my simple sales thinking and my new best friend from India's code writing talent we have come up with the best, easiest approach to remodeling estimating, scope writing and contract generating program in the industry. I don't like calling India about my plane reservations, but I love finally directly benefiting from the great, low cost talent that is just over the ocean. This is your chance to benefit also. The next thing blew me away, keep reading.


Then he mentioned the "cloud." "The what?" I said


All the information is stored in the cloud. Anyone you want can have secure access to the client file, job pictures, and drawings as long as they have internet access and the access code. Let's face it: only a two- year-old doesn't have internet access in their pocket these days.

We added disclaimers that automatically populate the contract once the item, such as electrical or cement, is selected. That way only items that are pertinent are in the contract keeping it as short and reader friendly as possible. How many times did a sales/designer forget to write in a "cover the company's butt" item about a material used or "blend to existing", for example, and it cost you money. NO MORE!


This little wonder can set your mark up / margins in two clicks, show time sensitive incentives to help increase sales without turning you into the used car salesman "buy it today" type of sales guy we all hate. The approach is strictly professional. You will receive sales and other reports right to your smart phone - critical numbers that indicate the health of your company. You really should see this for yourself. Your company logo and colors are set up in the system so every document looks professional. It's beautiful. You and your company are going to look marvelous.


Here are a couple of things to consider: 


This writes your contract including all the legal jargon you want, determines the progress payment schedule, clearly shows what is included and the appropriate quantities, eliminates the need for physical customer files, and makes your company look amazing. You save printing costs, you can control your costs and margins like you're supposed to so you can finally earn the money you should. You can generate estimates, scopes and contracts in an hour or less. You have gained control of your company again so now you can focus on growth. I have the lead paint warning form and the federal cancellation form digitally generated so you are compliant with current regulations. Saves you money on buying forms.


It's affordable. 


Since it was developed through India, it is really, really, really affordable. It pays for itself and we are so confident in your success that your only agreement is a month to month subscription. You can back out any time and that's it. I doubt your sales staff will let you, though. You could even price out the project in the client's home on your iPad if you want to. This tool can save your company, your marriage and your sanity. Is it really right for you though? Read further.


Are you the right fit for this? 


If you are a small company trying to cut payroll costs, printing costs and improve turnaround time on estimates, this is for you. You can update costs and language as often as you want without any printing necessary. If you want to print the contract out and make a file, you can, but you probably staple your sticky notes don't you.


If you are a company trying to grow to the next level without the painful expense of training new sales people or additional staff? This is the answer you have been looking for.

If you are a frustrated sales manager, this will give you control of the sales activity and instant knowledge of what each rep is working on, potential sales dollars, and anticipated sales. You can get 4 times the production out of your better people and cut away the low producers. The control of discount activity or incentives is priceless. Sales will increase! I promise! You can have hundreds of sales designers or estimators in this program if needed. There is no limit. Every estimate, every click, is stored away and can be either archived or activated again.


If you are a national franchise looking for a way to know every sale that occurs at what margins and handing a time saving tool to your franchisees this will help. If you just need a tool that helps your franchisees run their operation better call me.


Perfect for the handyman types that need to be quicker and accurate and have professional documents. Small projects are figured on the site on one visit. The one man show general contractor can cut their time and workload while increasing business by at least 30%.


Create change orders on site and get paid right now! 


If you are an operation that is doing under 5 million dollars in sales and need the right tool to go to the next level (my company went to 14 million dollars in gross sales by the end of the fourth year) this is perfect.


OK I know it's starting to sound like its right for anyone and maybe it's not. If you have an estimating program that you are happy with then it's hard to change. Things are just fine as is and you are an old dog that can't learn a new trick. That's ok. Maybe your system is not working as efficient as it should though and you want to look at the demo just to see the difference. It's fine.


If you're a company or sales designer that has to generate a estimate, scope, and contract and it takes you more than an hour you are right for this. This will free up your time so you can help clients with the selections, colors, tiles and so on - the fun part of the client relationship.


This applies to landscapers, sub contractors, general contractors, swimming pool sales, fencing companies, door and window companies, roofing or any industry that sells a service with a proposal/contract.


You don't buy? You don't want this? Read what happens next.


Ok, continue on the way you are. 


You spend 8 hours on an estimate instead of 30 minutes. There's got to be something smart about that - you tell me - I'll listen.... Does your eight hours include the contract or proposal? My 30 minutes to an hour includes all three. My way four estimates, proposals and contract take four hours at the most. Your way 32 hours. How many more appointments could you or your top designers go on with the additional time? You don't need more design/sales people you just need more out of who you have. You need this program.


You continue to spend money on printing carbon forms, fancy color file folders, file cabinets, ink, paper and then the time to find the files and pieces of paper. Or you could just open the file on your iPad, notebook, laptop, desktop or smart phone. Review the information you need and click off to the next task.


Your work week is 60 to 80 hours right now if you honestly include ALL the time you spend on the business at home and at work. Are you going into the bathroom and emailing on your smart phone so your wife doesn't know you're still working? That's bad. Here is another sign of over work: texting or emailing clients or co-workers at family or kids events. Is that you that missed your kid's scoring moment? For the love of God man let me help!


Call or email me to set up a demo via your own computer in your own office. This is fun! Make time for it and crush your competition. They may be reading this same email and what if they buy it before you. Someone will have an unfair advantage on their next design sales presentation. Will it be you or them?