Menu Close

Freelance Estimating – Why Freelance Estimating Is Important

When clients want to hire you for a project, they need to know how much your services will cost. That’s why freelance estimating is important.

Estimates help prevent scope creep by providing clear expectations for both parties. They also help freelancers price competitively based on their expertise and market rates.

How to Create an Estimate

When clients contact you, the first thing they want to know is how much your services will cost. They want to be sure they are paying a fair price for the quality of work that you will provide.

During discovery meetings, it’s your job to gather as many project details as possible from the client so that you can accurately create an estimate of time and costs. This will require you to ask many questions and take notes. Depending on the type of client, this may require multiple discovery sessions or extensive email communication.

After gathering the project details, you must calculate how long it will take to complete the project based on your experience with similar projects. If you work by the hour, your total time estimate x your rate = your quote. Using time-tracking software can help you determine how long each task takes and give you data to improve your productivity.

Next, you must add in any additional expenses related to the project. This could include things like software, office space, travel expenses, etc. Finally, you will need to set your hourly rate based on your level of experience and other factors as described in our guide to pricing. As you become accustomed to creating estimates, the process will get easier. You will also gain valuable insights from the feedback you receive on each estimate, whether it’s accepted or not.

What to Include in Your Estimate

When you’re creating an estimate, it’s important to take the time to collect as much detailed information as possible. This will help you accurately calculate the project’s total cost and timeline.

You should also include your pricing structure in the estimate, such as whether you’re charging hourly, daily, weekly, fixed price, or value-based. This will give your client a clear understanding of how you will charge for the work and prevent any confusion down the line.

Another crucial element of an estimate is a breakdown of the estimated labor and materials costs. This will help your client understand how the project is being priced and ensure that you are delivering on your promises. You should also specify any payment terms, such as when you expect to receive a deposit and any milestone or final payments.

Finally, it’s always good practice to include your contact information at the bottom of your estimate. This will allow your client to get in touch with you with any questions or concerns about the work, and it will also make it easy for them to send a referral should they need one.

Creating an estimate can be a daunting task for new freelancers, but with practice it will become easier and more efficient. With the right tools, it’s easy to create an estimate that is professional and accurate, and will help you secure high-value projects with confidence.

How to Present Your Estimate

A well-written freelance estimate is a key component of the business process for any freelancer. Whether you’re a contractor, a baker, a writer, or a voice actor, creating an estimate communicates the scope and timeline for a project and helps both parties understand each other. It also prevents scope creep and ensures that you are offering a fair price to your clients.

Despite their importance, estimates are often misunderstood by both customers and contractors. This can lead to misunderstandings and expensive mistakes that damage the relationship between the customer and the freelancer.

To avoid these costly mistakes, it’s important to communicate clearly with your customers throughout the estimating process. This includes explaining how the estimate will be created, including any unforeseen costs, and the total cost of the work. It’s also helpful to provide a rough timeline for the completion of the project so your client can plan accordingly.

After the customer accepts your estimate, it’s important to change the language from “estimated total” to “balance due” on the final invoice you send. This will help to streamline your pricing and billing procedures. Finally, don’t forget to include a short description of why the estimated total may differ from the final invoice. This will help your customers understand why the difference occurred and make them less likely to be surprised when they receive their bill.

How to Respond to Client Requests

When it comes to delivering freelance work, clear communication is everything. Clients should be kept up-to-date on the status of their projects, any challenges or delays, and estimated costs and timelines. This can be achieved through a variety of means, including email, phone, video conference, or project management software.

It’s important to remember that estimating for a new project is not always an exact science. It can take some time to get a full understanding of the project and it’s often helpful to ask clients specific questions related to their business goals, project objectives, and other considerations that may affect the scope of the project.

At times, it’s not uncommon for a client to request services that are outside of your scope of expertise. If this is the case, it’s best to calmly explain why you are unable to provide them with the requested service and recommend alternatives or additional resources.

Providing estimates can be an intimidating process for freelancers, but with some practice it will become easier and more efficient. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that your estimates are accurate and well-presented to give your clients peace of mind and confidence in your ability to deliver a high-quality product or service. Hiveage offers a simple, yet powerful estimate template that includes all of the necessary details for creating an accurate and professional freelance project quote. With Hiveage, you can also easily generate an invoice in just a few clicks and provide your client with a ready-to-send document.