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New to quote templates? Read our guide below.

A freelancer looking to bid on work needs to have high quality, effective quotes to present to would-be clients.

Clients may ask for a quote on a specific project, or may release a request for proposals (RFP). Perhaps you’ve met with a prospective client and want to follow up quickly with a top-notch quote.

But if your quote doesn’t contain the right content, you won’t land the job. And if you find yourself spending a lot of time creating quote after quote, it’s time you learned about quote templates.

A quote template will make your life easier, by saving time in each instance that you need to assemble a proposal for a client.

Even more important, a quality quote template will help you land more jobs, by having the essential content that a client will be looking for when deciding whether to hire you.

So let’s take an in-depth look at how you can create and use a quote template that gets results.

What is a quote template?

A quote, quotation or proposal is a document sent to prospective clients in order to secure work. The quote will usually include a breakdown of the work you would perform, along with the pricing or payment schedule for that work.

It also includes information about your business, about the client and about the client’s needs. In the instance of a response to an RFP, it will also follow the RFP and respond to what the client has asked for in it.

A quote template is a document that you build that you can re-use each time you need to prepare a quote. By preparing a template with information that you’ll need in every proposal, and then saving it to use again, you save time in each instance that you require a proposal.

Why use a quote template?

A quote template can be one of the most powerful tools in your freelance arsenal. A quotation template that has been well thought out, that has the relevant information for the client, and that puts your business in the right light - all of that can be the best opportunity for you to win new business.

Once you get it done right, you can then re-use that recipe for success. A quote template can be saved in a format that allows you to open, edit and save a new document each time you need to bid on a job or project.

There are sections in every quote that will be the same, such as information about your business. And then there are sections that can be placeholders that you will update for a specific client, project or RFP. An example would be your proposed timeline for a project.

Even sections that need to be updated such as a pricing or fee summary will have some information that can be reused.

In the end, a great quotation template will save you time and money, and also earn you money by securing new work. It’s worth building a quality quote template.

Types of quote templates

Besides a standard quote template that simply covers costs for certain items of work, there are a few specific kinds of quotation templates:

Price Quote Template

Whenever you need to showcase your services to a client, use a price quote template. It strikes the perfect balance between providing useful information and being concise.

Downloadable Quote Template

A downloadable quote template is great for whenever you need a ready to use document to add your service and quotation details for your client.

Online Quote Template

An online quote template is a good choice for those always on the go. You can find the online quote template whenever you need it, ready to send to your potential customer.

Blank Quote Template

A blank quote template can be easily and quickly adjusted to the needs of any new project. Create your own template and use it whenever required.

Formal Quote Template

Whenever you need to send a formal price quote to the client, you can rely on a formal quote template which can be easily filled in and sent.

Creative Quote Template

If you're looking to impress your potential client by sending a creative quote template, simply add your details and services then just send it for approval.

Editable Quote Template

Editable quote templates are perfect for quick adjustments and quick quotation of the client. Add the required information and send it right away.

Simple Quote Template

A simple quote template serves the most basic purposes when it comes to pricing. Add the essential details and you're ready to go.

HTML Quote Template

If you're looking to quickly integrate your quotation with any email, use a HTML quote template and configure it to your needs, then just send it for approval.

Work Quote Template

For any new project, sending a work quote template is a great way of showing your client that you have the skills and pricing he is looking for.

Official Quote Template

For new work that you're interested in starting, send an official quote template to share your pricing and work details with the client.

Professional Quote Template

If you're looking to show your professionalism while quoting your new client, the best way to go is using a professional quote template.

Quote templates vary by industry

7 common mistakes to avoid while using a quote template

An effective quote template will save you time and speed up your ability to bid on work, while also helping you secure jobs and new clients.

But there are still some drawbacks to using a quote template, for instance if you make mistakes that are repeated each time you need a proposal.  By knowing those mistakes,  you can be sure your quotation template doesn’t include them, and your quotes will be effective every time you send one to a client.

