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Cleaning bid for commercial building on sq. ft.
Asked Jul 14, 2007, 02:48 PM
Hello, hope someone can be of some assistance. I am bidding on a commercial office building that has roughly 18,000 sq. ft. with a few offices vacant. The cleaning will be a regular janitorial service 5 days a week with paper products provided. The building manager said they usually get a discount for vacant space. What should be the correct price for an Illinois suburb.
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Jul 16, 2007, 10:45 AM
Originally Posted by Tcleaning
I am an owner/partner of a commercial cleaning company in the Chicago suburbs. To me the first factor is; are you bidding to a property management company? If so, usually these bids are very competitive; generally from $.055 to $.095 per square foot with consumable products provised by the prospective client. If you have suites that are empty then you need to offer a "vacancy rate"; a quoted price based upon a square foot price. Figure the total "empty" space and then calculate the total "deduction" from the total monthly price. (Most property management companies operate on an annual price per square foot; example, $.06 per square foot x 12 months= $.72 per annum) Once you have this vacancy rate (monthly) present it in your proposal as "Vacancy Rate; $.whatever. Then when this space is rented you have established what the increase will be to clean this area on a regular basis (monthly).
18,000 sq ft x $.06= $1,080.00 / month 18,000 sq ft x $.075= $1,350.00; examples
Bidding based only upon square footage is not the best, most productive method. Square footage gives you a close idea of what the pricing should be. However, you need to check you total costs; supplies, labor, taxes, overhead, etc to see what dollars you will drop to the bottom line.
Always remember; do not be affraid to ask as many questions from the client as possible; why are you changing cleaning companies, how many washrooms, how many regular client employees (Tells you the approximate number of trashcans, usage of the washrooms and lunchrooms, coffee stations, etc.), what are you paying presently (may not always get an answer but if you do you gain valuable info-some will tell you.)
If you are bidding to an owner of the building or a single tennant who is responsible for the cleaning you may not have to be as competitive. The only way you can tell how competitive you need to be is to ask direct questions-don't shy away from this. tell your prospect that you ask a lot of questions because you want to do a great job for them and the more info the better you understand. You are bidding because this prospect has a problem and if you ask questions you will uncover his "needs and hot spots" this will allow you to concentrate on these areas and avoid your competitor's problems. https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/images/icons/icon14.gif
Good luck, keep me posted,
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Jul 18, 2007, 12:41 AM
Good, informative answer above!
I would keep in mind that rates in the Chicago area are going to be somewhat higher than other places in Illinois. So, you might be able to charge less for your services in order to beat the competition.
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Dec 15, 2008, 02:54 PM
My name is Tom and I’ve just come across this site today. The original post was the originating site for one of the visitors to our website, it sounded interesting and I followed the link back and reached this article. The first response reflected some of my opinions from one of my site’s pages named “The novice mistake” about pricing a bid and I thought I might reinforce those suggestions here. I hope you accept my agreement with the writing as complimentary.
I believe one needs to thoroughly digest the scope of work necessary at a potential account and then project prices and expenses both hourly and by sq. footage before determining a bid price.
The greatest expense is almost always going to be payroll. Even if you’re paying yourself, it’s still the biggest expense. It’s important to take the time to “walk” the facility and digest the time it will take to maintain an acceptable level of service, consistently. A consistent level of service almost always guarantees on time payments and the renewal of a contract.
I promise you, the company awarded the bid for almost every contract (except for the “lowest bidder is gonna get it” type contracts) has been chosen during the initial meeting or “walk through” phase. We just don’t hear “congratulations” until the official bid opening date. This original conversation is where the prospect decides if you can maintain his facility in an uneventful, professional manner, and believe me… that is his goal. When you ask the questions your competitors didn’t ask, your prospect learns not only how much you know, but also how much you care.
The original response to the request suggesting asking as many questions as possible and I absolutely agree.
Try asking these questions and watch your prospect’s reaction to your true concern:
- Ask about keys and alarm codes.
- Ask about restricted access in any specific areas.
