Quoting sucks. At least the process of creating the quote does. Especially if you’re a service business that uses Excel and Word as your quoting “engine.” That was us until this week, but no more.
When I started OnlineStir back in May, I created a very basic Excel Spreadsheet with a list of our services and prices. Once I’d selected each service a client wanted and got my total, I’d copy and paste the table into a clumsy Word document proposal. This process was not only time consuming to get all the formatting right, but horribly error prone.
I knew all along that this “system” was not a long-term solution, but it was good enough for a fledgling startup.
I also knew that when the time was right, a solution would appear. It’s an age-old philosophy that has worked for me countless times on everything from small to huge problems.
Last week, the time was finely right. My dear, sweet Amelia offhandedly mentioned that a company she knows uses a web-based quoting tool.
Ding! The light bulb lit up! For some reason unbeknownst to me, I had never thought of looking for a quoting tool to help us speed up our quoting process and reduce the errors we’d been making.
So off to Google I went a searching, and several free trials later, I chose Quote Roller. I can’t give you a complete review of it since we haven’t actually used it to send a quote to a client yet, but setting up our catalog of services and price lists was very easy. Plus, the test proposal I sent to myself looks and works great!
My goal with this story isn’t to get you to sign up for this quoting tool, although it’s a good one. My real goal is to encourage you NOT to try to force a square peg into a round hole.
If what you have is “good enough” for now, and a better solution hasn’t presented itself yet, don’t waste hours or days of your time trying to improve a bad system. Instead, make due for now and trust that when the time is right, the best solution will appear.