Estimating is a big part of the contracting business. Without estimates, potential clients have no idea what they’re getting into financially speaking. Of course, estimates have to be accurate to be worth anything at all, otherwise, customers are still left in the dark.
While estimates can’t foresee every possibility along the way, they should be as detailed as possible to help customers get a good idea of what’s involved. Fortunately, with modern advances, contractors no longer have to spend hours writing out pages of detailed estimates. Cost calculators allow contractors to build estimate spreadsheets quickly and easily.
What to Look For
Using a cost calculator takes a lot of the pressure off of working out prices for clients. If a calculator program complicates the process, there isn’t much point in having it; it will only frustrate you and potentially make the estimating process more tedious. Be sure that whatever program you choose works with other software you’ve already got running in your business. It’s great to run it by other team members, too, to make sure that everyone is comfortable using the calculator you choose.
Here are some cost calculators general contractors can use.
Clear Estimates is a cloud-based program. This means that no matter where you’re conducting business and no matter which device you’re using, you can access the program and your information. The program is said to be straightforward to use and quick to calculate. It also creates professional-looking estimates for submitting to the client for review. The company also offers support via chat, phone, or email.
Smaller businesses may enjoy taking advantage of the free version of this software. Newer contractors can get their businesses going using Stack’s calculator and will not have to put out any money to begin with. There is ongoing training and support for all plans within the program. Prepared estimates are easily shared with clients.
CoConstruct generally appeals to contractors looking for calculating software with a range of features. Users have the advantage of paying a much lower monthly rate for the program in the first couple of months. This usually gives contractors a chance to determine whether CoConstruct is right for them before paying the full rate. Also, the program allows for an unlimited number of users, so businesses with larger teams may do well with this one.
You can find cost calculators at many price points. Some have levels that are free to use. Others have a range of paid plans. There are those that require a yearly lump sum payment, and others require payment month-to-month. They are not one-size-fits-all. But with a plethora of choices, you are sure to find the system and plan that works best for your business.
Benefits for Clients
In addition to the benefit of receiving accurate estimates in a timely manner, clients are often happy to hear that contractor financing is available. Financing for contractors to offer their clients doesn’t have to be complex. Home improvement financing can be done quickly and easily through HFS Financial, completely avoiding the pitfalls of loans for contractors to work through on their own. With a 60-second application for customers and a free widget to place on your website, it truly couldn’t be easier. Interested in finding out how to offer this benefit to your clients? Give us a call today!