Mastering Office Cleaning: Generating Leads and Winning Commercial Cleaning Bids

by | Jun 23, 2023 | Commercial Facility Cleaning, Office Cleaning

After the pandemic, companies and employers realized the importance of keeping their workforce safe. Offices can promote employee safety by maintaining clean spaces that lower the chances of disease. Furthermore, clean office spaces improve employee morale and customer experiences.

Because every commercial building needs routine cleaning to remain in good condition, starting an office cleaning company can be extremely profitable. If you’re set on starting one of these enterprises, you might not know where to begin. Researching the best practices for beginning an office cleaning business, generating leads, and winning contracts will help you hit the ground running.

Why Should You Start a Commercial Cleaning Business?

There are many benefits of the commercial cleaning industry. From longevity to favorable profits, starting one of these companies could be the perfect step for your career.

Companies need commercial cleaning services, regardless of economic conditions and world events. While many industries suffered during the pandemic, commercial cleaning companies became doubly important as offices required higher sanitization standards.

Getting into the business is also relatively easy. Although many industries require special licensing or certifications, there are no such requirements in commercial cleaning. As a result, the barrier to entry is low in this industry.

Finally, with so many potential clients and minimal overhead costs, turning a profit may not take you very long. Furthermore, the profit margin in this business tends to be fairly high.

Steps to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business

Now that you’ve decided to start a general office cleaning business, it’s time to establish your company. Nevertheless, you might feel overwhelmed or question where to begin. These 13 steps simplify the process and outline exactly how you get your commercial cleaning company going.

1. Create a Detailed Business Plan

When you’re starting your business, you’ll most likely need a loan. Banks need evidence that your new business will be successful so they know you’ll be able to pay off the loan. One of the best ways to install confidence in lenders is by bringing a detailed business plan.

Even if you aren’t seeking a loan, creating a business plan should be your first step. Taking the time to think through your operation and outlining what you need to think about will help you start much more successfully.

The elements of a business plan include:

  • Cover page
  • Table of contents
  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Available services and pricing
  • Market analytics
  • Marketing strategy
  • Competitor analysis
  • Employee hiring and maintenance strategy
  • Profit predictions

2. Consider Franchising

While starting your own venture has its advantages, you may consider franchising when first starting out. Franchising is opening a branch of an existing company but operating as its local owner to receive many of the same advantages of having your own business. This strategy can simplify your marketing and increase your chances of success since you are likely franchising a well-known business.

It’s also important to understand the drawbacks of franchising. By operating under an existing company, you will still report to their corporate branch and will need to follow certain operational standards. As a result, there are certain limitations on your freedoms as a business owner.

3. Build Your Skill Set Through Experience

One of the best ways to gain clients and contracts early on is by proving your company’s value with relevant experience. If you are considering starting a commercial cleaning company, it might be helpful to work at an existing business first.

By operating under a successful company, you’ll learn the practical skills of commercial cleaning while also getting an eye on operations. Many community colleges also offer vocational training programs for these kinds of industries that could help build your skill set.

4. Choose a Legal Structure

Your company’s legal structure impacts everything from taxes to liability in a lawsuit. As a result, selecting the right legal structure for your commercial cleaning company is not a minor decision and requires some consideration. The three primary legal business structures in the US include:

  • Sole proprietorship: These are businesses owned fully by a single entity. However, sole proprietorships also place all the risk, liability, and assets on a single owner.
  • Partnership: Partnerships are a good option for people going into business with two or more owners.
  • Limited liability corporation: An LLC might be good if you want to lessen your own liability and risk. The government considers LLCs their own entity, meaning people can sue it and tax it like an individual.

5. Name and Brand Your Business

The name, logo, and overall brand of your business will become the staples that attract new customers. As a result, picking a memorable name and logo is crucial.

You should also consider designing a website to allow customers to easily request services. Hiring a graphic and website designer might be a good option if these tasks are not within your skill set.

6. Register Your Business

Now that you have a business name and overall brand, it’s time to register your company with state and local institutions. Registering your business protects your unique brand while also providing critical information to the government for tax purposes. Also, register your company’s website domain to protect your unique URL.

To register your business, you will likely need your social security number and EIN, which is a tax identification code. If you’re unsure of the requirements, you can easily Google your city and state’s registration information.

7. Open Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Opening company bank accounts and credit cards legitimize your operation. First, it’s important to separate your business’s income, expenses, and cash flow from your personal accounts. That way, you won’t make the mistake of confusing profits with money for your personal expenses.

