Method Community



May 2014 - Posts

  • How to Create an Estimate in QuickBooks


    In this installment of our QuickBooks 101 series, I'm going to provide a step-by-step guide for creating an estimate - an important step for managing your small business in QuickBooks Desktop

    What is an Estimate?

    In essence, an estimate is the presumed price for a product or service you will provide to a customer. Sometimes the estimate really is an educated guess. Other times an estimate functions as an offer.  In either case, it's important to keep track of the estimates you've sent to customers, because they are in effect a promise you've made - and good businesses always make good on their promises!

    How do I create an Estimate in QuickBooks Desktop?

    1. Under Jobs and Estimates, make sure the Estimate feature is turned on
    2. Go to the Customer menu and click Create Estimates

    3. Select a Customer from the drop down list 
    4. Enter the line items

    5. Adjust the exchange rate if your customer uses a currency different than your home currency

    6. Change any sales tax information (if necessary)

    7. Enter the class information for class tracking if you want to track this estimate by location, subsidiary, group, etc
    8. Click Save & Close or Save & New if you want to create another Estimate.

    Can I create an Estimate in Method:CRM that will sync with QuickBooks? 

    Create an Estimate in Method:CRM: 
    1. From Method:CRM, go to Customers > Estimates.

    2. Choose the appropriate Customer or Lead from the Customer:Job drop down menu

    3. From the Date drop down menu, choose a date for this estimate. The default will be today's date.

    4. In the Line Item grid, choose the items that will be included for this estimate by using the Item drop down menu(s). Click New Line Item to generate further lines. Choosing these items will auto-fill the DescriptionQuantityAmountCost, and Tax fields in the grid.

    5. Click Update when you're done filling in line items to generate a total.

    6. Click Save at the bottom of the screen 

     If you're new to QuickBooks and Method:CRM, I hope you have found this post helpful :) 

    Have specific questions you want answered? Please leave a comment below or tweet me @MethodCRM.
  • 3 Things Small Business Owners Can Do to Motivate Their Team

    It appears that after a long, hard winter, we’re finally coming out of the Ice Age and into the welcoming embrace of spring.  I don’t know about you, but the never-ending cold did a real number on my day-to-day enthusiasm and motivation, and I bet at least some of your team is feeling the same way.   

    To meet and exceed the goals of a new quarter, your team will need to be pumped up, and as the leader of your organization, it’s up to you to make that happen.  In my former managerial roles in retail, academia, and advertising, I’ve picked up a few helpful hints to get everybody under your authority on the right track - including you.

    1. Lead by Example

    Rare are those who are inspired to action by an absent leader.  The greatest leaders of history are the ones who led from the front of the column, who did not consider anything they’d ask of their followers too mundane to do themselves.  This applies to you, too: your team is looking to you for cues, so if you’re on time and ready to get down to work, it’s more likely they will be too.  

    Likewise, if you’re excited about a project, that excitement is infectious, so let it shine!  Just keep in mind that it works both ways: if you aren’t invested in getting things done, it will show, and make it harder for your team to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

    2. It’s the Little Things

    Nobody is going to suggest that a day at the office should be like a day in kindergarten, complete with snacks, storybooks and nap time. But who’s to say a little TLC wouldn’t be appreciated around the workplace?  Here at Method we’re treated to snacks on Fridays the head of HR picks up for us around lunch hour - and it’s amazing how far some bagels or a pizza will go on the last day of the week.  

    Same goes for making our goals: when our team reaches a major milestone, we often celebrate with cake.  Obviously you’ll want to choose rewards that suit your team (and not everybody likes cake) but acknowledgment of a job well done can make a world of difference to team morale.

    3. Talk it Out

    Of course, all the cake and baked goods in the world won’t make a lick of difference if you’re running your company from atop an ivory tower.  Just like it’s vital for a leader to visibly lead by example, it’s equally important for that leader to be approachable.  Of course, depending on your line of work you might not have time to take a hands-on role in every element of the day-to-day running of your business.  

    But you’d be surprised how far words of encouragement or constructive suggestions from a team lead can take a team member. Individual attention makes members of your team feel like they are valued, that someone notices what they’re doing right, and pays enough attention to help them improve daily.  It’s a great motivator that takes almost no effort, making it one of the most powerful tools in your leadership arsenal.

    That’s it for me - what are some tactics you use around your office to help motivate your team?  Share them in the comments or tweet them to us @MethodCRM.  In the meantime I’ll be dreaming of tomorrow’s snacks.


    Documentation Specialist