Set client expectations in your janitorial cleaning services proposal so there are no surprises.

Imagine that your cleaning service has finally taken on its first huge client. You’re experiencing a mix of excitement, confidence, and maybe a little anxiety, but you know you’ve got the crew and equipment to get the job done. A few days into the job, however, the client begins to complain about certain areas not being cleaned and other unfinished tasks.

You don’t remember discussing those details during negotiations, but the client insists said details were part of the original package deal. Now the only way to keep the client happy to is to provide additional services at no additional charge. You immediately regret not clarifying your janitorial cleaning services proposal.

Whenever you engage in work for a customer, you want to make sure to set expectations from the beginning and protect yourself and your company from any potential disputes over service. The best way to do that is to put in place a detailed janitorial cleaning services proposal for each of your clients.

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What is a janitorial cleaning services proposal?

A proposal is essentially a contract that outlines who the customer is, what services your company expects to perform for them, how much each service will cost, who is responsible for what, and other details that will aid in avoiding any disputes that might come up during the course of the project.

Sound complicated? In some ways, it is. But a janitorial cleaning services proposal is also essential for ensuring that everyone understands the expectations and responsibilities of the job. Your first one may take a little time to put together, but then you can use that as your template for all future proposals, which makes it well worth the initial investment of time.

What should it include?

There are some things you’ll want to include in your janitorial cleaning services proposal. We’ve provided a helpful list here to get you started:

Information about the company

This section should give a basic overview of your company, the general services you provide, and any credentials you may have that qualify the work you do. A common way to do this is through a brief, one-page cover letter, but you can format it however you like as long as it’s short and to the point.


Here you’ll want to outline exactly what your company is responsible for. While this section shouldn’t be excessively long, you do want to make sure that you’re specific enough to set forth clear expectations for your client. This is also an opportunity to state what you will not be responsible for. In that section, it’s a good idea to use language like “including, but not limited to,” so that you don’t corner yourself with your own proposal.


Outline any tools, machinery, or supplies you expect to use. This is especially important in case a client objects to a particular type of cleaner or instrument being used in their building, or in case the building has restrictions on such items.

Compensation and invoicing

This section is crucial to avoid disputes later on. Specify your rates, whether hourly, daily, or by project, and include any circumstances under which those prices might be subject to change. Make it clear to the client that they are agreeing to said rates and that they will not be negotiable once the proposal is signed. Include an invoicing schedule and any other details of payments that might be useful. The more information you can provide here, the better.

Terms of the proposal 

This simply states how long the contract is active and when it needs to be renewed.

A list of references 

This will provide your clients with peace of mind if nothing else. Just make sure you check with your references first to make sure they’ll say good things about you!

Proof of insurance coverage

This also provides your client with peace of mind in ensuring them that your business is covered in the event of damage.

Service agreement 

This should include the frequency of services rendered and a cancellation policy.

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When do I provide it?

You’ll want to complete a janitorial cleaning services proposal once you and the client have negotiated all the project details. Make sure you both have a signed copy of the proposal before you begin work! Any work your company performs before a signed proposal is in place won’t be subject to the agreed upon terms.

It’s a good practice to offer your clients an opportunity to discuss the proposal before signing. And of course, don’t forget to return to them a fully executed copy. Doing so demonstrates integrity and empathy, which will only make you look better in the client’s eyes.