How to make a business quotation in 5 easy steps

Let’s say you’ve done everything right in your business — created great products and services, launched a solid website, driven high-quality traffic to your site, and even built word-of-mouth buzz and implemented other marketing that gets you noticed by the right people.

Are you harnessing all that positive attention by making it easy for potential clients and customers to request a quote once they’ve decided they’re interested in your offerings?

Think back to the last time you researched a service online — car insurance, lawn care, website design, or anything else. Was the process of finding out what the service costs simple and straightforward?

If it wasn’t, you likely scurried over to one of the other 87 websites that popped up when you googled, say, “website design.”

That’s why you need an efficient system for providing quotations to potential customers quickly and easily. Because if getting a quote is too complicated, or worse, not an available option, potential customers will leave your website, likely saying “buh-bye” for good.

Pro Tip

Build professional business quotes for free with Jotform.

What is a quotation?

A quotation, or quote, is a document that provides the cost of a product or service to a potential customer.

For example, say a potential customer lands on your website, decides your business might be a good fit for the service they’re looking for, and requests pricing information.

You then need to prepare a quote with a breakdown of all the charges required to fulfill their needs, plus the fixed price for the job. The customer compares your quote to the others they’ve received, and, hopefully, chooses you for the job.

If you’ve made the process of both requesting and fulfilling the quote fast and painless, that puts you ahead of competitors who aren’t operating as efficiently.

Step-by-step instructions for creating a quote

Because a sales quotation is an important first step in winning business, you want to make a great impression with yours, which means using a simple process like the one below.

1. Pick a template

The quickest way to begin the process is by using a premade quote form or template.

Jotform has online quote form templates that are a great way to get started. Simply select the appropriate quote form, then customize it for your business.

You can also use Jotform’s PDF quote templates to create instant price quotes for your customers. All submitted quote requests will automatically become price quotes formatted as PDFs you can easily share with clients and print for your records.

2. Enter all the necessary information

The information on the quote form will depend on the quote template you choose or your existing quote system (if you already have one), but should include

  • Your company name and logo.
  • Your contact information.
  • Your customer’s company information.
  • Your customer’s contact information.
  • A quote number for ease of reference.
  • Date of issue, which is especially important if your quote has an expiration date, as it usually should.
  • Line items that describe exactly which products or services you’re providing, with the associated cost of each.
  • Anything that isn’t included in the quote, to avoid confusion. For example, if you’re providing web design services, make it clear that your web design package doesn’t include copywriting.
  • The total cost of the project, including tax, if applicable.
  • Quote expiration date. Prices can fluctuate for any number of reasons, so be sure to include a firm expiration date to avoid losing money if the cost of providing the product or services increases.
  • The terms of a deposit, if you’re requesting one, including when the deposit must be paid, and if and under what conditions it’s refundable, etc.
  • Terms and conditions. For example, what happens if you miss the agreed-upon deadline for project completion? Do you keep any deposits if the client or customer cancels the work? Do you want to be paid via check or direct deposit? What happens in the event the client doesn’t pay on time?
  • A thank-you. It’s always a nice touch to add a note that says something like, “Thanks for the opportunity to work on this project! We look forward to working with you.”

3. Edit and proofread

There’s nothing more embarrassing than sending a quote for $1,000 when you meant to say $10,000. So review and confirm your numbers — and check your spelling and grammar too.

4. Send the quote to the client

Whether you’re using a Word file, an Excel spreadsheet, or a premade template, the next step is getting the quote to the potential client or customer.

Sending the quote as soon as possible after you receive the request is best — within 24 hours if you can — and email is usually the quickest and most efficient way to do this.

Jotform’s PDF quote templates can be automatically emailed to clients. You can download and print them for your records as well.

5. Follow up

Did you send your quote and, days later, hear nothing but crickets?

Your potential clients and customers are probably not ignoring you — they’re just busy. They may have requested multiple quotes and may still be in the process of weighing their options.

This is why follow-up is so important, especially if they’ve requested multiple quotes. Stand out from the pack by checking in politely and offering to answer any questions or address any hesitations they may have. You might just be the only one considerate and professional enough to do this, which means you’ll increase your chances of landing the project.

Quote requests and fulfillment are a standard part of most businesses. If you haven’t implemented this option in your business yet, no worries. With templates, producing professional-looking quotes can be fast and easy — which makes turning hot leads into new customers a breeze.

Photo by Djordje Petrovic from Pexels

This article is originally published on Oct 18, 2021, and updated on Jun 01, 2023.
Kimberly Houston is a conversion-focused marketing copywriter. She loves helping established creative service providers attract and convert their ideal clients with personality-driven web and email copy, so they can stand out online, and get more business, bookings, and sales.

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