Cleaning bid for commercial building on sq. ft.

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.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).

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.

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.

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.

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.