How I Bid Cleaning Jobs is a question that is often the topic of my coaching, with this one at the top…..

How Do I Bid this Cleaning Jobs?

Because I have been bidding cleaning jobs for over 23 years I have come up with a process that I use. Here is an actual bid I helped someone with:

Hi Pam- I have a question on how to bid, based on this information I was given:

“We have a small, 6600 sq ft office, consisting of a showroom/counter area, twelve offices, a break room, and six restrooms. There are only fifteen of us in the entire facility, and we already keep the place quite clean. Floors are professionally done once a month, we keep the restrooms decent, and in general don’t make much of a mess. However, general dust-accumulation occurs, and the place really needs a nice, thorough wipe-down plus a bit more attention than we provide, at least three times per week – possibly more. Additionally, there are four windows, 24” x 60”, ground level, accessible without ladder inside and out, via showroom floor inside and covered, concrete walk outside”

Any tips or suggestions on how to bid cleaning job like this?

Now before I answer that here’s what you need to understand when you bid cleaning jobs………

The 16 week period between mid January and the 2nd week in May (in other words, RIGHT NOW) is one of two “PRIME” buying seasons for commercial cleaning contracts!

So now is the time to be learning how to bid cleaning jobs.

Purchasing and office managers are ready to buy now. After the 2nd week in May, things will slow down considerably


They won’t pick up again until Early September. So if you’ve been thinking about jumping into or increasing your commercial cleaning accounts. THIS is the time to do it, now is when to perfect those skills so you can bid cleaning jobs that will bring you ideal clients!

Because I get asked this question of how to bid cleaning jobs a lot, I’m gonna share my “philosophy” around the bidding process. Some of you may have heard of Peter Drucker (he was an Austrian born but an essentially American) writer, professor, management consultant and self-described “social ecologist,” Drucker explored the way human beings organize themselves and interact much the way an ecologist would observe and analyze the biological world.

One quote attributed to him that I particularly enjoy is “The purpose of marketing is to make selling unnecessary – to know and understand the customer so well, that the product or service fits him perfectly and sells itself”

That being said, I NEVER quote commercial cleaning service or bid cleaning jobs over the phone, and I never tell prospects my hourly rate when I bid cleaning jobs. There’s nothing wrong with using your hourly rate to calculate what you’ll be charging -but when you quote your rate by the hour, you’ve just reduced your service to a “commodity”. And your commodity/widget can now be compared to other supposedly identical widgets in the market (all assumed to be of equal value). Now you’re in a race to the bottom to see who can provide the widget for the lowest price and that’s not a competition you want to win.

Instead, I’d suggest that you approach this request for quote (RFQ) as an opportunity to find out what is motivating this prospect to reach out to you, then position yourself as an expert advisor, able to help him solve his current problem.

The 1st step is to get a clear understanding of what his PAIN is and determine if it’s a pain you’ll willing to relieve. Why is he taking proposals? Is the staff hesitant to do the detailing he desires; do they lack the time, the skill or both? More importantly, what would he like to see happen going forward? What would it take for him to be able to not think or worry about getting his facility cleaned? What’s his ideal scenario, and what would it cost you to give it to him?So, go out to look at his space. Find out what he wants (as an end result). How clean does he want it?

Also see if you can take over his floor maintenance, so he now has ALL of his facility needs being met by one company; YOURS. Based on what he needs done, figure out how long that will take and give him a price to achieve a certain result. That way he doesn’t need to try to guess how long it will take your workers and you’re not bidding by the hour in a way that can easily be compared to another’s hourly rates.Be sure to point out to him what it is about your company that makes it the best suited to meet his needs. You’ll only know what that is by asking him. Then, tailor your offering so that it provides the solution for whatever his current pain is. For example: If he says that the bathroom doesn’t smell fresh , you can point out that your use of commercial grade products don’t just mask or deodorize, they do a better job of removing smell causing agents.Offer to disinfect “high touch points” (especially attractive during this “end of summer” season) to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria in the common areas; like rest and break rooms. Show him why he needs your solution and how painless it can be for him.If you’re seriously interested in getting into commercial cleaning – and….

Bid Cleaning JobsThen the “sweet spot” is between 10K-100K sq. ft in commercial cleaning. At that point, the increased frequencies, sq. footage, and generally higher budgets, the regularity brings your administrative costs down and your profit margins start to look very nice.
And since NOW is the time that corporate buyers are looking to make changes (just after the New Year – but well before summer) THIS IS THE TIME to make sure you know what to do when you get the email or phone call asking to bid Cleaning Jobs…………………………….