Master Project Estimation with Simple Estimate

Accurate project estimation is a critical aspect of successful project management. For project managers, the ability to predict the time, cost, and resources required to complete a project is essential for maintaining budgets, allocating resources efficiently, and ensuring profitability. Leveraging tools like Simple Estimate can help you quickly create accurate, reliable estimates that will allow you to win deals and build trust with your customers. 

What is Project Estimation?

Project estimation involves predicting the time, cost, and resources necessary to complete a project. This process includes a comprehensive analysis of various project aspects such as scope, timeline, labor, materials, and potential risks. The goal is to generate a detailed and accurate quote that serves as a financial and logistical blueprint for the project.

What is a Project Estimator?

A project estimator is a tool or software that helps in predicting the costs, resources, and time required for a project. Project estimator software like Simple Estimate aids project managers in creating detailed and accurate project estimates, ensuring efficiency and profitability.

Why is Cost Estimation Important for Agencies?

Accurate cost estimation is crucial for agencies for several key reasons:

  • Budget Management: Ensures projects stay within budget, preventing financial overruns and ensuring financial health.
  • Resource Allocation: Helps in the efficient allocation of resources and personnel to each project, ensuring optimal use of available assets.
  • Client Trust: Providing transparent and realistic quotes builds trust with clients and enhances the agency’s reputation.
  • Profitability: Accurate estimates ensure projects are profitable by avoiding underestimations that can lead to losses.
  • Decision Making: Provides a clear understanding of project costs and feasibility, which is essential for informed decision-making processes.

How to Estimate a Project Cost in Seven Simple Steps 

Step 1: Define the Project Scope

The first step in project estimation is defining the project scope. This involves clearly outlining the project’s objectives, deliverables, and requirements. A well-defined scope ensures that all stakeholders have a mutual understanding of what the project entails and helps prevent scope creep, which can lead to budget overruns and delays.

Importance of a Clear Project Scope

  • Alignment: Ensures all stakeholders are on the same page regarding project expectations.
  • Focus: Helps maintain focus on the project’s primary goals and objectives.
  • Accountability: Establishes clear responsibilities and expectations for all team members.


With Simple Estimate, you can manage project scope by tracking project phases and tasks directly within the platform. The tool allows you to add detailed descriptions to estimates and line items, providing space to outline objectives, goals, and expectations for each step.  

Step 2: Break Down the Work

The next step is to break down the project into smaller, manageable tasks or phases, a process known as creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The WBS provides a detailed breakdown of the work required, which helps in understanding the effort needed for each component of the project.

Benefits of a Work Breakdown Structure

  • Clarity: Provides a clear and detailed understanding of project tasks.
  • Manageability: Makes large projects more manageable by breaking them into smaller parts. This also helps your customers understand the tasks required to make their vision come to life. 
  • Tracking: Facilitates tracking progress and identifying potential issues early.


Simple Estimate allows you to easily create a WBS by breaking down the project into tasks and subtasks within your estimates. The platform allows you to create and organize detailed tasks, ensuring all aspects of the project are accounted for.

Step 3: Estimate Time and Effort

Once the project is broken down into tasks, the next step is to estimate the time and effort required for each task. This involves consulting with team members and using historical data from similar projects to make informed estimates.

Best Practices for Estimating Time and Effort

  • Historical Data: Use data from past projects to inform estimates.
  • Expert Consultation: Engage with team members who have relevant experience.
  • Buffer Time: Include buffer time for unexpected delays or challenges, which can be effectively managed by using three-point estimation when creating your estimates.


With Simple Estimate, all of your estimates are saved in one place, giving you access to historical data from previous projects. The platform’s intuitive interface allows team members to collaborate and provide input, ensuring comprehensive and realistic estimates. Additionally, Simple Estimate’s built-in three-point estimation capabilities offer flexibility, helping you set realistic expectations with your clients.

Step 4: Calculate Labor Costs

With time and effort estimates in hand, you can now calculate the labor costs. This involves multiplying the time required by the hourly rates of the team members involved. Additionally, it’s important to account for multiple scenarios to provide your clients with the most realistic and reliable estimates possible.

