CAN YOU ESTIMATE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT BREAKING A SWEAT?
December is suddenly here…
You’ve scrambled to get your last tenders in, so now you can breathe a sigh of relief at the impending break. Then you remember that you’re hosting Christmas this year, and the WHOLE family is coming, even Grandpa Glen and eccentric cousin Ben. A sense of impending doom clutches you.
Before the anxiety swells, remember that you’re an estimator! You deal with budgets worth millions every year. You can handle a budget for Christmas Day.
First things first. What are your resources?
- Food – Christmas lunch for more than a dozen people, and you know they’ll expect prawns. Cousin Charli will always bring something but the rest just show up like flies at a picnic.
- Alcohol – you don’t want Uncle Simon getting into your collection of boutique wines, and cousins Ken and Alex drink nothing but Bundy Rum.
- Gifts – despite trying to enforce a Secret Santa every year, Aunties Donna and Leanne always shower everyone with presents; so rather than looking stingy, you’re going to make sure you’re prepared with gifts.
- Decorations – since a game of Throw Throw Burrito between Shane and Joey got out of hand last year, you haven’t replaced your broken tree. At least the James-size hole in the wall has been plastered up, and John’s knee surgery is healing well.
You hit the ignition on Expert Estimation, fire up a new project, twist the throttle and open up essential tabs to get stuck into creating a Xmas estimate.
Resources. Food, Alcohol, Gifts and Decorations quickly become your Group Resources, with sub-group resources for fruit and salad. Google is your friend for ballpark pricing. You can shop around and confirm costs later – there’s even a supplier comparison tool – that could be handy. Note to self: “Maybe I could use the subcontractor comparison tool and outsource the catering this year or next?”) Within fifteen minutes your Resource Explorer is sufficiently populated.
Then you start on your Direct Cost Schedule. It’s pretty easy—you can visualise the size of dishes and a few leftovers won’t kill anyone… hopefully.
The gift budget gives you pause, but then you have a brain wave and it takes seconds to create an amount for each Bunnings and Westfield gift voucher, bringing your original total down significantly.
You won’t bother with overheads (you’re not THAT much of a control freak, and the air-con will be on regardless that day). If the family were staying a week you might calculate extra electricity and hot water but for a day… as cousin Talaya would say, “that’s just silly.”
You’re on the home stretch.
Hit the Project Summary and BOOOOM! Project total is a bit over a grand. That’s food, booze, gifts and decorations (the last of which will be reused next year unless the family get too rowdy… maybe hide the nerf guns from Uncle Chris).
Christmas lunch is all under control.
Wait! You forgot the crackers and cheese!
Have you overlooked anything else?
Double wait!! You have to factor in contingencies – this is your family we are talking about – better up the insurance on the house and contents, and on medical insurance, especially dental, head and limbs… just for 24 hours.
Who said Christmas wasn’t easy to estimate?
Congratulations! You’ve won the tender… whether you like it or not. Now put on your game face, get out there and make it happen!