If you want to present yourself as a professional small business, you can not avoid estimates. Especially when you can create them for free. Creating estimates is no more an issue that cuts your business budget.
There are multiple ways a small business owner like you can create estimates for free. The top three are: using pen and paper, using online tools, and using InvoiceOwl’s estimate templates.
But before getting started let’s come onto the same page. And then, will discuss the three in detail.
What Are Estimates?
Estimates, quotations, proposals, or bids, you must have heard one of these terms. And that’s enough because all of them mean the same when it comes to their application for a small business.
Estimates are legally binding accounting documents that are generated by a seller for their potential clients.
Whenever a transaction happens, the customer asks the cost of the services/product they want to purchase from the seller. Now, this is the prime reason sellers need to send estimates to their clients — to quote your price.
Therefore, estimates are generated before the transaction happens. And that is why estimates are in general the first document shared between buyers and sellers.
But the question is— Are these necessary for small businesses like yours? And the answer is a big YES.
So, let’s discuss why estimates are necessary.
Why Should Small Businesses Create Estimates?
As mentioned earlier, the biggest reason is that estimates are legally binding. Estimates protect you and your customers in case of disputes. Other than that, small businesses should issue estimates for multiple reasons.
- Estimates build a professional impression that helps you leave a positive impact on your clients.
- Estimates win you jobs.
- They keep you and your client on the same page regarding the service/product being sold.
- If you sell services, they help both parties understand and agree upon the scope of the services.
- Estimates help to clarify the quantity and quality of the products to be sold by the seller.
- Estimates help you decide whether to take the project or not.
- They help you request advance payments and streamline your cash flow.
- Estimates work as contracts between the seller and the buyer for respective purchases.
- Estimates help you answer the three main questions, which are:
- How much would the project cost?
- How much inventory would you need for the project?
- How long will the project take to complete?
So these were a few of the reasons small businesses should create estimates.
Now that you know the vitality of estimates, you must want to create estimates already. But, do you know how to create them? And are you worried about the expense you will have to bear?
Well, you don’t have to worry about anything because you can create estimates quite easily, and that too for free.
Yes, you read it right! Totally free.
So, let’s dive right in.
How Small Businesses Can Create Estimates for Free
If you are a small business owner wanting to create estimates professionally, investing in costly accounting software might not be an option. No, it’s not about the budget, it’s about the worth.
As a small business owner, you might not want the majority of features that they charge you for. Additionally, creating and managing estimates for your small business is quite manageable for you. And above all, if it can be done for free, why pay for it?
So, let’s talk about how you can create free estimates for your small business.
Old School Method
Grabbing a pen and paper might be the first thing that came to your mind. And that’s all you want if you want to create an estimate. However, this method is not entirely free. You would have to spend on the stationaries.
- Quite simple
- Not the most professional method
- Tough to manage and store estimates
- Tracking estimates gets hectic
Yes, it has more cons than pros, but wait, it is not the only method.
Let’s hop on to the next one.
Online Estimate Tools
You can find many online tools that let you create estimates for free without logging in. These tools help you create professional estimates with a bit of automation, such as calculation, and design of the estimate.
You can customize the design by uploading your logo, company name, and all the other necessary details. Moreover, a few tools allow you to send the estimate online as well. And as these are online tools, you can create estimates from wherever you want.
- Accurate estimates
- Doesn’t work offline
These tools are good, but you need to access them online and they might end up with free services and ask you to pay for them anytime. So, you might not be able to maintain consistency in your estimate design.
Speaking about consistency brings us to the next method.
Free Estimate Templates
Free estimate templates are the best method for creating professional estimates for free. There are a variety of estimate templates available to be downloaded on the internet. But, you have to really scour the internet to find templates that are both good and free.
Don’t have that much time?
Let’s cut the story short and introduce InvoiceOwl’s estimate templates. You can find estimate templates for the niche-specific requirements of your business.
These templates come in all the major file formats like PDF, Google Docs, MS-Word, and MS-Excel. Once you download the templates, you can edit them without an internet connection. You can go on and personalize to make them an integral part of your brand.
Moreover, you don’t have to download and customize it every time you want to create an estimate. You can just save it once and make unlimited estimates using it for consistency.
These templates give you the option to send the estimates online or offline as they are 100% printable.
- Truly free of cost
- Easy to store and sort
Creating estimates is of utmost importance and if you want them for free, estimate templates are the best way to go. As a small business owner, you need to start using them right now for better accounting workflow.