If you visit the More Space Place web page, you’ll get a feel for what it’s like to get into the home improvement business. Having been in business for years, an entrepreneur can expect to learn the ropes quickly under their guidance.
Starting a home improvement business is a challenging undertaking. If you don’t have a strong background in architecture or home design, you’ll struggle to get things off the ground. Getting the right crew and setting everything up is a painstaking endeavor that can leave you mentally drained. Becoming a part of a home improvement franchise helps to avoid most of the problems associated with starting your own. You’ll get the full support of the franchisor. This means you’ll have access to their resources in terms of expertise, marketing, and anything to ensure your home improvement business flourishes.
The Concept of Free Estimates
In the competitive world of business, having an edge could mean the difference between making a profit and a loss. Business owners are always looking for ways to set their businesses apart from the rest.
Enter the free estimate.
If you’re a contractor with a home improvement business, your main job is to remodel house structures, whether in part or in full, while ensuring that they meet building codes. When a client approaches you about a project, the cost may not be clear at the outset. You’ll have to provide a ballpark figure. This is a free estimate. A free estimate can be as simple as quickly determining that a remodeling project will cost, say, $200. Or it can be complex, requiring you to do some research, consult with your team, and crunch some numbers.
Offering a free estimate is a good way of enticing customers to hire your business. This practice is akin to a shop offering a gift to customers as part of a promotional sale.
However, offering free estimates can have its drawbacks if done overzealously in an attempt to bring in more business. The drawbacks include;
i) Lost Time: Coming up with a quick quote for a small project or one you are intimately familiar with is not a big deal. However, when you have to put in the effort to come up with an estimate, then you waste valuable time for which you are not compensated.
ii) Money and Other Resources: For large projects, the free estimate might end up costing you money. If you have to come up with a quote for a large, complicated project, you may have to visit the site of the project and purchase some tools necessary for the initial survey. You’ll be using money and other resources for which there is no refund.
Are Free Estimates Essential for Home Improvement Businesses?
The answer is a little of both. Yes, you’ll need to offer free estimates for small projects that don’t need much research. For instance, painting a room is a relatively small project. An experienced contractor will have a good idea of how much it will cost. In such cases, you’ll be demonstrating some goodwill upfront, making it more likely that the client will want to hire you again or recommend your services.
With large projects, charging a fee for your estimate is only appropriate if it’s going to take up your time and effort to come up with the estimate. For example, More Space Place and other similar home improvement outfits tend to charge for quotes involving large projects.
Other home improvement businesses may or may not charge for quotes as their standard policy.
Whether or not offering free quotes is essential to a business depends on several other factors. For instance, how competitive is the home improvement market in a particular locale? Is it construction season? Are there other factors like a volatile real estate market?
If you’re the owner of a home improvement business, you’ll want to know about such things at any given moment before deciding on offering a free quote. For example, if you’re home improvement business is still new, it might be a good idea to offer free quotes for the time being as you establish a reputation and build your customer base. If you’re an established brand like More Space Place, you can afford to charge a fee for quotes because you have an established reputation.
Ultimately, there will always be contractors that offer free quotes. For home improvement outfits like More Space Place, it becomes a matter of knowing which types of home improvement projects should have a free quote or not.