Why Price Per Sq. Ft. Won’t Fly in Bidding Office Cleaning Jobs!


Yeah, maybe if all cleaning companies were the same, it might work.

Yeah, maybe if all customers wanted the same thing, it might work.

But they’re not… not by a long shot! Here’s the rub.

See, broad, one-size fits all approaches to bidding, like price per square foot, might work, if all cleaning companies were all the same size, cleaned the same, had the same costs, and expected the same profit.

But they don’t

The really big janitorial building service contractors or BSCs may come close…

Yeah, really large cleaning companies, some of whom may have 500 or more employees – may come close.

At that level, the ‘players’ may begin to look similar; similar management structure, similar approaches to cleaning, similar quality control methods, and maybe most importantly – similar expense ratios and profit requirements.

So, at that level of play, per square foot based pricing may work adequately.

The reality is

that most cleaning companies don’t look like that – at least we didn’t or the ones we talk to.

No, most cleaning companies vary greatly in:

– how they clean, i.e. one person, area or team cleaning

– how large they are, i. e.from one person to a hundred or more.

– what kind of cleaning they offer, i.e. from straight commercial office cleaning to residential maid service – to any number of other types such as carpet cleaning or industrial cleaning.

– what their overhead is or their profit requirements are.

And those differences… make a difference!

That’s right, for most cleaning companies; figuring out what price to charge for office cleaning projects should start with figuring out one thing – the TIME.

What time?

The time it will take, on average, to clean the building.

The reason I say, on average, is we all know, things come up that may take a little longer to do than usual some nights, or may save a little time on others.

But, that’s not the point.

The point is…when you start with a good estimate, or average, of how long a building will take to perform the office cleaning.. you’ve got a lot!

And when you start with THAT, you’re miles ahead of the guy who is just throwing out a price figured by either just dividing the total sq. ft. by some general production rate, or by simply multiplying it by some, just as general, price per sq. ft. figure.

Over-simplified measures get over-simplified answers.

And over-simplified answers in a business, like cleaning, can pretty quickly turn around to bite you, in the form of under-priced jobs which can lead to low profit months.

To avoid this, we recommend you: “Workload Each Building Where You’re Bidding on Office Cleaning!”

That’s right, workload each building!

What does that mean – to workload a building?

Workloading starts with entering specific information about the building your bidding on, such as floor measurements (i.e. room dimensions), floor types (i.e. carpet, tile) and fixture counts (sinks, toilets), to be combined with, or workloaded through, a series of duty schedules made up of specific cleaning tasks and associated production rates to calculate estimated hours for the office cleaning job.

Yes, there’s a lot to it.

Fortunately, there’s help available to make it easy…more about that later.

For now, it’s important to realize how critical it is to start with calculating an office cleaning time for the building, and then set the price, not the other way around!

Ok, let’s cut to the chase.

Sure. As you might expect, “We love using CleanBid”, and, think it’s terrific for doing everything you need from calculating times for office cleaning and getting monthly prices to getting a professional looking proposal.

But, you don’t have to use it. I mean it – you don’t.

If you have another way of work-loading buildings efficiently when you bid… great!

No hard feelings... really!

The important thing is that one way or the other, you do workload them!

That’s right, you’ll be way ahead of the game, if you make this one change…

What’s that?

-Get away from guessing cleaning times and monthly prices, and

-Get away from just making your price close to whatever the prospect says they’re paying now. (hint; that’s not the way to do it and, I know it’s a shock, but they may not always be telling you the whole truth)

Instead, do what the winners do… workload them!

That’s right, workload every building you’re bidding the office cleaning on so you start with a calculated cleaning time on your way to figuring out what price to charge!

Over the years, a great deal of our success can be credited to this one idea:

“You don’t throw out a price – and then figure out how long it will take to clean… but rather, you go into each office cleaning job with a price based on an estimated cleaning time.”

It makes sense… and makes cents!

You Can Do This, You Really Can,


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