While estimating software may not be at the forefront of your mind, the benefits it brings to your top and bottom line merit consideration.
After all, estimating software does much more for your sign shop than just estimate; most products now enable you to estimate, manage your workflow, and print invoices. Investing in estimating software for your business can save you time and money, and set a structured pattern of growth that helps you as the owner guide your business to success.
The Benefits of Estimating Software
Using estimating software has many benefits. One major benefit is enabling you and your staff to use your time more efficiently.
Most sign businesses struggle to grow because growth of the company is dependent on a few key people, and those are the people who normally handle tasks like drawing up estimates. If you can use software to create your estimate, you will free up more time to focus on making signs, or in other avenues that will grow the business. With only so much time available to devote to work, using an estimating software can make your sign shop more efficient.
Estimating software is designed in a way that helps you make more accurate estimates. For example, when quoting prices on signs and graphics it can be easy to forget small details that add up in the end. By employing an estimating software you make sure that no small expenses are left off, making sure no money is left on the table. This is just one more of the many benefits of estimating software.
Better customer service is another positive that comes from using estimating software. When a customer asks for a quote, you are able to turn around a price almost instantaneously. Many systems also allow you to post orders, which shows customers where their order is in the system. Handling a higher volume of orders in a more orderly way is certain to please your customers and add to your shops profitability.
In addition to creating the estimates, most software can also help you follow up. Cyrious software, for example, can be set to automatically remind you to follow up on estimates you have sent out. It also has a feature which allows you to send out customizable mass emails. These form letters are personalized using the customer’s name and the order, and can be used to ask how the product is working and to offer future discounts.
Using estimating software lets you be accurate and consistent with what you are producing, who you are invoicing, and when your projects are due. It enables you to seamlessly transition an estimate into a work order, which then becomes your invoice. Inputting the data is a one time deal. Invoices can be printed to PDF and emailed, saving you even more time.
You can save your business costly mistakes by using an estimating software. For example, sign shops are constantly dealing with fluctuations in the market. If you don’t use the latest pricing of materials on your estimate, you may lose money, or overcharge and lose the job. While estimating software doesn’t calculate changes in price for you, it does prompt you to enter the price of the material, which serves to remind you to check the current cost. This simple calculation can make a difference when it comes to losing money and making a profit.
Estimating software saves time, enables you to give more accurate prices, and makes it easier for you to provide better service to your customers. If you have yet to set up your sign shop with estimating software, you are at a major disadvantage, being unable to provide estimates as quickly as sign shop competitors who do use the software. Avoid maxing out and making costly mistakes; employ estimating software for better growth and business balance.
One of the better estimating packages is SignTracker, and you can try it FREE for 30 days here: http://www.sign-tracker.com.