Quote software can enable a number of benefits for creative agencies. Implementing a solution that’s designed to create, revise, and track quotes can help save time and increase profitability, so you and your creative staff can spend more time producing high-quality work for your clients.For creative agencies in particular, it’s important for quotes to look fantastic – after all, it’s a window into your creative business! While the ability to customise the look and feel of your quotes is a significant feature to look for, there are several other business management considerations that creative agencies may want to take into account when evaluating quote and job management software.
Let’s take a look at some of these considerations.
1. Your quote software should be an integral part of your job management systemYour quote software shouldn’t exist in silo – i.e., the information in the quote should be able to be easily shared between the systems you use to run your agency.
While there are quote software solutions available that integrate with your job management system, there are several benefits to having the ability to create and manage quotes within one job management platform. Some of these advantages include not having to switch between systems or learn an entirely different tool, increased time savings via the ability to easily transform quotes into jobs, and seamless and centralised reporting.
To determine if quote software will be an integral part of your job management system, consider the following questions:
- Can you instantly see the dollar profit margin and profit percentage for the quoted job?
- If accepted, can the quote be instantly converted into a job, against which you can record actual time and costs, along with emails, documents, purchase orders, and custom data?
- Can you copy the quote for use on a similar job, or save the quote as a template to be used on multiple similar other jobs?
- Can the quote be used as a budget against which you can then track and report on the actual times and billable values (so that you can instantly see if you’re over or under, and so that you can see where a job did not go to budget, and why)?
- Can you instantly prepare and send a deposit, progress and/or final invoice, based on your quoted values?
Even tech-savvy creatives can get bogged down by a bloated technology stack. If you’re looking for quote software, it might be a good opportunity to evaluate if all of your operational technology is working well together.
2. Your software covers the entire quote process
Quotes and/or estimates help you (the agency) plan and allocate resources accordingly, and help the client understand the scope of the work.
Setting expectations via quotes is especially important when working with new clients, since providing a quote is likely to be one of your first interactions. If even one part of the quote process is unclear, or doesn’t go smoothly, it can send the wrong message to your client, which can create tension, mistrust, or doubt in your relationship – not a great place to start!
Look for quote management software that will support the entire quote process from end to end, including:
- Easily creating a quote
- Revising a quote
- Printing, emailing, or exporting a quote
- Accepting a quote
- Declining a quote
- Keeping track of quotes (especially those that have yet to be accepted)
- Editing a quote that’s been accepted
- Turning a quote into a job and then into an invoice!
The more the solution can automate or streamline, the more time you’ll have to focus on client work!
3. Your quote software is customisable to your business needs
As mentioned, creative agencies have high standards when it comes to how their brand is represented. Your quote software should support the ability to showcase your agency’s brand and style (i.e., by branding the quote with your logo, adding custom terms and conditions, etc.).
Similarly, quote software should also be customisable based on your agency’s business needs, such as providing the ability to quote based on how you bill (i.e., actual time and cost vs. fixed fee). Consider:
- Can you quickly and easily calculate the estimated cost and quotable values in any manner of your choice?
- Can you easily select from an unlimited range of customisable pre-built templates to suit every occasion?
- Can your quote be easily revised and updated, with prior versions automatically archived?
Providing accurate and easily manageable quotes is a critical part of a creative agency’s business process. Be sure to thoroughly evaluate quote software options so you can have more time to serve clients, be creative, and do more of the work that you love!
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