When you price a job accurately and win it, it can deliver instant improvements to your bottom line – but getting it wrong can be a very expensive mistake.

These five tips can help you estimate accurately and secure your project’s success.

1. Look to the past

‘I guess it’ll take about five hours’ isn’t the best way to estimate. Tracking your time on a project and specific tasks, and creating a database of regular tasks, will take a lot of the guesswork out of future estimating.

2. Contingencies are a must

Contingencies safeguard you against unforeseen scenarios that could affect a project’s completion. Anticipate risks to the project to ensure you can meet any challenges that arise.

3. Use detailed descriptions

Make sure all tasks are broken down into as much detail as possible. Outline the deliverables, delivery timeframes, resources needed and who’s responsible.

4. Check everything

Think your estimate includes all deliverables and tasks? Check again. It’s easy to forget activities such as client feedback and changes, which can take up valuable time.

5. Look to new technologies

With the right job management software, you can completely take control of the entire estimating process. See all of your labor types, rates, and supplier catalog in one system, and quickly generate an estimate based on your true material costs.