fbpx

How to speed up quoting as an electrical contractor

Why improve quoting efficiency ?

One of the most important factors in building a successful electrical contracting business is efficiency. Without a doubt if you aren’t focusing your time on ways to improve your efficiency you will struggle to scale. Looking at ways you can improve your work flow and minimise wasted time will give you a huge upper hand in this industry.

It doesn’t take long in the electrical contracting game to understand how small inefficiencies can really hurt your business growth.. from a untidy van to unrefined invoicing, all of these small tasks compounded overtime into hours of wasted and unbillable time.

The important phrase to remember is ‘unbillable time’ our goal in this business is to charge for as many hours as possible and limit the hours we can’t charge for.. yes there are a huge list of important tasks we can’t charge for that are 100% necessary and impossible to remove but there are also an equally huge list of tasks and areas we can focus on to bring that number down.

Quoting can be one of the biggest time wasters for electrical contractors if the process isn’t streamlined. In this article I am going to discuss how to go about improving quoting efficiency

The quoting process is often a huge bottle neck for many businesses. If your quoting process is all over the place and time consuming id go as far as saying you’ll never reach your business goals.

The good news is its 100% possible to get this process locked in and super refined. Trust me if there is one thing I hate most in this business its spending time quoting, so naturally I looked for the least time consuming method possible.

So let’s get into it.

Software

You need a quoting and invoicing software that is fast, effective and professional. My go to that ticks every single one of these boxes is ‘Invoice2go’ yes you can quote through your accounting package and invoice2go is an added cost to your business but the time you will save with this program will pay for itself many times over. Whatever software you choose, go through the learning phase and start getting your quotes out as fast as humanly possible while also maintaining professionalism

Your software is going to make a huge impact to your business overtime so its crucial that you choose something that works for you and your workflow. Avoid jumping around and wasting hours learning different programs.

Invoice2go stands out for me because its flexibility in customisation for quote and invoice PDF’s it’s a feature rich program with new updates rolling in consistently.

Travel time

Next we need to look at how much time to are spending driving to quotes on unbilled time. If you added up the hours of driving to quotes that you don’t get approved you would probably be very alarmed.

Its common for new business owners to make the effort to travel out to site, have a walk through with the client and spend time establishing the relationship on every single job, doing these things are absolutely necessary but don’t fall into the trap of making site visits for every single job

You need to make a judgment whether the quote can be made over the phone or it needs a site visit, I don’t believe there is a one size fits all approach with this industry and its up to you to make the call. What we do is usually make a site visit for new clients so we can build the relationship and insist on quoting without a site visit on future jobs.

Again this isn’t a one sized fits all approach, sometimes the jobs are too big or the client wants you to come out.

So what can we do to limit time traveling to site or at least charge for some of this time?

Start quoting more jobs over the phone, start charging for quotes or a combination of the two. These methods take some confidence to pull off but are absolutely necessary to learn. Start with one, prefect it then learn the other.

The main thing you need to take into consideration is that your time is valuable and there are also a percentage of quotes that will not be approved so to manage this you could charge a service fee ($50-$100) for onsite quotes and deduct this if the quote is approved. This also weeds out customers looking for cheap prices

Pricing

Lastly we need to look at how we price our jobs and the method we use to do this. There are two main pricing frameworks our industry uses.. labour/materials or item pricing.

I’m going to be blunt and say if you’re taking the first approach and adding up your time and materials with your markup you need to scrap it. It’s an extremely inefficient way of quoting jobs. You need to build a pricing list, just like most other businesses. You don’t go into the supermarket to purchase some milk and find the labour and materials breakdown of the milk do you? No, you see one price and can assume those costs are included in the total. This is how we need to be pricing our services.

It’s quite a simple process but takes some time. Let’s use a power point install as an example.

Materials :

Power point – $7

Plaster bracket – $1

20m of cable – $30

Total – $38

Markup 30% – $50

Labour:

Estimated time – 1.5 hours at $110 per hour

Your hourly rate should have your profit margin built in

Total – $165

Total item price – $215 + gst ( this is all you add into your quote. Not the break down above )

Do this with every single item you offer, it will take some time but once you have it you’ll start remember these prices without looking at your price list and quoting a fairly large job can take minutes rather than recalculating every job.

Conclusion

If these methods are implemented and refined for your business you are going to see a huge improvement in your quoting time and efficiency giving you more time to focus on marketing and job delivery.

If you need any assistance on the topic of improving efficiency, please feel free to reach out and we can have a chat.

Verified by MonsterInsights