Running a sign business is no easy task these days. There are a lot of players in the field, many of whom are willing to go to the lowest price to win a deal. But, if you go too low, you won't make any money (or even lose money) on each sale, which isn't a good long-term business strategy. How do you get a handle on your costs so you know what your floor is for each deal? The answer is to use sign estimating software.
How Does Sign Estimating Software Work?
It may seem self-explanatory, but it isn't. Sign estimation software is built specifically for the signage industry. There are numerous types of products and they all carry different costs, both fixed and variable. In addition, larger sales can involve mixed signage, with each product carrying a different cost. Trying to figure out the floor for a complex deal can be a nightmare!
Sign estimation software takes the guesswork out of setting your discount levels. Most software allows you to capture the costs, whether that is from a data feed built into the software or something that you enter yourself (or both). You can also enter in your labor rates and other overhead costs.
In addition, many sign estimating software offerings allow you to create the quotes that can be sent directly to customers, track the opportunity through to deal closure, capture and accurately include sales tax, shipping costs, import/export fees, and various other costs associated with getting a final product to the customer.
Can a Mobile Sales Force Use the Software?
Short answer, absolutely. Since most sign cost estimating software allows the generation of quotes that can be immediately sent to customers, it has to be something a sales executive can take with them into the field. This allows your sales personnel to meet with a customer and generate a quote that has your desired profitability level in minutes instead of hours or days.
Some software supports even more features, such as estimating the time it will take to complete a job, inclusive of weekends and holidays. This can be useful if you own the manufacturing or you have good visibility into the schedule of those who provide your products.
How Can You See Your Business?
Last, but not least, you need to see how your business is doing. Standard reports allow you to see your orders, with the ability to apply various filters to analyze the performance of your sales field, deal closure rate, the backlog of orders, etc.
To really make sure you are getting what you expect out of your sign business, you need to be able to model your costs and avoid discounting below your floor. Sign estimating software allows you to have visibility to your costs and manage your profitability.