Quoting and Estimating Software Review

June 11, 2021

What if I told you that estimating doesn’t have to be time-consuming, that you can do takeoffs and measure up at the click of a few buttons?

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Your days are full of phone calls, running around in the car, chasing up materials, administration, client management, emails…eek, the list goes on! What if I told you that estimating doesn’t have to be time-consuming, that you can do takeoffs and measure up at the click of a few buttons? 

Are you struggling with estimating and job management? I discovered software that can do everything in one place, from the first contact and quote to the final invoice. Buildxact is designed for tradies to help you get ahead with innovative management tools, so you can win more jobs, improve profit and cash management, and save your valuable time. You also don’t need a PHD to learn how to use it. Just a few hours, and you’re on your way. I was so reluctant to start using any software as I was already overwhelmed. The thought of investing time to learn new skills felt like the tipping point for me. At least I knew how to manage my mess, right? Wrong. My efficiency-mumbrain finally got the better of me, and I registered for a free month trial, including free training, to see how I could benefit from having the tools available. I’ll share the three features that have been game-changing in our construction business. 

Game Changer #1 
Before I subscribed to Buildxact, I played with Asana and Dubsado to manage leads and project management. It didn’t feel clean as I had processes set up in multiple places. For anyone who has a similar setup, things can slip through the cracks as there isn’t an option to have an overall look at everything in one place. Achieving success by running multiple programs is very dependent on the users’ attention to detail, and let me tell you, that person is not me! What impressed me initially was that I could load my contacts into Buildxact and set them up as a lead, a client, or a contractor. I could easily turn leads into clients once projects were won and remove jobs lost so I could have a quick scan of my overall projects at any one given time. Once you have turned a lead into a client, you can also invite that lead/client onto the client portal, a platform designed for clients to access information on their project, complete with photos, documents, invoices, variations, and other necessary communication. This is genius, by the way. You have control over what information gets shared from your end, but the client still has an opportunity to upload ‘inspo’ content and also ask questions as they like. 

Game Changer #2
Estimating and Quoting is a gazillion times quicker using Buildxact. You can load in your plans very intuitively, scale them accordingly, and start measuring your lineal meters, square meters, and cubic meters very quickly. 

Estimating and quoting can be like a thorn in any tradies side. It’s often a service that is provided for free and can be an area of waste for many. The time involved in going onsite, measuring up, researching materials, and the administration in pulling it all together can be up to tens of hours (or days!) work, depending on the size of the job. 

However, a properly researched quote is valuable not only to the client, because it’s a true representation of the cost, but also to the tradie. A quoted project should be profitable. To be honest, it’s an area where we have lost a lot of money in the past, from just jotting a few figures down and throwing out a Hail Mary. It might work for a while, but it’s not a long term solution to true success. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it’s gambling. 

If you can relate to this at all then, I recommend giving Buildxact a go – just start with the free trial. Even using the free trial, you’ll be able to see the benefits of their estimating capabilities. You get a long list of estimating data and templates that essentially operate as a checklist. I’d recommend a checklist for any task that you do multiple times, as the more frequently we do something, the more likely we are to make mindless mistakes. 

These template prompts, operating as a checklist for your estimate, intuitively guide you through the quoting process. You can easily link any plans to your estimate and do digital measurements with the click of a finger. This makes counting powerpoints, light fittings, measuring up tiles, concrete, carpet and plaster areas an absolute dream. 

You can measure up lineal meters of timber very easily and email the takeoffs directly to your suppliers without leaving the website. This saves a lot of messing around. Then you can accept prices from your suppliers directly through the site and it will add the cost onto your estimate. You can even save the prices your suppliers provide you into the software and reference them on the next estimate. I could go on and on, but these features alone are very helpful.  

Game Changer #3 
Measuring your estimate vs actual costing is where you can really learn where your business is profiting and where there are vulnerable areas. You can use the data from previous projects to more accurately quote the next. Don’t overlook this function of the software as it’s the single most effective indicator of a successful business. 

It can be tedious to track costs and keep up with data entry, but this is a very powerful way to see how healthy your estimates really are. While you’re trying to determine your niche in the industry, this can also be amazing for determining what projects are your cash cows. Actual data of what is profitable is worth so much to your trade business and can help steer your ship in the most profitable direction. Let’s not beat around the bush, we’re not in business as a hobby, we want to make sure we’re earning a profit that matches our service offering. 

Buildxact also links to Xero, Quickbooks and Deputy. So any invoices you send through Buildxact will automatically sync with your preferred accounting software. This means that you won’t waste any time double handling your invoices and reconciling them. That’s living the dream! 

There you have my three top game changing features for running your trade business through Buildxact. I hope you’ve been able to identify if it’s the right fit for your business. Once you’re set up and using the features of buildxact you will save a ton of time! 

My favourite set and forget feature of Buildxact is that you can load all of your tradies’ white cards and insurances into their contact information and you’ll get notified when they are due to expire. This is genius! 

If you’re still unsure, why don’t you head over to Buildxact and sign up for the free 14 day trial, have a look around inside the software and see if it’s for you. You won’t regret it! Link here. 

Buildxact holds all of your leads on the database and helps you to qualify them as they move through your funnel. Don’t know what a funnel is? Quickly download my process freebie now, it will change your life!

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I’m Holly, the coastal mum from Behind the Tools.

I’m here to guide builders and their partner’s entrepreneurial minds in the art of transforming overwhelming business management into simple profitable solutions.

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