At Bonsai, we’ve worked with 150,000+ freelancers and most of them are in the top 1% category in terms of earnings. We asked them about their top mistakes and how they would avoid them.

Here are the 7 mistakes to avoid when using quote templates:

Mistake 1:
Using a rigid template that can’t be adapted.

Templates are an effective tool, but they must be able to be adapted. Some proposals will be easy to create using an existing template, but others will need sections added or deleted. There will also be times when you will want to change the order of the sections. An example is when responding to an RFP. The quote will have to respond to the specifics of the RFP, and if your template can’t be adapted, you have to start from scratch.

Mistake 2:
Not having the ability to attach documents.

There are instances when you will want to attach information that the client may have requested, or that you want to provide if the client wants to know more about your freelance business. Being able to attach a ready-made profile of your company, for instance, allows you to address everything you need in the quote, and then get into greater detail in the attachment.

Mistake 3:
Not providing options for the client.

Unless the client has asked for a very specific piece of work, it’s beneficial to you to provide the client with options. That includes different fee structures, encouraging them to select from several options rather than having only one choice, which is easier to reject. It also means providing information on additional services that your business can provide, showing the client the added value you can bring to them.

Mistake 4:
Failing to highlight the client’s needs.

A quote template has to include sections that are focused on the client. While you will need to have information about you and your business, the proposal should open with an overview of what the client needs, the client’s goals, the problem that needs to be solved, and how you will solve the problem, accomplish the goals, and serve the client.

Mistake 5:
Failing to answer “Why Me?” for the client.

Remember that clients usually receive a stack of proposals and yours is one of many. A quality quote template needs to answer one of the top questions of every client: “Why Us?” or “Why Me?” Why should the client engage with your freelance business over all the others? Answer that question and you’ll find your proposal rising to the top of the pile time and again.

Mistake 6:
Taking too long to send a quote.

This may be the most dangerous mistake when it comes to sending proposals, and an instance where having a quality quote template will help your freelance business. If you have to create a new document every time you need a proposal, you’ll soon find there’s too much of a gap between meeting with a client and sending a quote. Or you’ll find yourself constantly missing RFP deadlines or sending them last minute, or not having enough time for your creative work. Having a quotation template ready will ensure you can expeditiously send proposals to prospective clients.

Mistake 7:
Failing to consider the target audience.

It’s all-too-easy to get swept up in trying to simply please your client when drawing up a statement of work, but the best freelancers know to resist this urge. Often, clients will want to see additional details added to the SOW before signing it, but if these don’t add value to the end-user (i.e., the customer) then this needs to be communicated. Otherwise, you could spend time and resources delivering extra pieces of work that do nothing to move the project forward.

We’ve baked in a lot of the best practices mentioned in these tips in our own quotation tool called Bonsai. It costs $19 per month and used by 150,000 freelancers. Give it a try with a 14 day free trial.

What should a good quotation include?

(whether you use our template or not)

While every proposal will be tailored specifically to a client, RFP or project outline, there are sections and material that can be built into a quote template in order to turn it into a re-usable, effective quote every time you need one. Here are the important sections that a quote template should include:

Overview and goals

An effective quote template will have a section that provides an overview of the project and a summary of its goals. This information is usually generated through conversations with the client, for instance, or by reviewing an RFP document, so there will be a section in the quote template that you will adapt for each situation.

An overview can be written similar to an executive summary, bringing together the key information of the proposal.  

In this section, you will also outline the client’s goals for the project, which often includes an explanation of the problem that you will solve. Some clients may have presented the problem, either in conversations or in an RFP. Other clients may have a goal or performance indicator that they want to meet.

It’s your role to identify that you understand the problem and that with your knowledge and skills you will be able to provide an effective solution.

Timeline

An effective quote template will outline the timeline for the work, with deliverables, milestones, and how the goals will be achieved in each step. Each phase of your proposed strategy will build the solution to the client’s problem.

