Author: Greg Taylor

Business Finance: The importance of quoting properly

In his weekly business finance post, The Greater's CFO Greg Taylor shares a story that he says shows the importance of making sure businesses quote properly.

Here’s a story about the importance of proper quoting in business.

For an overseas trip last month, a business colleague had booked taxi transfer to and from the airport for the two and a half hour trip to his accommodation. He enquired about the transfer by email through the accommodation house, which told him the price and copied in the tour company they use.

The tour company emailed my colleague direct to confirm they could provide the transfers. As part of the email, my colleague had specifically stated he needed to be picked up from the airport but dropped at the port, giving the time of the connecting ferry he needed to catch. When the taxi got to the port on the return trip, my colleague took out the cash he had been quoted, the same fare he paid on the way from the airport. The driver said “Is that the fare you were quoted, I was told it was $40 more than that.”

There had been no mention of a different price by the accommodation house or the tour operator until now. Was it a scam from the driver? My colleague said he obviously appeared genuinely surprised and a bit annoyed. He was about to offer the additional money or suggest calling the owner, when the driver said to forget the additional payment.

It was an awkward and confusing situation for the customer and the staff member. If the cost was more, then the company had missed that revenue.

It could have been avoided by proper attention to the quote.

Taking the time to quote accurately is essential. Estimate all the time, labour costs and materials correctly. It is also important to double check the quote to make sure there are no errors. Get someone else to check the quote. The tour company responded to an email instead of sending a formal quote.

While it’s important to quote quickly, it is important to be accurate. Trying to amend a quote after it has been delivered to a customer, or worse, after it has been accepted is neither good customer service nor business good finance.

This column also appeared in the Newcastle Post newspaper. 

Have you got a story to share or some comments or tips on quoting?