Quoting for electronic design is quite an art. You never really know how long something will take or the difficulties that you will face along the way. Experience helps to give you some indication of the effort involved, but a new project is often outside of the experience that you have. A gut feel could lead you astray or to pin point accuracy. A framework for quoting certainly helps...
- Always give a quote
An offer is on the table ensures that you are in the running. Set a time frame for the quote and deliver on your commitment. This the first opportunity you have to demonstrate that you can deliver – make sure that you do. I recently quoted on a project and was shocked that at least three other companies had not bothered to deliver a quote.
- Know your worth
Understand your own value and how that contributes to the project. Undervaluing yourself leads to difficult financial situations and lack of motivation. Overvaluing results in a begrudging client who is unlikely to use you again. Clearly communicate the value that you add.
- Quote on fair value, not customer worth
Big customers may have more financial backing, but should not have to pay a premium for your services. You may want to under–quote a small customer to make sure that you secure the work. Everybody loses when a quote is not fairly valued. Under quoting undermines the project and compromises your ability to deliver a high quality end–product. Over quoting undermines your relationship with the client and damages future opportunities.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses
Understanding yourself will help you to leverage your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. Quote around your strengths and approach the project in a way that gives you and your client an advantage over your competitors.
- Take reasonable risks
If we only quote for things that are comfortable we limit our ability to grow. Sometimes a project might seem too big, or require skills that we have not yet aquired. Push yourself enough that each project forces you to grow.
- Only quote if you can deliver
If you can't deliver or you are not the best option, then be open and clear about this. Your client will be happy to know that you did not mess them around. Doing work for work sake is a bad strategy.
- Be remarkable
Amplify your strengths and offer something remarkable. Remarkable could be the way you communicate with your client, the quality of your work, or the speed at which you are able to deliver it. It may even be the price (high can also be remarkable). Remarkable beats boring.
If you have an idea for a product, or a problem that can be solved electronically, then please contact me – I would love the opportunity to give you a quote.