Or, in instances where you’re providing a specific product like a logo design, your timeline should detail the process you’ll undertake, including milestones and a final deadline for the project.

If an RFP has provided a specific timeline or deadline, be sure that your calendar matches that of the client’s timeline. This is a section that should be updated in your quote template for each client or project.

Fee structure

This section will outline what work will be done and for what cost. Remember that clients will often jump directly to this section, wondering “what will this cost me?” So provide enough details to help the client understand the fee structure.

For instance, you can break down project costs into sections, rather than lumping all the work into one price. By including smaller items, it makes it easier for the client to understand. While you will update this section of the quotation template to make it specific to a client or a project, you should have pricing models ready to insert, such as an hourly rate for specific work like social media management, or costs for a specific process like design work.

In our example of logo design, there can be sections for each step of the work, which adds up to a project total, rather than simply a total cost with no details. That kind of information can help the client understand your solution, your process, and the value you bring to the work.

It’s also a good idea to give the client several options for fee structures. Perhaps there are different levels of work that you can perform, with different costs. This will encourage them to select one, rather than reacting negatively to a single fee structure and saying no to the entire proposal.

The different fee options will also allow clients to understand the higher investment work. Each fee item will provide a clear benefit to your client.

Additional services

A quote template can include other work you can perform for the client. This is a section that can remain in the template and be used each time you need to prepare a proposal. By having an overview of the different services provided by your freelance business, the client can enquire as to additional services that they may want to access.

In the example of doing a logo design for a client, you can outline the other design work that could provide value-add to the logo design. A website redesign, new letterhead, and other design work can be outlined in this section, letting the client know that you can look after their entire branding package if desired.

About us / why us

This is another section that can remain in the template and be used each time you need to prepare a proposal. Here, you can provide any additional information that you think needs to be included to help the client understand why they should select your business to do their work.

You can also add to the quote template by including project-specific information that lets the client know “Why Us?” - why they should work with you. This can build on your ability to solve the client’s problem, but it can also include samples of previous work that are relevant to the current project, case studies, and/or client testimonials.

You can also have a document ready with a profile of you and your freelance business, which you can attach to the proposal if the client wants additional information.  

Additional sections

Your quotation template should have the ability to add sections to it, or delete sections from it, in case the client has asked for something specific that you don’t typically use in a proposal. An effective quote template has the important sections required in most every proposal, with the ability to add or delete as needed.

When to use a quote template?

Once you have a quality quotation template prepared, you can use it anytime you want to bid on a job.

That means you can follow up after a successful meeting with a prospective client, outlining what you discussed and how your business can address the client’s needs. That’s much more effective and professional than following up with a simple email.

You can also use the quote template when a client contacts you asking for a quote for an additional piece of work, a new project, or an answer to a problem they have encountered. Rather than pull together an email or try to answer on the phone, use your winning quote template to address the client’s questions. You can make it as brief or as detailed as the client needs, while still addressing all the relevant sections.

Requests for Proposals are also an excellent opportunity to use a good quality quote template. Your template should be easy to adapt to the terms and conditions asked for in an RFP.

A top-notch quote template can be used anytime you’re interested in securing new work and showing the client what you can do for them.

How to quote a client?


The various instances that you want to quote a client or write a quote for a job can all be handled with a quote template. It’s important to lay out for a client what services you will offer and how much those services will cost. But a proposal is more than just that.

When writing a quote for a job, you also want to make sure you’re clear about the work, so that there aren’t any misunderstandings if you’re successful in landing the project. You also want to use the information in the quote to form the basis of a contract, the next step after you quote a client. Finally, you want to highlight your freelance business and what additional work you can provide to the client. A proposal quote is the best place to start when you embark on writing a quote for a job or a client.