- If the facility is to be serviced after hours, ask about locked office doors and
Suggest the occupants leave their trash cans outside their locked doors nightly.
Maybe you can coordinate a quick daytime servicing one or two days during the
Week to quickly address their specific restricted areas in their presence.
- Ask about after hours client points of contact (their management) and
Emergency phone numbers.
- Ask the best way to communicate with their company about service issues
(daytime phone calls or visits. Possibly a communication form posted in the
Janitor’s closet, as your visit may interrupt their daily activities).
- Ask about previous cleaning issues (learn their hot buttons).
- Ask the number of employees and then their number of visitors.
- Ask if the traffic flow is heaviest on any particular day.
- For retail stores or malls ask about their traffic count.
- For Healthcare facilities ask about weekly or monthly patient count and about
Your involvement with their bio-hazard waste (or red-bags) and their sharps
- If you are to include disposable supplies (soaps, towels and tissue) ask the
Percentage of men to women. Try not to include disposable supplies in your
Price. It’s always a subject for argument during the term of the
Contract and if they have a thief on their payroll you may be supplying their
- Try to determine specific places with your prospect in the facilities' bathrooms,
Break rooms, kitchens and/or closets where you can leave an extra roll of towel
Or tissue for their easy access in between servicings.
- Ask about past recurring issues and what remedies didn’t work for those
Your goal is to have the prospect understand you are willing to take this responsibility off his shoulders and make him look very good consistently.
The most important question you should ask at this meeting should be asked at the end of the conversation and is: “Our business is always growing and I imagine I’ll be talking with other facility managers down the road. Would it be alright …. if AFTER you experience our service… I use this facility as a reference?”
Often a potential client is shopping for the lowest bidder and to be competitive we would have to bid extremely low. You may learn that the competitive price means that you will either lose money on the project or have to provide a poor level of service for that competitive price. It’s better to pass on a bid, than walk the long hard road of losing or quitting an account. Not choosing to pass on an account that’s been priced to low is the most common novice mistake in the industry!
When one is in the business for awhile, he/she will notice the very large companies seem to rotate from one account to the next annually. That’s because the industry standard numbers don’t always turn a profit and the level of service fades after about 90 days. Often you will find the industry standard numbers reflect minimum wage labor pricing, leaving little room for you to turn a profit. Mention that to your prospect in your initial meeting, while your asking all those questions. Then explain how the cheapest guy really IS the cheapest for a reason and it becomes evident in about 90 days.
Remember…. Having 5 solid, uneventful accounts that turn a substantial profit is much easier than having 25 low dollar, “cheapest guy gets the bid” accounts. Low dollar accounts are easy to get, but will keep your phone ringing with problems because there’s just not enough money in the contract to service them correctly.
I hope I didn’t copy/paste too much text. I just copied what seemed appropriate to the thread. This seems like a nice site and I imagine I’ll return here often. Thank you for dealing with my rambling :). Best regards,
Thomas Anthony - Facility Support
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Jan 19, 2010, 06:25 PM
I have been asked to bid on a final cleaning for a 90k sq ft commercial building and since the commercial end is new to me I am flying blind. The building will be completely empty. It houses offices and bathrooms. For post construction clean up on residential homes and condos I usually get about $.16 per sq ft and I include the windows, inside only. I am in Eastern North Carolina. I have 4 employees that will travel with me to do this job. The job is about 2.45 minutes away from our office.
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Jan 19, 2010, 07:47 PM
You need to go to the Home Page (click above) and start your own thread. This will drawl a lot more attention to your question and I would be happy to then respond. It is not desirable to 'piggyback' on someone else's thread. :)
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Jan 19, 2010, 10:36 PM
Yes, this thread is pretty much only going to attract those who've already posted on it because of being notified that there is current activity on it.
It's a very old thread of someone else, that is now archived, where the original poster has never returned.
This place doesn't work the same way that a chat room does. Questions that aren't in some way an answer to the very first question at the top of the page need to be asked by starting a new thread. Please do start a new thread.
This thread is now CLOSED.
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