Even if you already know how to write a cleaning proposal, remember there’s more to consider than just services and money.

If you’re bidding on a job, other companies are, too. A lot of bids have one big mistake that gets ignored too often, though: the idea that adjusting prices against the competition is how to write a cleaning proposal that stands out. There’s more to it, and in fact, you may end up selling yourself short if the only place you get creative in a proposal is with the cost.

Proposals aren’t just about who can offer the most bang for the buyer’s buck. They’re about your business—who you are, your values, your mission, your customer service, and your quality. Yes, you have to give some attention to costs, but the best companies know how to write a cleaning proposal that wins by focusing on their company’s value. This naturally results in a better experience for both the business and the client, because the customers who align with your values are the almost always the best fit.


If you want to stand out, use software that stands out. Schedule a free demo to see what sets Janitorial Manager apart.


how to write a cleaning proposal

How to write a cleaning proposal: 5 ideas that will make yours a winner

1. Demonstrate the difference

Forget about the money for a second. What separates you from your competition? Do you use all green cleaning products? Do you use technology like Janitorial Manager to enhance the work that you do? Do you offer services that other local cleaning businesses don’t? These are just some of the questions to ask yourself when thinking about how to write a cleaning proposal that will get some attention.

Demonstrating what differentiates you from another company gives the buyer more to think about than just dollars and cents. That’s not to say you should attack other companies—in fact, you probably shouldn’t—but give potential clients something else to focus on besides the money. Most commercial cleaning companies know how to clean, or they wouldn’t be in business. Use a proposal to outline your process, and you may find clients who accept your bids simply because of that.

2. Consider what you say

When you’re thinking about how to write a cleaning proposal, don’t use generic terms like “best” or “least expensive” even if they might be true. Again, demonstrate your difference. Have you won awards? Do you have an above-average client retention rate? Every cleaning business worth its weight will say that it’s the best one around. (Would you hire a company that identified as just mediocre?) Use your proposal to show what makes you the best.

Leave out other generalities as well, such as saying you have a “team of certified professionals.” A customer expects you to have a team and they probably hope that they’re professional. Instead, list the team members and their specific credentials. This makes the proposal more customized and also more familiar, which is going to make a potential buyer feel much more comfortable giving you their money.

3. Include testimonials

Your best referrers are your current customers. Ask them if they’d be willing to submit a review that you can then use in a cleaning proposal to wow a new prospect. Testimonials won’t necessarily seal the deal, but they’re practically a must in this age of communication and technology where people can learn all sorts of things about you from others.

4. Focus on client needs

Make sure your cleaning proposal addresses what the client needs. Don’t merely give them a list of your services. Tailor your proposal to specifically meet the needs of the particular client. If you have additional services you think might be a good upsell, include them, but mention why.

5. Know the why

Speaking of which, people love to know the “why “of things. Your business is no different. In fact, your whole proposal should be rooted in the “why” of what you do. What drives you to operate a cleaning business in the first place? Why does your business use green cleaning products? Why do you use software like Janitorial Manager to help run your company? You have to know the why of what you do if you want people to be interested.

Think of this in contrast to the “what.” If you just list what you do or even how you do it, you’re not telling a buyer something they can connect with. Talk about how family values are essential to your business, or how you see the cleaning work you do as helping the bottom line of the prospective customer. Explain that you have a passion for the environment, and that’s why you use green products. Most cleaning companies will be able to offer many of the services you do. Remember that it’s why you’re cleaning in the first place that matters more to a prospect.


 Get ahead of the competition with Janitorial Manager, janitorial management software made by people with years of experience in the commercial cleaning industry. Schedule a free demo to learn more!


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