A tree service business should always have cost and work estimates in place before beginning a job.
A printable tree service estimate template ensures that you have a consistent process for quoting. Without this critical piece of information, you aren’t setting expectations for your customers, which could result in a financial loss.
In this article, you’ll learn what tree service estimates are, why you need them, and the important elements that your invoice template should include.
What Is a Tree Service Estimate?
A tree service estimate is a document you provide to prospective customers. It details all the work you plan to do based on the instruction and needs of the customer.
A solid estimate includes a written description of each part of the job, along with the cost estimates associated with the work.
Once the customer agrees to the estimate, you have them approve it with an electronic signature.
Estimates can change if the scope of work changes or if problems come to light during the job, but it’s important to remember that an estimate is not a legal document until the client signs it.
Why Should You Create Tree Service Estimates?
Developing a tree service estimate template is a smart business decision. It makes it much easier for you to create tree service estimates.
The template already has your company information and branding. All you need to do is enter the specific details of the job.
There are several reasons why you should always start with a cost estimate for tree services:
- You set expectations with the client from the beginning, so there’s transparency on fees from the start.
- Companies that use estimate templates instead of other methods like verbal quotes appear more professional.
- You’ll have records of all your estimates and can go back and review those jobs you won and lost. You may find trends in the way you’re pricing services that can help you get more customers. This data is also usable for forecasting revenue.
- There’s no confusion about what the job involves because the work estimate has all the details.
- Your prospective client has something with which to compare other quotes. Your estimate may not always be the lowest cost. But it allows people to compare their options, which is important to decision-making.
Key Components of a Printable Tree Service Estimate Template
Now that you know why you should have a tree service estimate template, what should it include?
Here are the key components you should include:
The template should include an area to upload your logo, business name, and contact information.
This is important because it looks more professional than sending a plain Excel spreadsheet. It’s a first impression of how you’ll handle a job, so make it a good one.
Job name or location
Insert the information of the customer, including their name and address, to identify who is receiving the quote.
If you use job numbers, add this, too.
This is the meat of the estimate. It should be as detailed as possible about what you’ll be doing.
Elaborate on these instead of only saying “tree removal.” As you know, tree removal can mean lots of things. Define how you’ll remove it, if you’re leaving the stump, how you’ll dispose of the tree, and any other relevant notes.
Having as much context as possible in the description limits misconceptions by customers about the work performed. Types of work you may use as descriptors consist of removal, pruning, stump grinding, etc.
Costs and fees
After you map out the work you’ll be doing, you need to put a price on it. Again, this isn’t set in stone, as new things can pop up while doing the work.
You may also want to split up costs related to several types of labor with hourly rate fees, materials, and any other fees (e.g., transportation, haul away, etc.).
Taxes would be another expense, which may or may not be applicable.
Payment terms and estimate deadlines
Next, you’ll want to tell clients of payment terms.
For example, you may need a deposit before work begins, so make that clear. Tell potential clients how many days they have to complete payment or if you need payment immediately after work completion.
If you offer any financing options, you can include these as well.
You should also say how long the quote is good for, typically a week or two. This protects you from someone coming back months later and wanting the same price, which you may have changed.
You can add a note at the bottom of the cost estimate, stating that it is only a quote based on the information provided and is subject to change.
Here are some other ideas of what to include in your tree service estimate template:
- Signature of acceptance: Confirming acceptance of the estimate is another option. With certain tree service estimate templates, you can request an electronic signature.
- Definitions: You’re using industry-standard terms, but your customers may not know what they mean. This is an area to include some descriptions as part of your quote.
- About section: An estimate is one more touchpoint to enhance with customers, especially with those that are new. You could add a boilerplate synopsis of your company, such as years in business, specialties, and other parts of your story. It could be a difference maker when people are reviewing many quotes.
- Timelines: Depending on the type of job and your schedule, you may be able to include a proposed timeline of when the work would begin and how many days would be necessary. This can create some urgency around approvals if customers are on a tight deadline. You can also include language that it’s subject to change.
Get Printable Tree Service Estimate Templates
Ready to start using a tree service estimate template? Download these free templates to get started right now.