Considerations for Calculating Labor Costs

  • Hourly Rates: Include the hourly rates of all team members involved.
  • Subcontractors: Include costs for any subcontractors or external consultants.
  • Think in Ranges: Use three-point estimation to give yourself a buffer when calculating labor costs. 


Simple Estimate streamlines labor cost calculations by letting you input hourly rates into rate cards that are automatically applied to your estimates. Using three-point estimation and the PERT Formula, the platform allows you to enter low, likely, and high hourly predictions to account for inevitable changes in a project. 

Step 5: Estimate Material and Equipment Costs

The next step is to identify all the materials and equipment needed for the project. Obtaining quotes from suppliers and including these costs in your estimate ensures a comprehensive understanding of the project’s financial requirements.

Tips for Estimating Material and Equipment Costs

  • Supplier Quotes: Get accurate quotes from suppliers to ensure realistic estimates.
  • Bulk Discounts: Consider potential discounts for bulk purchases.
  • Miscellaneous Costs: Include any miscellaneous costs that might arise.


Simple Estimate allows you to input fixed material and equipment costs, making it easy to track and include these expenses in your overall estimate. The platform’s comprehensive database helps you ensure that no costs are overlooked.

Step 6: Review and Adjust

After compiling your estimate, it is essential to review it for accuracy and completeness. Adjustments may be necessary based on feedback from stakeholders or new information that becomes available. This iterative process helps refine your estimates and ensures they are as accurate as possible.

Review and Adjustment Best Practices

  • Stakeholder Feedback: Gather feedback from stakeholders to ensure estimates meet expectations.
  • Regular Updates: Regularly update estimates as new information becomes available.
  • Detailed Documentation: Keep detailed records of all assumptions and calculations.


Simple Estimate facilitates the review and adjustment process by allowing you to easily update estimates and incorporate feedback from stakeholders. The platform’s Snapshot feature enables you to make updates to your estimates with saved copies of earlier versions of the estimate, making it easy to track your changes as you build your estimates. 

Step 7: Present the Estimate

Finally, present the estimate to your client in a clear and professional manner. Using Simple Estimate, you can create detailed, easy-to-understand estimates that include high, low, and likely cost ranges. This transparency builds trust with your clients and sets the stage for a successful project.

Effective Presentation Techniques

  • Clarity: Ensure the estimate is clear and easy to understand.
  • Detail: Provide detailed breakdowns of costs and assumptions.
  • Professionalism: Present the estimate in a professional format that enhances credibility.

Simple Estimate provides streamlined sharing options for presenting your estimates, ensuring your quotes are clear, detailed, and professional. These sharing features enhance communication and build client trust and confidence.

Accurate project estimation is essential for successful project management. By following the steps outlined in this guide, project managers can create reliable quotes that ensure project profitability and client satisfaction. Leveraging Simple Estimate can further simplify the process, making it easier to focus on delivering quality projects. Start streamlining your project estimation process today by trying out Simple Estimate and experience the benefits of accurate, efficient project management.


Q: What makes Simple Estimate different from other project estimation tools?

A: Simple Estimate is an affordable, easy to use estimation software that gives teams the ability to present estimates with high, low, and likely cost ranges. It is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, ensuring a smooth learning curve.

Q: How can I ensure my estimates are accurate using Simple Estimate?

A: Use historical data, consult with your team, and break down the project into smaller tasks. 

Q: Can I use Simple Estimate for any type of project?

A: Yes, Simple Estimate is versatile and can be used for a wide range of projects, from small tasks to large-scale initiatives. Whether you are managing a marketing campaign, developing software, or planning an event, our tool can accommodate your needs.

Q: How does Simple Estimate handle changes in project scope?

A: Simple Estimate allows you to easily update estimates and communicate changes to stakeholders, ensuring everyone stays on the same page. This flexibility is crucial for adapting to evolving project requirements.

Q: Is there a trial version available?

A: Yes, we offer a 14-day free trial so you can experience the benefits of Simple Estimate before committing. Sign up today to get started and see how it can transform your project management process.

Mastering the art of project estimation is vital for the success of any project. With the right approach and tools, project managers can create accurate, reliable estimates that set their projects up for success. By following the steps outlined in this article and leveraging Simple Estimate, you can enhance your project management skills and ensure the profitability and satisfaction of your clients. Start today by trying Simple Estimate and elevate your project management process to new heights.

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