BBB Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT - As many small business owners know, owning a business means juggling different aspects everyday. Hiring help can be costly and may not be in the budget, so the never-ending list of responsibilities fall on your lap. Better Business Bureau offers tips for constructing one of the many jobs small business owners have to do: writing estimates for potential customers.BBB has created an easy, flexible format that will help you construct estimates in an effective and productive manner that you can use time after time. Check out the tips and examples below that you can apply to estimates for your business’s potential customers.Tips & TricksKeep it simple. Be as clear and concise as possible. Address and answer the request, and provide action for purchase.Be personal. Customers are used to businesses treating them like a number rather than a person. It can be very refreshing when a business takes the time to address the customer in a warm, professional manner over a less-personal forum such as an estimate. Thank them for their interest in your business, explain how their specific project will pan-out, and offer additional service for further questions.If you’re looking for a simple technique to help respond to requests quickly while also being personable, write one estimate, bold the sections that are subject to change, and use that as a format to respond to potential customers.Key ComponentsWhen constructing an estimate, be sure to include cost of materials and labor, estimated start date, work to be completed, and payment terms.Determine the cost of materials. Consider all of the materials needed to complete the project, including the cost of labor. If using subcontractors, be sure to factor in their cost as well. Don’t forget to include any overhead fees.Include the start and end dates. Give details for the start date of the project and if applicable, include the proposed completion date.Describe the project. Your estimate should include a detailed description of the job and work to be completed, and information about the contractors or workers. You can include details about the materials being used and a detailed breakdown of the proposed costs, if necessary.List the payment terms. Include information about payment terms including acceptable methods of payment, deposits, payment dates, and when you expect final payment.For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.