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Bidding on cleaning contracts is especially challenging during a pandemic. Here are 10 things you can do to make the bidding process safer and more successful.

Back in the days before coronavirus, bidding on cleaning contracts generally meant you’d gather your information, meet your client and walk through their facility, then put together your best bid. Things have changed a little since those days. Your work in building services or commercial cleaning is vastly different. And your bids need to reflect that.

At a minimum, you and your team spend more time cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, and you’re using more cleaning products as a result. You may be working with smaller teams to keep people distanced, and you’re most likely going through more PPE than you were before.

The act of bidding on cleaning contracts is also different. Clients may or may not be comfortable conducting a walk through with you. They might not understand the difference between less expensive cleaning products and those on the EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In other words, when someone calls you for an estimate, the entire process could look very different than it did early on in your janitorial career.


Janitorial software can help you to create and manage your COVID-19 cleaning plan. Check out a demo of Janitorial Manager today to see how we can help keep your clients safe.


bidding on cleaning contracts

How the pandemic changed the rules for bidding on cleaning contracts (and how you can still win the game)

Let’s start behind the scenes, because the key in successfully bidding on cleaning contracts is always your organization. This is true whether or not there is a pandemic. Staying organized is always an asset to your business.

1. Use janitorial software. Obviously, we’re partial to this, and especially biased toward Janitorial Manager. That said, janitorial software can help you keep your business organized. You can keep up with billing and invoices, your schedule, cleaning checklists, client information, and so much more. And it’s all organized in one easy access space.

2. Hire carefully. Part of winning and keeping contracts is choosing the right team to do the work. You want people who will show up when and where they need to, who will wear masks and follow COVID-19 protocols, and will also represent your company in a way that makes your customers feel like they’ve made the right choice in hiring you.

3. Onboard new employees. Yes, it takes time to bring new employees into your business this way. But an extra day or two of training can go a long way in keeping your team stable and doing exceptional work.

4. Conduct ongoing training. COVID-19 changed the way all of us work. Even in the months following the virus outbreak, we learned more almost every day about how it could be transmitted, how to clean and disinfect for it, and how to protect ourselves and those around us. But it’s not just COVID-19 that we learn more about. In the janitorial industry, we can always learn more about customer service, new carpet cleaning techniques, how to maintain and repair equipment, how to work with eco-friendly products, and so on. The more you can develop your team, the more your business will grow.

5. Update your basic cleaning checklist. COVID-19 has forever changed the way we approach cleaning and disinfecting. No matter where you’re bidding on cleaning contracts, there are sections of your cleaning checklist that will need to be standardized. It’s probably safe to expect that items like doorknobs, light switches, keypads, and so many other surfaces will require more frequent cleaning from here on out.

These might all be mostly hidden from your clients, but you can certainly use them for marketing your business. Point out how often your team gets additional training, or the extensive onboarding process everyone goes through. These are all selling points whether we’re dealing with a pandemic or not.

As for customer-facing tips that will help you find success when you’re bidding on cleaning contracts…

6. Offer virtual walkthroughs. This might not be an ideal situation, but it can be a good option for customers who are nervous about meeting in person any more than necessary. Thanks to video conferencing software and options like Facetime, it is possible for them to “walk” you through their facility.

7. Offer online paperwork. This is a winning move all the way around. You don’t have piles of paper to file, it will save you money on printing costs, and you can offer a touch-free contract. And in case you’re wondering, yes, these are legally binding.

8. Be specific. COVID-19 isn’t the only pathogen around. We still have the common cold and seasonal flu. Your clients and potential clients want to know that you’ll keep them safe. Get into the details about what you’re cleaning, how often you’ll clean different items, and the products and equipment you use. Explain why, as well. Sharing this information helps demonstrate your thoroughness and reasoning, and it helps your customer understand what you do. In short, it explains the value of your janitorial services.

9. Outline your COVID-19 protocols. In addition to the procedures you follow in cleaning, it’s also helpful to note your personnel practices in relation to COVID-19. Again, be specific. Does your team get weekly tests? Share that fact in your bid. Do you offer paid sick time? Believe it or not, your customers want to know these things.

10. Share testimonials. Testimonials from satisfied clients are always helpful. As it relates to contagious diseases, however, if you contract with any healthcare facilities, this can look especially good when you’re bidding on cleaning contracts. After all, if your work is good enough for a doctor or dentist, that means it’s probably good for any other business.

We may not be doing exactly the same job we did in the past, but when it comes to bidding, you already have the foundation upon which to build.


Easily stay in touch with employees and clients, bid on jobs, manage inventory, perform inspections, and more with Janitorial Manager. Check out a free demo to learn about all the great features!