Offering an estimate or quote provides potential clients with a customized figure for what they can expect to pay based on what will be required to complete a specific project.
A quote is a legally binding fixed price a company prepares for a client; as such, they should always be in writing. A quote should summarize the work to be performed and include a detailed breakdown of all the costs and the final total, including taxes.
Once a business offers a quote and a client signs off on it, the price cannot change even if the job ends up costing more than initially anticipated. For this reason, it's crucial to always quote as accurately as possible, allowing ample time to complete the job and carefully pricing out costs for materials and labor (e.g., subcontractors).
To protect your business from "scope creep," a quote should also stipulate that additional charges for extra work beyond what the original quote covers will apply.