Tech Stack: Upgrading your Quoting and Estimating Process

Understanding Quoting and Estimating [0:01:24s]

We talk about how to give customers prices and estimates for jobs. We’ll look at how it’s done in different types of businesses, like ones that focus on individual jobs or bigger projects. By following some smart strategies, tradespeople can make their sales process smoother and deal with any problems that come up. We’ll also see how using the right tools alongside existing technology can make everything easier. This all aims to make the quoting and estimating process better for businesses that work on single jobs or larger projects.

Evolution of Technology in Business [0:02:43s]

We discuss how technology has changed the way small businesses manage their jobs and how things have improved since they last talked about it in 2016, with lots of new options made specifically for smaller companies. 

Clinton, from TradiePad, talks about how important technology is for trade businesses. He explains how using the right tools can make work faster and smoother. Clinton says it’s crucial to pick tools and connections that really help the business run better. It can be overwhelming to choose from so many tools and ways to connect them, but they see themselves as experts who can help make that choice simpler.

Technology like AI will keep improving quoting and estimating and there will be even more new ideas and stress how important it is to keep adapting and adding new tools to stay ahead in the market.

Things change quickly in this industry, with new features and technologies coming out all the time. They stress how important it is to understand these changes and not get distracted by tools that might look cool but aren’t actually useful. Don’t fall for the “shiny object syndrome” where you’re tempted by flashy new tools that might not actually help your business. It’s all about keeping things simple and making sure the tools you choose fit your business needs so you don’t end up with a mess of different systems that don’t work together.

Lots of businesses struggle with using different software that doesn’t talk to each other properly, common problems like having to do things manually or repeating tasks. They want a solution that brings everything together smoothly, without all the extra hassle.

Meeting evolving Customer Expectations [0:05:18s]

One big reason things are changing is because customers want different things now, especially when it comes to staying in touch and getting updates. The hosts talk about how businesses used to rely on old-fashioned ways of communicating, but now they need to be more active and clear in how they talk to customers. People expect to hear from businesses regularly and to get quick responses, so it’s important to have tools that make communication smooth and easy.

Many businesses use multiple software programs that don’t work together well. This creates problems because the systems don’t talk to each other, making it hard for everyone to stay on the same page. They talk about how integrating software can help bring everything together more effectively. They also mention that if people don’t learn how to use the software properly, it won’t help as much as it could, and all the money spent on it will be wasted.

Customers expect more these days than what they did 10 years ago. They expect to be followed up, they expect to be communicated with all the time and if you don't have the tools for that, that can become a massive time sponge.

Importance of Education in Implementing new tools [0:07:01s]

Spending time on education and training is crucial when bringing in new software for businesses, expecting software to work perfectly right away isn’t realistic. Learning how to use software properly is key to getting the most out of it. TradiePad Clients are told upfront that they’ll need to learn new processes when they start using a new tool.

Highlighting the value of discovery sessions, Clinton discusses how these sessions can unveil hidden functionalities and best practices within software systems. They share examples of how clients have benefited from discovering new features and workflows, leading to improved efficiency and productivity.

Highlighting the value of discovery sessions, Clinton discusses how these sessions can unveil hidden functionalities and best practices within software systems. They share examples of how clients have benefited from discovering new features and workflows, leading to improved efficiency and productivity.

Integration Capabilities as a key factor [0:08:25s]

The conversation shifts to the significance of integration capabilities and API in software selection. We recommend choosing tools that offer good integration options to avoid future pain points and limitations. Be cautious of software products that resist integration, urging businesses to prioritise adaptability and future-proofing.

Some software companies seem to resist integration because the simplicity and functionality of their software is more important to them than the need for connectivity but this approach is short-sighted. In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, adaptability and integration are crucial for long-term success.

Future Trends in software integration [0:09:42s]

It is very important for businesses today to be able to connect different systems together smoothly. It can be tricky for contractors and subcontractors who use different systems to communicate as the software doesn’t talk to each other well. This makes it hard to get things done efficiently.

Making all these different systems work together can be a real challenge. We discuss the limitations of existing tools and the need for standardisation to enable smoother interactions between platforms.

It’s important for businesses to keep learning and adapting to new technology. Spending time learning how to use software properly is crucial so that it can help the business as much as possible, especially when it comes to things like giving quotes and estimates.

Doing that research and that initial work before going on site makes a big difference to the customers as well because they can see that you've made an effort, that you're interested in doing their job and that you've already done all this work, that that speaks volumes to people.

Streamlining Quoting and estimating [0:12:04s]

There has been a big evolution from the old way to the new way of conducting business, we discuss the benefits of leveraging technology tools to enhance workflow efficiency in client interactions and job quoting processes.

Having a system that allows you to submit photos, videos, and information while onsite with the client will help improve decision-making during the quoting process. Having this technology allows you to create on-site calculations to provide immediate quotes to clients without delays or additional communication rounds. Software which allows for predefined labor rates, material lists, and kit options will speed up the quoting process, ensure accurate calculations and allow other team members to take on the role of quoting work for your business.

