Creating an offer – key points
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Usually there is no way to get a (larger) order without an offer. Although these can also be submitted orally, it is advisable to do so in writing, because this way it is possible to prove beyond doubt what was offered and at what price.
Costs of an offer
No costs may be invoiced for an offer if it has not been pointed out or if the collection of costs for the preparation of an offer is not customary in the industry or if no implicit obligation to pay costs must be assumed. Especially in the case of quotations for repair orders (e. g. car repairs in the case of major damage), it may be necessary to ascertain the exact damage first in order to estimate the cost of the repair: This takes time, so it is understandable that such a service is not free of charge. If costs for the preparation of an offer are generally invoiced, it is advisable to list this in the General Terms and Conditions.
Liability of an offer
An offer is in principle binding for both sides. If, during the execution of the work, it is established that the estimated price was too low, the client must be contacted immediately. If this is omitted, the client shall not be obliged to accept the higher invoice at a later date.
However, there are cases where a client has to pay (at least in part) additional costs: For example, if extraordinary circumstances occur; for example, if the condition of a wall was found to be different than expected during assembly work, or if additional expenditure or additional material costs were expressly and in writing reserved, for example with the wording “subject to additional costs and price deviations”.
In the case of an approximately calculated or non-binding offer, a client must accept a deviation of up to 10 percent according to a common rule of thumb. In some brownfields this value is somewhat higher.
Cost estimates with fixed prices or flat-rate offers, on the other hand, are binding; here, customers do not have to accept higher invoices.
Contents of an offer
It must be clear who makes the offer. This includes the full name, address and registered office as well as the legal form. In addition, the date and place of an offer, the validity of the offer and – if available – the VAT must be included in the offer. Number. The payment term is mandatory if it is less than 30 days or not customary in the industry; a reference to the General Terms and Conditions (if available) is recommended.
In the further elaboration of an offer or the individual positions, care must be taken to ensure that they are as accurate and transparent as possible. This creates customer confidence, helps to avoid misunderstandings and disputes and is often the basis for sustainable orders. By the way: A signature is not necessary, but it underlines the personal identification with the project and the customer.
Submission of an offer
Interested parties appreciate it if they receive an offer as soon as possible after an inquiry – this also creates advantages over the competition and expresses interest in potential customers and their orders. With smallinvoice offers can be created easily and efficiently in the browser and sent directly via email as PDF attachment. An offer created with smallinvoice contains a link with which it can be accepted online.