Use the tools here to find the cost of your next project.  Scroll down for more ideas.


As the video describes, the most valuable thing you can do when bidding a  project for a client is to include a comprehensive list of tasks.  That  tells the client that you know exactly what to do from start to finish, and down to the final detail.  The bigger the list, the better.  But beware of sandbagging to increase profits.  The client will figure that out and  you'll be in trouble.  Follow these steps to bidding your next project.


Step 1: Use Standard Time® You can bid a project with Excel or even a pencil and paper, but good tools make  it easier.  Standard Time® is such a tool.  It includes a project tasks tab that lets you build a list of task that include roll-ups.  The  time and material costs roll up to the subproject and project level.  Once you complete your task list, you now have your project bid!  The costs  automatically calculate based on hours and material costs.  Using the right tool for the job makes things a lot easier!


Step 2: Build a Task List Click the Project Tasks tab and then choose Insert, New Project Task.  You  can give it a name, assigned it to an employee, and set the duration in hours.  The client cost will automatically be calculated and will roll up (along with  all the other tasks) to the project level.


Step 3: Break the job into phases Phases help the client get a manageable picture of the work ahead.  You can collapse and expand them, and even get bid costs for that section of the job.


Step 4: Include milestones Milestones tell the client when you intend to complete each section.  (They  show up as a diamond in the Gantt chart.)  Most importantly, they often  have payments connected to them.  Finish the milestone and you get paid!


Step 5: Include deliverables What are you delivering to the client?  Write that down!  Include it  as a zero-duration task.  It won't add to the bid total, but it will communicate your intentions to the client.  They will know when you will ship each deliverable and feel more comfortable about hiring you to do the job.


Step 6: Identify payments Are periodic payments connected to phases?  Or milestones?  Or deliverables?  Add them to the schedule to completeness.


Step 7: Assign tasks to employees Assign each task to the employee best suited for the job.  Employees will  see their own tasks in the timesheet, and can enter hours for them.


Step 8: Set employee rates Since each employee can have different billing rates, and each task is assigned  to employees, you will likely see different rates for each task.  The  program automatically multiplies the "Duration" times the "Client rate" to get  the "Cost client" field.  The "Cost client" column rolls up to the project  level for the final bid cost.  Send this number to your client.


Step 9: Enter material costs The "Cost client" field also includes material costs.  Plan to purchase  gear to complete the job?  Enter those numbers into the appropriate task  and they will add to the total bid value.


Step 10: View rollups The 'Cost client' field will roll up to the phase and job level.  That  means you'll see the total cost for the bid.  Simply print the task list  out to a PDF and send it to your client!


Also see: Video: Client Billing and Billing Rates, Video: Consulting Software, Part 1, Video: Project Costing


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