Sales process Evolution [0:15:18s]

Technology can really help sales teams and operations staff by giving them the right tools and information to give accurate quotes quickly. Doing thorough research before going out to a site not only helps get the quote right but also makes a big difference in how customers see the business, building their trust and making sales easier.

As businesses evolve and grow, they need to keep updating their sales process. It’s important for tradies to equip their sales teams with the tools and skills they need to deal with different customer expectations and a market that’s always changing. It’s not just about getting the price right—it’s also about being open and honest in how you do business, which helps build strong relationships with customers in the long run. Businesses that want to grow need to focus on building relationships, making customers feel confident, and always getting better at what they do.

Using technology for improved sales [0:17:59s]

Having clear processes in your business makes a big difference in keeping customers happy. We’ve heard from clients who noticed that when they had well-documented and clearly explained processes, their customers felt more confident and engaged. Having good technology to support these processes can make your work more efficient, help you communicate better, and ultimately make your customers happier.

While giving quotes and making proposals are important parts of selling, building relationships and making customers feel confident is even more crucial. Businesses should think about training their staff and improving their sales processes to help guide customers through making decisions. After the sale, using job management tools, including ones that handle payments, will streamline transactions and allow you to collect payment onsite.

Since every client is different, it’s important to adapt your sales processes to fit the specific needs of each group of customers. Whether you’re dealing with businesses or individual homeowners, understanding what they need is key to giving great service.

The technology stack is so important because it really is in your best interest to give your team member the tools they need to succeed.

Using business data to scale up [0:23:42s]

Having data and information about how jobs are going can really help tradespeople improve their businesses. By analysing past job performance, trade business owners can make smart decisions about which projects to take on and which ones to pass up, based on how profitable they are and whether they fit with the business’s goals. This helps them to identify ideal clients who are best to work with in the future.

Many businesses don’t like the idea of keeping track of job data because they’re more focused on getting the work done than on gathering and analyzing data. But it’s important to change that way of thinking because understanding how much profit different parts of the business are making is crucial for growing.

For example, weknow a plumbing company that saw a big increase in profits after they stopped doing work for commercial clients and focused more on more lucrative residential work, driven by insights from data analysis.

There are lots of good reasons to use tools that help analyze data alongside technology solutions like job management systems. Making the most of data analysis is a key part of growing a business. By using insights from data, businesses can find new opportunities to make money, make their work more efficient, and drive long-term success in a competitive market.

Effective client quoting and follow up strategies [0:25:58s]

Technology lets us make quotes for clients efficiently, keep track of those quotes easily, and communicate with clients using different methods. It’s crucial to communicate clearly with clients about the quoting process, including what to expect next and when to expect it, right from the start.

While some clients might agree to a quote right away, others might need more time to think it over or discuss it further. Having a clear plan for following up on quotes and being flexible with how you communicate with different clients is key to winning more business. Technology and software can automate these communications, like sending reminders or notifications, which not only makes the follow-up process smoother but also makes your company look more professional. You can also customise how you communicate based on what your clients prefer, whether it’s through text messages, phone calls, emails, or a mix of all three.

Choosing the right Technology Tools [0:28:35s]

One big challenge for businesses is picking the right software that matches their specific needs and how they operate. Many tradies choose software based on recommendations from friends instead of thinking about what they really need. Some software is easy to use but might not have all the features you need, while others are more detailed and complicated. It’s important to know what you need before you decide which software is best for your business. Talking to independent experts like TradiePad can give you a better idea of what different options can and can’t do, which might not be clear when you’re talking directly to the software companies selling them. It’s crucial to tell the difference between “shiny objects” that are nice to have and ones that are really necessary to get your work done, so you don’t get distracted by things you don’t actually need. The software you choose should be practical and fit with how your business works.

Picking software that’s good at data analysis can help you make smarter business decisions in the future. By keeping track of how jobs are going and analysing that data, businesses can find ways to make more money and use their resources better, which can really change things for the better.

Client communications and expectations [0:31:36s]

Clear communication and well-defined processes make sure that both clients and businesses understand the quoting process, building trust and confidence as they go. This helps clients know exactly what services they’re getting and how much they’ll pay for them. Structured communication at different stages of the job helps clients know what to expect next, making everything more transparent and reducing surprises. It’s also important to explain technical information in simple terms to clients, so they understand better instead of using industry jargon.

Technology plays a huge role in making the quoting process smoother. It lets businesses automate tasks, communicate better, and work more efficiently. Whether it’s using quoting software or other automation tools, technology brings lots of benefits to everyday work. It makes things more accurate, saves time on manual tasks, and makes the whole experience better for clients.

By keeping track of important data and looking at past trends, businesses can spot patterns, set prices smarter, and make better decisions about how they use their resources. By focusing on clear communication and using technology wisely, businesses can work better, earn their clients’ trust, and do well in the trade industry in the long run.


To discover more about the difference between estimates from basic systems versus job management tools, please see our blog “Quoting Software For Tradies”  



Matt Jones - The Site Shed

The Site Shed is about helping tradespeople get access to information that can help them run a successful business. The vision started many years ago as a way for the founder, Matt Jones, to give back to the industry that had served him so well.


Clinton is driven by a passion to help the construction and field services industries evolve through the use of technology and education.

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