Advantages of quote templates

Having a quality quotation template can literally make or break your opportunity to get work. A good quote will give prospective clients the information they need to learn more about your business and how you can help them. Here are some of the advantages of using a quote template:

  1. You’ll be able to respond quickly to RFPs, to clients who call and ask for a quote, or to follow up after a successful meeting with a prospective client. That means you can win work away from competitors, or at the very least maintain a steady flow of work and a string of satisfied clients.
  2. A quality template will provide consistency, allowing you to produce quotes quickly, and tailor them, but with the same quality information contained within each one.
  3. Templates can showcase your brand, as long as you have the ability to add your logo, or highlight the colors you want by adding a background. That adds professionalism to your quotes.
  4. Having a template can free up time for you to focus on your creative work, instead of on creating a new quote for every possible job.
  5. You’ll find quotes easier to build each time you do one, because the process is similar even when content may change.
  6. Success begets success. Once you have a winning formula for a quote template, you’ll keep repeating that formula and getting more work as a result.

Disadvantages of quote templates

Using a quote template is not without some hazards, however. Here are some of the disadvantages of using a quote template:

  1. Mistakes get repeated. Once a quote template has the wrong sections, or is too rigid to adapt, you’ll keep repeating the mistakes and find yourself losing out in the competition for work.
  2. You’ll have no ability to make changes to the quote template without knowing what’s wrong. Finding a quality quote template that has been reviewed by successful freelancers will ensure you get it right the first time.
  3. You may find yourself losing out on projects without knowing why that’s the case. You may not even know you have an inadequate quotation template that’s causing you clients.

Take a look at the following examples, which is when quote templates can cause problems, by being too rigid, taking too long to adapt, or having the wrong sections. It’s important to use a top-notch quote template the first time and every time you need to send a proposal to a client.

Instances

Templates

A rigid template that can’t be adapted, with no ability to add or delete selections, or change the order of sections.
A template that focuses too much on your own business and not the needs of the client.
No ability to attach extra documents, like a company profile or case studies of previous work.
A single fee structure, leaving the client with a single choice that’s easier to reject than several options for a project.
A template that takes too long to adapt and complete, causing you to miss deadlines or lose work.
No ability to add a logo or other branding.
Incorrect sections or missing important sections, like a timeline.
Mistakes in the quote template of which you aren’t aware, meaning they get repeated and you lose out on work.
"Bonsai has been absolutely essential in taking my freelance work from an amateur side-gig to a full-time business. It pays for itself 2x over in the time I save having everything so seamlessly integrated. I love how I'm able to send professional-looking invoices, track billable and non-billable hours, create to-do lists, track finances/expenses, and even create contracts and proposals all in one place. The integration with Google Calendar is a huge plus, the customer service is beyond stellar, the platform is really intuitive and easy to use... Really can't say enough good things about it."
Danica Mitchell

Why are Bonsai’s automatically generated quote templates better?

Building your own template or using a generic one you find online may suit your needs in the short term, or when you’re first starting out as a freelancer. But even in the early stages of your business, a quote template is one of your most important documents. Without it, your business may never get off the ground.

That’s why using a dedicated online system that’s made just for freelancers will take your business to the next level. By using the products from Bonsai’s integrated system, You will get quote templates that consistently win you work. Here are just a few reasons why Bonsai’s quote templates are better:

  1. Bonsai has worked with over 150,000 freelancers over the years, so they know what works and what doesn’t work.
  2. The quote templates have all the relevant and important sections.
  3. The sections can be added, deleted, and the order can be changed.
  4. Additional information can be attached, or new sections can be added.
  5. Logo and branding can be added.
  6. You have the ability to provide choice in fee structures.
  7. The quote template is integrated with the other products, meaning your proposal can be used as the basis for a contract once you win the work, and to create invoices when it’s time to get paid.
  8. Your time is freed up to do creative work, which is why clients pay you.

How to create quote templates using Bonsai?

It’s easy to use Bonsai to create quotes, including custom quote templates that you can use time and again. Here’s how:

Create an account

First, set up a Bonsai account. The only information you need to enter is your name and email address.

