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Unread 10-30-2014, 09:54 PM   #1
Kilauea
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The Business End

Estimates.Spreadsheets.Proposals.Formats anyone?

Im looking for an easy(ier) systen,and or approach.

Thanks!!!
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Unread 10-30-2014, 10:13 PM   #2
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Most "factory" made spreadsheets break down the job into its tiniest components. This may be great for huge commercial plans, but not for me, even though remodeling involves a lot more than just a tile installation.

Being an Excel geek, over the years I have refined a spreadsheet which allows me to do on-the-spot estimates for customers. Each job gets its own spreadsheet. It does most of the math for me, and makes far less mistakes than I do.

This requires me to know;
1- My daily desired gross take home pay (before insurance, overhead, taxes) every expense outside this particular job.

2- The price of everything used (or a really good guess) having wifi access or a cheat sheet helps

3- Often times the price quoted includes "everything but the tile" so I don't have to do a take off, make a sales call, wait for a response, then re-calculate. This number will be generated after we discuss the type of tile desired (ceramic, glass, stone, rock hard porcelain), pattern, inlays, niches...

4- How long things usually take. That requires that I audit my bids which I do every day. Not as hard as it seems as the estimate is the first sheet of the quote, with the activity log as the second sheet. Every day I record what was accomplished (so it can be billed for) and what was partially done. I can keep track of how well I estimated time for each portion of the job. If I see I am underbidding tiling a niche or mudding a floor then I know to fix that on future bids. Auditing is critical in my view, otherwise you wouldn't know where you make your money and where you loose it.
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Unread 10-31-2014, 04:35 AM   #3
Lump
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Paul's #4 is most important part.

There is a thread on this started......somewhere.
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Unread 11-01-2014, 04:29 PM   #4
LAN1870
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I use quickbooks contractor 2010. Let's me save transactions (estimates) so all i have to do is tweak each one for each job. It's really worth the money but I never do estimates on the spot. I do give them ballparks on the spot though.

I use 'Form Tools' (yes it's older) for proposals.

Each of these software programs does require learning but it's well worth it to me. I have my estimates figured down to the penny. I also use quickbooks for taxes as well.

Note: I am a computer geek so that may affect my success using these programs.
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Unread 11-02-2014, 09:56 AM   #5
mctile
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My advice is to do your own estimating and hire a bookkeeper. Quickbooks online makes this very easy. One of the best decisions I ever made for my business. A very worth while investment.

I also try to only use venders that catalog my receipts so at the end of a project my bookeeper can pull up the job receipts (for instance say I use Home Depot and Florida tile on a project) to do a job costing analysis on each project. Thus makes it very clear which kinds of jobs make the most profit so I know which jobs to go after, where I need to adjust my prices to make certain kinds of jobs profitable, and which jobs I need to price myself out of.

Work your strengths and bring in individuals that are more qualified for the rest to optimize your time and profits. It often takes a small step back to move forward but my experience is that you will always recover and then advance when hiring qualified individuals for aspects of your company that a more proficient professional can take off your plate.
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Unread 11-02-2014, 09:08 PM   #6
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I'm mid process of making a private YouTube video explaining my process. Once its done I can PM the link to those who are interested.
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Unread 11-03-2014, 06:23 PM   #7
Lazarus
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Count me in, Paul.
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Unread 11-03-2014, 08:20 PM   #8
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Count me in too Paul.
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Unread 11-04-2014, 04:58 AM   #9
tilejoe
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I second the online version of quick books. It can do everything you need it to and more. $400 a year fee. Never have lost info. Access it from anywhere. Totally customizable. If you want to see a sample estimate or invoice, shoot me your email address in a pm.


Joe Lenner
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Unread 11-04-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
don s
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I'd be interested in seeing your process also, Paul.
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Unread 11-05-2014, 07:40 AM   #11
MNTileGuy
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Me too.
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Unread 11-05-2014, 04:21 PM   #12
tilemanct
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Count me in too!
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Unread 11-27-2014, 11:43 AM   #13
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Now that I have the proper computer cable to make this work, and while the house was quiet this morning I tried a few times to make the video. The biggest lesson learnt - I need to be better prepared.

I'll try again during the week
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Unread 11-27-2014, 07:48 PM   #14
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Ok.We will be waiting.Patiently.
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Unread 11-28-2014, 08:31 AM   #15
RJCarney
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Me too pretty please. Thanks for sharing, Paul.
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