How to Write Business Quotations

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Image of two business people working on contracts.
Image of two business people working on contracts. (Image: DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images)

Business quotations are written in response to a request for service. Writing a professional business quotation is often the first step to securing the contract. It states what you propose to do to meet the need of the requested service, and how and when you will do so. If the company or person requesting service does not know you personally, your business quote is the first sample of your work to be seen and judged. Make sure yours is as good as it can be.

Use your business letterhead to write the business quote on. Ensure your letterhead has the company name, physical address (preferably not a post office box number), email address and your business identification number (if required in your area). Review your letterhead layout. Check to see that it is laid out orderly, and that every piece of information is visible, clearly readable and not crowded.

Write in the center top of the page, just under the Step 1 information, the word you want to use to convey that this document is a business quotation. Use a term like "Quote," "Estimate," or "Quotation." Type it in all capital letters and use a larger font to ensure it is noticeable.

Think through and verify prices before completing the business quotation.
Think through and verify prices before completing the business quotation. (Image: business image by peter Hires Images from Fotolia.com)

Assign the business quotation a number. Use four to six digits. Make sure the last three or four numbers are sequential for orderly storage and quicker location when you need to refer to them.

Enter your product or service delivery payment terms under the business quotation number. Include your price, how you wish to be paid, and when you wish to be paid. Do not enter this information in the footer section. Place it on the page where it cannot be overlooked.

Giving your terms prominently gives the impression of nothing being hidden.
Giving your terms prominently gives the impression of nothing being hidden. (Image: payment image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com)

State the job or service you will complete or deliver in the main body. Be specific. This is the most important part of the quotation. Do not ask to be paid later for something that was not included initially. List what you will do or deliver in the order you will do or deliver it. Include within your quote all materials you will furnish and/or expect to be furnished by the client or customer.

Ensure all figures are totaled correctly. Separate labor and materials to clarify and simplify your business quotation. Ensure the total cost of the entire task or service is prominent.

Incorrectly totaled figures are a sign of company inefficiency.
Incorrectly totaled figures are a sign of company inefficiency. (Image: long numbers on paper image by Vita Vanaga from Fotolia.com)

Limit the validity of your quotation, and write it, again, prominently in the middle bottom of the page under the body of the quote. For example, "Quotation Valid for 30 Days." Include signature and date spaces for the customer and yourself at the bottom.

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