If you estimate or ever think about purchasing an electrical estimating software please read this.
+++++IF++++ you will read this to the end it can change your life. Over the last 20 years I have written and developed Electrical Estimating Software. I have been estimating for more years than I can count.
My goal would be for 100% of the people that purchase our software (or any software) to become “Masters” at it and for it to become an everyday tool for them to use.
For years I thought, we are offering a fantastic product at a ridiculously low price. We offer lots of free training tools to make it easy to learn. We are here to answer questions. No doubt that 100% of every user will benefit and become “Masters” at using our software. This has always been our goal.
It has never been about the money at Best Bid. It has always been about helping “Electrical Contractors” make the step from pen and paper estimating to computer estimating.
Well guess what? I was right. Every user has done just that. The issue is, I have discovered that not every one that has purchased our software has actually become a user.
When this fact became evident to me we started looking into the reason why. My first thought was we offer a fantastic product that has proven to be the best you can purchase. We use it ourselves to estimate millions of dollars of electrical work each year so we know just how good it is. Why are some not using it?
This is just out right unimaginable right? After all we offer 100’s of step by step videos teaching you how to use the software. We also offer free on-line training. All the info to learn the software is given to you.
We have made the software the easiest to use software that you can purchase.
The first thing that we discovered was some of the non-users actually didn’t know how to estimate with pen and paper in the first place. Their estimating skills were not where they needed to be. No matter how long you have been in the electrical field this does not translate to becoming an electrical estimator. Some have even purchased the software with zero electrical experience at all. We offer the best electrical estimating software on the market and you can complete some of an estimate with little or even no knowledge of electrical work by using our automated Assemblies but let’s get real. You must know how to estimate to get the most out of any electrical estimating software.
Look at it like this. The Best Bid Hybrid Pro is like a Jet Airplane. It is fast, sleek, and can get you from point A to point B in style mush faster than walking. When purchasing the Best Bid Hybrid Pro, it is like purchasing a Jet Airplane. It will take you from point A to point B in style much faster than Pen and Paper! The issue is, if you don’t actually know how to fly to begin with you are no better off by just purchasing the Jet Plane.
If you don’t have a good understanding of estimating to start with, estimating software can help, but the more you understand estimating the more you will get out of any software.
Should you ever purchase estimating software before you can estimate with pen and paper?
This motivates some users to learn by having skin in the game. I just purchased this Jet Airplane- I will do whatever it takes to learn to fly it. I may hire a pilot for a while but I will learn how to fly this Jet.
Some users purchase our software, open it up and just start clicking, trying to enter an estimate day one. Actually more than you may think.
So would you jump in the Jet and takeoff even if you knew how to fly a prop plane? No you would jump on a simulator, take lessons, fly with an instructor etc.
So let me stop here and address issue number 1,
We now offer an on-line school of estimating that has nothing to do with any software.
It will give you the skills to estimate any electrical job period. You need a strong backbone to build from.
This class is affordable and has helped many students. It lets you know what you want to happen when you push the button. If your estimating skills need brushing up check it out at www.electricalestimatingclass.com
If you fall into this category this may just be the ticket for you.
Along these same lines is our second group of non-users.
This person will get the software, never read or watch the videos. They will jump in and try to intuitively push enough buttons to figure it out. When they fail, and they will, they never go back and the software sits on the shelf.
We have made our software as simple to use as possible but there are a few things that you must learn. Once you learn these few things the software is a snap.
I have been so frustrated by getting questions that are explained on the first page of the instructions.
Who doesn’t even open the Quick start instructions? LOL Actually me.
Not that we ever mind answering questions but you should make an effort to learn. I have often thought. This is so simple and we have gone overboard providing instructions and lessons what’s up.
Then I look at my own experience with new software. I open it up all excited. I never read anything, I try to work it, not just work it but perform the most complicated task, most of the time I fail and I never go back. A real life example: I really needed a powerful email program. I downloaded the free trial. I never had time (I never took the time) to use it during the trial. I kept getting help files in my inbox twice a week from the company. I never opened them. I always was too busy to stop and learn or study the software’s help files, do test emails, create sample templates etc. I wanted in import 10K emails and start sending timed emails day one. Needless to say that didn’t happen and I spent lots of money hiring people to do this task in lieu of just investing time to learn the software. The company gave me everything I needed to succeed except the desire to actually stop and learn the software.
My advice to all new users of our software that are not estimating software savvy is to start with the Estimating side of the software.
Learn one task at a time. Learn to input your lights then move on to installing switches receptacles etc.
NEVER-try to do a live estimate with a bid date until you learn and adjust the software.
You need to know what happens when you select the buttons. It isn’t hard. It just takes doing these tasks more than once.
Once you can enter an estimate and everything comes out as you like THEN move to the Takeoff side of the estimating software. You need to know where you want these counts and measurements to go when they are finished. This is like learning two software -estimating and takeoff. By learning the estimating side first it cuts your learning curve down.
Guess what only about 1% of the users follow this advice.
I get it. You want it now! You want to test drive the Jet Airplane. Almost everyone imports a plan and here they go. LOL
From my heart. If you are not using an electrical estimating software to estimate shame on you. It will change your life. I remember when I first started. Computers were new. Yep that long ago. I could not type and barely turn one on. I understood the advantage of learning a software. I started looking at the software but I was so busy running the company I didn’t have the free time to spend (in my mind) so I opened it up here and there but never learned much. Things go so busy I saw that if I didn’t learn to estimate with a software I was going to be left behind. So I made the decision. The 1st estimate I did took at least 4 times longer. It was horrible, I could not find what I was looking for, I wasn’t sure where tax was added and where it wasn’t BUT I DID IT! When I was finished I thought this is taking more time and I was expecting it to speed me up. I did see the finished product had many advantages. Reports, no math mistakes, material breakouts so I did understand, I have to do this. Each estimate got quicker and easier. It didn’t happen overnight but I started turning out estimates and not only estimates but quality estimates in much less time than before. Stick with it! It will be the best thing for your time and business.
Unless you are different than most people, the following is the true guide to success.
- Commit right off. I will do whatever it takes to learn this software! It will be a priority and not be placed on the back burner or just when I have free time. I know learning the software will pay dividends the rest of my career. Your estimating software is the most tool that you own. You will fail or succeed based on your ability to estimate.
- Set aside some completely uninterrupted time every day to learn the software.
- Don’t try to master the software the first day and NEVER attempt to do a live bid before you understand how the software works.
- Learn on assembly at a time. Once you learn one and understand it the rest will work and act the same way. For example just learn how to install your lighting, hot to create a Request for Lighting, how to modify the assembly, and how to add additional special products if needed. Let that be a goal the move to the next assembly. Set goals.
- It may be a good idea to take the Estimating Class to brush up on your estimating prior to using the software or alongside using the software.
- Understand that you will get better and better each time you use the software and you will be learning new tricks on how to speed up every time you use the software. It will be the best ROI you have ever sent.
- Watch the videos and follow through. Send any questions that you may have to info@1CEES.com. Our goal is for you to master the software.
If you have actually took the time to read this letter then you have what it takes to become a Master at the software. Invest in your future!