Does Estimate Creation Steal a Month of Your Life ... Every Year?

Published on February 23, 2017

It’s 5:55 PM on a Friday. You’re about to close up the office. Dinner is calling, and so is that oh-so-comfortable couch in your living room.

The phone rings. It's a potential client. They apologize for calling so late, but they want to get an estimate.

You take 20 minutes to place each service and package on a full quote.

Now you have to fight traffic. Worse, your dinner is getting cold...

Wait - you use Service Autopilot! You can send out this exact estimate in under two minutes. We'll show you how:

Why Templates are Your New Best Friend

In the story above, an estimate template would have saved you at least 15 of those 20 minutes.

An estimate template includes services and packages that you select, in the order you place them. It means that you make one selection when creating the estimate, instead of a dozen or more.

If clients in a neighborhood all have identical yard footprints, you can even create a template specific to their yards, so you don’t have to update price information or rely on a rate matrix to pull from a custom field.

If you create 20 estimates a week, hopefully, a low figure, this could save you 4 hours a week. That’s half a work day, every week. In a year, that’s 25 full work days a year! Imagine what you could accomplish with an extra month of work a year!

How to Make an Estimate Template

You can find Estimate Templates under CRM > Settings > Job/Estimate Templates.

On this page, you can create templates by clicking “Add Template.”

Add an Estimate Template in Service Autopilot

Make sure the template is set to show up on Estimates. Add all the services/packages in the order you want them to appear on the estimates.

If you want to override the default rate on a service (like in the neighborhood example above), enter it in the box labeled rate.

When you’re done adding items, click “Save.” It's that easy.

From now on, you can easily use this template - which will save you minutes, hours, and eventually days of time.

How to Use Your New Template

This is the part that saves you time.

Create a new estimate as normal and select the client. Then click “Templates. In this menu, you’ll see all the templates you’ve created. Selecting one adds all the items from the template into the estimate.

Then click “Templates." In this menu, you’ll see all the templates you’ve created. Select one and it adds all the items from the template into the estimate. If you have rate matrices set up for the services, the estimate will automatically calculate the rate.

Do a quick spot check of the values and shoot the estimate out to the lead or client.

You’re out the door by 5:58. Have a good dinner.

Related: Is Scheduling Software Really the Best Way to Run a Lawn Care Business?


Cody is a copywriter with Service Autopilot. He was writing before he could read, dictating stories to his mom. Of late, he distills business principles and practices learned from his ever-increasing trove of books and his year with SA Support into digestible blog posts designed to provide maximum value to service industry business owners.

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