Finding the right commercial cleaning opportunities can be challenging for new business owners. Here’s where to look.
Commercial cleaning opportunities abound. And they may also seem scarce. Anything from your location to your specialties can impact how easy or challenging it is to find potential clients. Even so, when you know where to look, and how to look, you might find there are enough opportunities out there for you to get your foot in the door.
Of course, we can’t ignore some of the obvious difficulties. As a new business, you often don’t have the referrals, reviews, and track record that can help your reputation. It’s the old conundrum where you need experience to get experience.
There are, however, some ways to work around this and build up a list of clients that can support your business as you grow.
Ready to strengthen employee and customer relationships? Let’s start the conversation! Reach out today for more info.
3 Tips to help you win bids
Before we look at different commercial cleaning opportunities, let’s review a few tips to help you win bids.
1. Impress with your bid package. One way to stand out when you offer a bid is to put together a package. Rather than handing over a sheet or two with a line item list of tasks and prices, offer your potential client something that will get their attention. Include a cover letter with a brief history of your business or experience. List any specialties or certifications you or your team have. List your civic associations (for example, any volunteer work or community organization memberships). Include your cancellation policy, payment policy, and satisfaction guarantee. Give your prospect a chance to know you and your new business, so they can feel confident in hiring you.
2. Offer accurate bids. The easiest way to ensure accurate bidding is to use a bidding calculator, such as the one included with Janitorial Manager. This lets you know your expenses and play with variables, such as the type of products you use.
3. Don’t underbid. It’s tempting to try and offer the lowest price just so you can get some clients. And sometimes, you may have to go this route. However, consistently underbidding won’t do anything to help your business grow.
5 Places to find commercial cleaning opportunities for your new janitorial business
Of course, the perfect bid won’t do you much good if you can’t find the right commercial cleaning opportunities. What do we mean by the “right” opportunities? And where can you find them?
The right opportunities are those that give you something, whether that’s revenue, experience, or a path to future work. Beyond that, however, the right opportunities are also those that come from clients who respect you and your team. That means they pay invoices on time, they aren’t going to continually try to talk you down in price, and you and your team feel comfortable going there. So, where are these places? And how can you win these bids if you don’t already have a list of clients?
1. Non-profit organizations. Offering commercial cleaning services to non-profit organizations for a steep discount or on a volunteer basis can be a great way to get your business recognized. This could play out in a few ways, depending on your circumstances. You might do the work on an entirely volunteer basis one day every other week or even once per month. You may opt to come in more often and charge only what it costs you in supplies or payroll hours. Don’t overdo it, and make sure you keep plenty of room in your schedule for paying clients, but some volunteer work can win you a lot of recognition and goodwill.
2. Check out bidding websites. Many city, county, state, and federal agencies will put out regular calls for contractor bids for their facilities. These are often very competitive. However, they can be a steady and secure source of revenue if you win those bids. Read more about government contracts here.
3. New businesses. Keep an eye out for new businesses opening up in your service area. You may be able to connect with them through having the shared experience of starting out. Or maybe you’re the first to offer them a good cleaning contract. Either way, brand new businesses that haven’t yet opened may not even have thought about commercial cleaning yet. This could be a fantastic opportunity to find new clients.
4. Knock on doors. While many office parks and commercial buildings may have in-house or contracted cleaners already, you never know when they might be looking for something different. A few hours each week going to talk with people may surprise you with some unexpected commercial cleaning opportunities.
5. Network. We all know that some of the best opportunities come from word-of-mouth, which is why it behooves you to network. The trick here is to be authentic. Talk to the people you want to work with, or that you have a real relationship with. There’s nothing wrong with networking just for the sake of networking, but if you’re in it just to get as much as you can from someone, it will backfire.
Of course, you can also find opportunities through your social media network and your website. Keep those up-to-date and (in the case of social media) entertaining, and your name recognition will grow. Plus, social media is a relatively free resource, with the exception of the time you put into it.
Plenty of commercial cleaning opportunities are out there. It just takes some looking and patience to find them.
If you’re ready to increase the professionalism of your cleaning operation through better organization, easy access to important data, unparalleled tracking, and more, schedule a call with JM today!