How much time does it take to get a new client? How much resources are used and how many hours are needed to prepare a quotation for a new project? Reflect on your past experience and and then ask Varys's advice.
But who is Varys? For the many fans of popular TV series, Game of Thrones, he's the feared spymaster and court adviser who has a hand in several plots and secrets within Game of Thrones world - intrigues, betrayals, coups, assassinations and battles ... his faint shadow covers all. While it may seem unnoticeable to viewers, his success can actually credited to his ability to move quickly from place to place, even if they're very far from each other and he's always in the right place at the right time.
Speed and timing. These are the same secret capabilities that you can employ even in the field of project management. Imagine the benefits if you can be the fastest to prepare project quotations that are requested by your prospective clients. Of course you don't have to do it all alone. There are integrated CRM systems, operating in the cloud that can help you. But how? Here are some suggestions when preparing a project quotation:
1. Generic Resources
When starting, it's important to incorporate the client's needs in a timely and effective way. To prepare a quotation for a project that's in line with the expectations and needs of the clients is the crucial first step to demonstrate an accurate and quick understanding of what they need without them needing to hold your hand throughout the way. This could be a deciding factor for your eventual selection. Don't forget to take inspiration from our dear friend Varys: pass from one task to the next effortlessly and with maximum professionalism. But remember not to compromise the quality of the response to the prospect.
To achieve this, you need to set up the appropriate generic resources that that will allow you to have a clearer vision of the project and make timely estimates of the project costs. By having generic resources that are ready to be inserted into quotations, you can respond in a fast and timely way to requests for quotations.
By doing this, you can start quickly by having mostly generic resources. Later you can create templates with more specific resources which you can then assign to the customers. Of course, in your startup phase you must be versatile and satisfy the greatest number of customers. Later, you can then send them more specific resources when assigning tasks.
2. Associate Labor Hours for Each Resource
If you have a trusted advisor..or what they call today "consultants", you know that guys like Varys charge their weight in gold for every minute that you take up their time. The lesson to be learned at this point is quite simple, but still worth remembering: time is money.
Every activity must be adjusted based on it being feasible and profitable enough for your client. Even when you are in the assessment phase and when you are preparing a quotation, you should only spend enough time as is proportional to the expected revenues to make it worth everyone's time.
To do this, you need to have the labour costs related to all the generic resources used in the various phases of the project. This will make it even easier to understand how much time to devote to each quotation. (Tip: allot a short time, but ensure quality!).
3. Prepare a Basic Template
A research by SL Associates and NetSuite shows that a company that relies on integrated systems and designed for managing quotes and orders shows better efficiency and performance by 40-60%. Everything then must be well prepared and designed according to reliable models to optimize the workflow.
If you are preparing to bid for a project, you have to be quick as well as precise. Everything has to be prepared and ready before your approaching your prospective clients. To be able to quickly and accurately define the resources available and the in how much time can you deliver the project, the secret is to have appropriate tools that automate and speed-up operations.
For example, it's quite helpful to build a basic model or a template (maybe through an Excel spreadsheet) with the pre-set and pre-defined fields, in order to have a starting structure that you can customize and modify whenever a new proposal or quotation is needed.
This basic template will allow you to prepare in time and generate more standardized offers to avoiding repeating detailed operations that waste precious time. Creating this template will be the first step towards fast and effective quotations and invoices that would make even Varys proud!
Guess what? We've done the work for you! Here's a Project management Proposal and Quotation Template that you can use to modify or take inspiration from. Best of all, its free! Dowload now!