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll arrive at this screen:

Create an account image

Click on "Draft a proposal"

Once signed into Bonsai, you can jump right into creating a quote by going to your Dashboard and choosing Draft a proposal on the right hand side:

Click on Invoice image

Name the project

For our demonstration of making a quote template, we’ll choose a Sample Client, and make our new project a Homepage Redesign. That will start the process of creating a generic proposal template.

Client information image

Fill in the quote sections

Then there are discrete sections for each portion of an effective quote, and you input the information you need into each section, starting with Overview and Goals, that’s followed by Timeline. Then there are sections for Additional Services and one to help you explain “why us,” why the client should work with you.

Build your invoice image

Choose a fee structure

Select between options for a fee structure, including single option, packages and multi-select.

If you select Packages or Multi-Select, you can then select Add an Option at the bottom of the section, and give the client several different options for fee structures. That opens a second fee summary box so you can create other options.

Send invoice image

Save as PDF

When you’re done, there is a drop-down menu at the top of the page where you can choose to duplicate, archive or delete the proposal; download it as a PDF, view the entire project, and best of all, save it as a template. That way you can use your quote template whenever you need it, without the re-work caused by creating one from scratch for every new client or project.

Track invoice image

Send the quote

When you’re ready to send, Bonsai creates a custom note to send to the prospective client, which you can customize.

Track invoice image

Bonsai always has a “Contact Support” button in case you run into any problems or have questions. You can choose chat support to ask for help, or access the knowledge base to find the answer yourself. You can also see a list of the latest changes to Bonsai, and request and vote on features, allowing you to give feedback or request the addition of a specific function.

Bonsai is so easy to use and can help you accomplish those time-consuming administrative functions that are so key to your freelance business. With the ability to build quotes, connect them to invoicing, and turn them into templates, it’s a perfect time to join the Bonsai community by signing up for a free trial.

Bonsai vs generic quote templates

There are certainly enough generic quote templates available online from which you can choose. You can also build your own from scratch, in a format such as Microsoft Word, and then use the template each time you need to prepare a quote.

Or, you can use a professional and integrated freelance system like Bonsai to build your quote templates. Knowing that the quotation template has been prepared by expert freelancers will ensure you win more jobs, and you can then integrate your quotes with other administrative tasks like contracts and invoicing. It’s easy to lift your freelance business to the next level with the integrated Bonsai system.

We’ve worked with over 150,000 freelancers over the years, and here’s what we can offer for your investment of $19 / month on Bonsai:

Features

Templates

Ability to quickly create quotes
Save time creating, customizing and sending professional quotes, ensuring you meet deadlines and win the job.
Adapt the quote
The template can be easily adapted, with the ability to add or delete sections, and even change the order of sections.
Easy to use and win
The quote template has all the important and relevant sections, such as Timeline and Fee Structure, making it easy to create a winning proposal.
Give your client options
The template makes it easy to give the client several options, with the ability to add several different fee structures, for instance. That makes it easier for the client to say “yes”.
Attach extra documents
It’s easy to provide additional information for clients, such as a company profile, case studies and more. Simply attach them to the quote template as needed.
Focus on the client’s needs while showcasing yourself
The quote template has the important sections that focus on project goals, client needs, why the client should work with you, and the ability to highlight your additional.
Add branding
Easily add your business branding include a logo.
Re-use your quote
Do the work once and save it as a template to use time and again.
Integrated with the rest of your business
Bonsai’s integrated products connect quotes to agreements, contracts, and invoicing, and entire projects can be viewed easily on the dashboard.
$19/mo
$0/mo

Templates

Time spent creating and sending professional quote templates.
2 mins
2 hours
Time spent by clients to accept your quote templates.
1 min
30 mins

At Bonsai, we recommend ALL freelancers to protect their time like it’s the most important thing in the world. Otherwise, it’ll consume you.

Other quote template categories

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Now you know about quotes and quote templates, which help make the task effective and easy. You can also consider the option of the integrated tools available to you as part of Bonsai’s freelance suite by signing up for a free trial now.

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