It was a bright sunny morning and everything, it seemed was fresh and glowing. The wind was perfect and what more it was Sunday. It was a day to be just laidback and enjoy a cup of coffee. For some, it was a day to shop and hang out with some old buddies. But there was one young and enthusiastic lad, Nicolas who had learned a very important business lesson that particular day. He was a son of a very famous business personality. Just like his father Nicolas too wanted to earn the same fame and dreamt of continuing the legacy after his father had retired. But for this he needed to learn some very significant lessons.
Aware of this fact his dad took Nicolas along with him for a golf match. After having learned this, Nicolas started to tell himself that this is the moment. He wanted to defeat his dad even though he had never played the game before. Perhaps this was the only motivation. They both reached the golf course and this is how the conversation went about.
Nicolas: Dad I have never played this game before, first teach me the techniques and the usability of each golf stick, so that my every shot is perfect.
Father: I can only pass on the theoretical knowledge to you, ultimately it is you who has to execute it and figure out which is right way.
Nicolas had gained some confidence as far as playing shot was concerned after having played many games, but did not exactly know how to estimate the speed at which to hit, the direction of the wind so on and so forth.
Nicolas: Dad if you can help me out with all the required estimates, then probably I can win this final game.
Father: Alright my son, I would love to lose (like every father would say).
His dad gave him all the estimates for the speed of the wind, the direction and with how much power to hit. Nicolas, like a good son obeyed his father only to learn his ball was in bunker. Nicolas was furious at himself as he had lost the game. It was only after that his father came up to him and confessed that it was because of wrong estimates which he had deliberately given, that he might have goofed up.
Nicolas: But why dad? Why did you give me wrong estimates?
Father: I did that purposely. The reason why I got you along to the golf course was to make you learn an important lesson, something that all of my staff learnt the hard way few days back. Only a few days back we lost one of our prominent client and future export consignment because of negligence on part of our accounting team. We sent him wrong estimates of the bill amount only to realize later that the actual bill amount was much more than what we had estimated (may be because of some miscommunication between the sales and accounting department).
Nicolas: (Very curiously) so what have you done to prevent this in future?
Father: I have now decided to install an online billing and invoicing software which allows sending estimates to clients. These estimates can be viewed and edited by the clients easily. Generating estimates before reaching on final consensus of the bill amount helps a great deal. The desired amount of discount can be given and further confirmed by the client without much communication. The amount of time and money saved through online billing can be staggering. It is so simple to use that I have stopped relying on any other person for billing matters. I myself generate estimates and final invoices on a click of a mouse. Generating estimates through online billing helps in client retention as final invoice is prepared after mutual agreement.
After eagerly listening to what his dad just told him, Nicolas immediately responded by saying, “I have now caught hold of the right chord”. He then understood the relation between what had happened in the morning and in his father’s office.
‘Generating estimates’ before sending the final invoice to the clients is extremely important. It only enhances the transparency in the whole process and heightens the firm-client relation. In all, ‘estimates generation’ only widens the online billing spectrum.