Steer Clear of These “Practical” Estimation Tips to Better Run Your Business

Steer clear of these “practical” estimation tips to better run your business

If you are in the landscaping industry, then you are well aware that measuring sites is critical to preparing estimates. In many cases,  this can be a tricky business, especially when it comes to measuring large commercial sites or HoAs because there are so many site features that need to be captured. 

Within the industry, we have often heard people giving advice on how one shouldn’t overthink about measuring the site and getting it “all correct” when it comes to estimates. Well, advice like these can actually harm your business in the long run. Read on as we bust some myths around “practical approaches” to estimation. 

Myth 1 – You can prepare accurate estimates by just eyeballing sites

You would have probably heard your colleagues or friends saying “Oh I’ve been in this business for years and I can just eyeball the property to create a quote”

Eyeballing is highly inaccurate and there is a 100% chance that you are underbidding or overbidding if you are eyeballing. Underbidding means that it is likely that you work on an unprofitable account even if you win a bid. On the other hand, if you are overbidding then you have already lost the contract to your competitor. You might have been in this business for years and it might be possible that you have gotten really good at eyeballing, but it is still a roll of dice and leaving your business to chance is not a smart move.

Myth 1 Busted: Eyeballing leads to highly inaccurate estimates

Myth 2 – Physical site surveys lead to the most accurate estimates  

You have probably seen a few landscapers still relying on measuring wheels as they believe the most accurate estimates can only be prepared if a site is measured thoroughly – inch by inch. What they don’t realize is that measuring huge commercial properties consumes a lot of time, cost, and effort. Not only that, it is highly probable that measurements will be accurate only at specific portions of the site and highly inaccurate at others because by the time they reached that section, human fatigue had kicked in and they ended up “skipping” certain sections of the property. 

Myth 2 Busted: Physical site surveys are highly cost-intensive & only accurate for certain sections of the property

Myth 3 – Online drawing tools are foolproof. 
If you are not eyeballing sites or physically measuring them then you are probably drawing polygons on Goilawn or Google Earth. Well, you are definitely smarter than your colleagues who are still eyeballing/physically surveying sites but you are not as smart as you think you are. Drawing polygons is again a very manual process and human fatigue usually kicks in when you go beyond a few hundred polygons and that is when the measurements start to become really inaccurate. Not only that, these software do not have the most recent imagery data. Imagine spending hours measuring a property only to realize that the property had changed due to a recent construction change. 

Myth 3 Busted: Online drawing tools are not foolproof.

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