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Janitorial Bidding - How to Bid and Price Cleaning Jobs
"Our experience with this business has been excellent. We were lucky to have been able to get a $700 contract where one of our neighbors works almost immediately after we got our company started. We told them what you recommended, that our company was brand new and we wanted to develop some very happy customers that we will be able to use as references down the road, and they gave us the contract. Neither I or my wife have ever had any experience running a business, but that has not seemed to matter because you have shown us that we just need to be ourselves and do the right thing for people. We started our company in July and now have $2510 a month in business. Thank you so much for putting this together." Evan R., Hamilton, MI*
< You Have the Advantage!
You have the advantage because you can tap into
nearly 40 years of cleaning business bidding experience.
Figuring cleaning bids and prices can be a very tough thing to learn on your own -- but I've been through all that, and you can benefit from it. The Bidding Section in the book is 71 pages.
In the package, I break down a dozen of my own accounts, from 18,000 square feet to my largest account, 216,000 square feet. I describe them in great detail - how many desks, how many restrooms, what types of flooring, people-per-square-foot and square-feet-per-person, how long it takes to do each task, how much we pay for labor, and how much we profit. I give you about a dozen equations you can use by checking your numbers against all kinds of benchmarks. This is an insight into another person's real business, and it just doesn't exist in any other "start a cleaning business" product.
Here's a sample breakdown:
Sample Account #6 – 3-story, Multi-Tenant Class B+ Office Building
39,000 sq.ft. (3 story, 13,000 sq.ft. per floor), 10 suites, all paper-pushers (lawyers, CPA’s, mortgage, and insurance). We charge 9 cents per sq.ft. for $3510 per month. Very clean, in a good part of town.
The tenants are fairly high-end, so they have lots of square feet for each occupant. 100 people in 39,000 sq.ft. = 390 sq.ft. per person. They're not squeezed together in groups of cubicles, which makes it much easier to clean.
Remember that multi-tenant buildings have multiple suites, so they all have their own lobbies, whereas a single-tenant building of the same size would have just one lobby. Multiple lobbies are easy money, fast and easy to clean.
The 120 exterior windows are floor-to-ceiling, so there's extra time involved to dust the sills, especially where people have put their desks right in front of a window. Add 1 minute per sill, once per month = 2 hours.
The top floor has 5 tenants, the second floor has 3 tenants, and the first floor has 2 large tenants. Each floor has 2 restrooms.
Each floor takes 1.5 hours, for a total of 4.5 hours per night.
4.5 hours x 21 nights per month = 94.5 hours per month. Let’s round it off to 100 hours per month, because there's about 6 hours of tile-floor buffing per month.
$3510 divided by 100 hours = $35.10 per hour.
$3510 divided by 100 occupants = $35.10 per person.
100 hours x $12.50 wage and tax expenses = $1250 per month labor cost.
The customer wanted us to furnish restroom supplies as part of our bid - figure $2.00 per person x 100 people = $200 per month for supplies. Add in the fact that these tenants are the type of companies that have a fair amount of walk-in traffic that also uses the restrooms, so I figured an extra $100 per month for supplies. Total supply cost is $300 per month.
$1250 labor + $300 in supplies = $1550 per month in expenses, leaving us with a profit of $1960 per month.
That’s a 58% profit -- and it's common.
I also explain my system of "Contrary Bidding" - and it's the exact opposite of what everyone else uses.
We came up with Contrary Bidding in 2005, when I was going on a bidwalk for a very large building. I wasn't sure I'd be able to absorb it all, so I asked one of my best employees to go with me. He knew most of our buildings and had a good sense of how long things take to clean. I had him count desks and offices and dividers and windows and all the things you want to know when you're putting together a bid, and I looked at the bigger picture -- envisioning a workflow, where the problem areas would be, that sort of thing.
We had to be in different places right after the bidwalk, so we made copies of each other's notes at a 7-11 and left. The next couple of days were busy for both of us, and we were having a tough time getting together to talk about the building -- and then my employee said, "What if we did (this)?" And we tried it, and it worked better than any other way of bidding I had ever used.
We got that account, and since then we've landed virtually all of our largest accounts using Contrary Bidding -- our sign-up rate has gone up to about 50% of the buildings we bid on, compared to 30% before we started using it -- and now you can do it too.
Just so you know, a 50% sign-up rate is almost unheard of -- one of our competitors gets invited to many of the same bidwalks that we're invited to, and a couple of times when he has seen us walk in the door he's said to the other bidders, "Well you guys, we might as well go home".
Contrary Bidding is another Facts-Based sales tool -- in your cover letters that you submit with your bids you can explain the process to your prospects (I give you that text in the System), and it's just another way that you'll set your company apart from your competition. You'll look like the smartest person in the room.
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Note: If you live in Western Washington State, or own a janitorial service in Western Washington State, or if you plan to establish a janitorial business in Western Washington State, or if you are a franchisor or franchisee doing business anywhere in North America, or if you operate or plan to operate a business that sells business products or services such as my company does, no matter where that business may be located, I'm sorry, but this package is not available to you. I tell so much about my own cleaning business in this package that I would be creating my own competition if I let you use this information. The purchase agreement spells this out very clearly, and violating that agreement will result in legal actions.
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