If you’ve got fencing estimating software, or you’re considering investing in some, you might think that’s all you need. However, while it’s true that good fencing estimating software can help you to get more business and make more money, it’s not the only thing you need to do to build your fencing business.
There are several things you can do to get more out of your fencing estimating software and streamline your business.
Sometimes, people who contact you looking for a fence quote are really looking for a fence system that you install. Sometimes, they want a fence type that you don’t do, and sometimes, they really are just tire kickers. Your job, before you fire up the fencing estimating software, is to make sure that you know which kind of customer you’re dealing with.That doesn’t mean you can’t help all of those people. It might mean that you need to change their mind about the type of fence they need, and it might mean giving them a ballpark price that they might contact you about later. But you really should be spending most of your time on the customers who want the fences you install, and who are ready to make a buying decision.
If you’re the only person in the office who knows how to use your fencing estimating software, there’s a good chance your customers are waiting for quotes. There should always be at least one other person who can create estimates and quotes – even if you still do the final review and send the quote. Fencing estimating software should be user friendly and easy to understand, so that you can train your people to use it quickly and easily, and it’s not so complex that they make a lot of mistakes.If you spend longer teaching your people to use your estimating software than teaching them how fences are constructed, it might not be the right software.
If your fencing estimating software is just a list of unit prices and you still have to do a lot of the work yourself, you might as well just use a spreadsheet. Take the time to set your fencing estimating software up properly. Create assemblies for all the fence components you install frequently. Work out your average labor rates – even if you do adjust them for each quote, having the basics set up in the system can help you to get quotes done faster. Spend some time getting your estimating software set up correctly, and you’ll save that time and more every time you send a quote out of the door.
Getting a site layout or even a blueprint from a client can tell you a lot about a job, but it’s not the whole picture. Make sure that you always visit the site before you complete a quoteto your client. While you’re there, look for things that don’t show up on site layouts and plans, like very steep slopes, vegetation or debris along the fence line that could make installation difficult, and the state of the fence that’s already there – because you’re probably going to be removing that too! Take pictures of the site and use a site visit template that allows you to quickly check off common issues that you know will affect the final price to the customer. The more information you have before you start working in your fencing estimating software, the more accurate your final price will be.
If your fencing estimating software allows you to create beautiful, great looking quotes, take advantage of that. A printout of a pick list with a price at the bottom is mostly meaningless to anyone who doesn’t know too much about fencing. But a beautiful quote with images and detailed descriptions will help your potential customers to visualize your fence on their fence line.When your customer can picture what their finished fence is going to look like, they’re a lot more likely to make a buying decision.
Even when customers know what they want, they don’t always know the exact details. Sometimes they want to have options for different fence heights, and sometimes they want different colors. Maybe they want an option for a chain link fence with privacy slats, and one without. Or maybe your client isn’t sure if they want a cantilever gate or a swing gate, and they’d like to know what both will cost before they make a final decision. If your fencing estimating software allows you to offer your client various options, take the time to give it to them. Most people are more likely to make a purchase if they feel like they are in control of the process. So don’t just tell them what you think they should buy – tell them what they could choose from and let them make the decision.
Some fencing estimating software is just that – it only helps you to calculate a price, but after that, you still have to use other software to manage the job, generate invoices and more. That’s not really a time saver, and it’s a quick way to make mistakes when you’re transferring information. Instead of standalone fencing estimating software, look for a platform or package that allows you to keep the same information and simply convert from a quote to a contract, and then to an invoice. This allows you to keep exact records of what you quoted, what’s on your material list, and even what changes happened along the way. So, you’re always invoicing your customer accurately, and there are no errors when you’re transferring information.
Finally, if you want to get more out of your fencing estimating software, you need to look for solutions that are in the cloud. Take it from someone who has lost a computer with months of quotes that weren’t backed up – technology is your friend! Not only does using a cloud based estimating system allow you to keep all your data in a safe place, where it is always accessible even when you have a hardware failure, but it allows you to work everywhere. Which means if you get off a site late at night, you don’t have to go all the way to the office to get a quote done. You can do it on the spot, in your truck, or on your couch while you wind down. Cloud based estimating software also allows you to collaborate with other people, so if you need to speak to a partner or superior before you send out a quote, you can simply let them know the quote is ready for review before it’s sent. Getting your fencing estimating software into the cloud is one of the biggest technological leaps you can make for your fence business.
If you’re reading all of the things we’ve mentioned here and getting ready to change how you do your estimating, consider making one more change: book a demo with CostCertified. We’ve built the last fencing estimating software you will ever need, that will change the way you quote jobs, manage them, and bill them. It’s easy to use, intuitive and built to give customers an ecommerce like experience, so they can make choices about colors, styles and heights based on the options you want to give them, and you don’t have to spend hours doing all those extra quotes. Our construction estimating software is not built only for fencing, but it does fence estimating better than anything else you’ve ever tried. Don’t just take our word for it though. Let us show you how you can take your estimating and quoting to the next level. Avoid follow-ups. Quote and close the deal on the spot! Book a FREE 15-minute call now and discover how you can more than double your revenue with dynamic proposals, live upgrades and a virtual showroom.