Company credit cards not only give you a way to pay for start-up costs but also allow you to build your business’s credibility. Generating a high credit score over time can help you secure future loans in times of need.

8. Decide Which Commercial Cleaning Services to Offer

The services you offer are the core of your commercial cleaning business. Deciding what services to offer upfront will impact your startup costs and labor needs. Popular commercial cleaning services include the following:

  • General office cleaning
  • Floor care
  • Trash removal
  • Restroom stocking and cleaning
  • Lobby cleaning
  • Parking lot sweeping
  • Window washing

9. Decide How Much to Charge for Commercial Cleaning

Along with deciding your services, you’ll need to consider how much to charge. There are various methods that commercial cleaning companies use to calculate service costs. The most popular ways to price cleaning services include:

  • Square foot pricing: In this model, you determine prices based on the size of spaces you are cleaning. The average rate in the US is $0.07 to $0.12 per square foot.
  • Hourly rates: You might choose an hourly rate for jobs that will take longer or could have variable timelines. Most companies can charge $25 to $100 per worker per hour to cover labor and overhead costs while still profiting.
  • Flat rate pricing: Routine tasks that take a very predictable amount of time might work best with flat rate pricing. Depending on the service, you could charge $300 or more.
  • Room rate: When cleaning large buildings, you might consider charging by the room. This works best when there are many small rooms involved in a job.

10. Obtain Necessary Cleaning Insurance

While there are no licenses or certifications required for a professional cleaner, cleaning insurance protects your assets. Accidents can happen, and having insurance can protect you in case any accidents occur in your clients’ spaces. Obtain cleaning insurance before your first job.

11. Purchase Cleaning Supplies and Equipment

Now that you have your company name, brand, services, pricing, and insurance intact, it’s time to start getting the necessary equipment and supplies to be able to complete office cleans. You will likely spend anywhere between $750 to $1,500 on your initial supplies and equipment, so account for this in your upstart costs.

Some cleaning supplies you might consider purchasing include:

  • Supply carts
  • Mops
  • Buckets
  • Brooms
  • Industrial vacuums
  • Spray bottles
  • Disinfectant
  • Clothes
  • Garbage bags
  • Bathroom supplies
  • Air fresheners
  • Furniture cleaners
  • Fabric cleaners
  • Specialty equipment as needed

12. Hire Your Initial Workforce

Before beginning a job, you will need more than a few cleaners. Setting up your operation will require at least a moderate-sized workforce to ensure your jobs run smoothly and efficiently.

In addition to cleaners, you might consider hiring a general manager, sales manager, and supervisor, depending on your initial workforce size. As your company grows, you will add new levels of command to keep your operation going.

13. Start Marketing and Generating Leads

Everything is in place for your business, except the most important part: customers. Now that you have a successful framework, it’s time to market your business, generate leads, and win contracts.

Steps to Generating Strong Commercial Cleaning Leads and Winning Contract

New commercial cleaning companies usually struggle to get their first few clients because they lack experience and evidence of success. However, with a few simple strategies, you can increase your chances of winning big contracts when your company first opens.

1. Strong Branding and Marketing

Working hard on your branding and marketing can start paying off as soon as you begin operating. With a recognizable, memorable name and strong marketing strategy, you can quickly get potential customers interested in choosing your company for commercial cleaning.

Generating strong marketing might include an eye-catching website, online ads, or a strong social media presence. Take advantage of the many ways modern technology allows you to market yourself.

2. Ascertain Customer Expectations Upfront

After you get some potential clients interested, it’s essential to schedule an in-person consultation that allows you to assess their space and project your services. During these consultations, ask the customer as many questions about their current services as possible. Understanding and documenting their expectations for office cleaning demonstrates your attention to detail and that you value their experience.

3. Learn About Customer Needs and Previous Experiences

As you learn about what a customer is looking for, also ask about their needs and past experiences. New customers are likely moving from a different company to your enterprise. As a result, finding out what was positive or negative about their previous experiences can offer you crucial information.

4. Generate an Initial Estimate Per Square Foot

Based on a customer’s expectations and needs, you’ll likely be able to generate an initial cost estimate per square foot or by using another method. Delivering an accurate estimate upfront helps build trust with your customers.

5. Evaluate Your Cost and Labor Needs

After making initial estimates, you’ll likely need to review your labor needs, overhead, and other costs. Considering these factors can help you arrive at the final figure that could secure you the contract.

6. Provide a Final and Accurate Estimate

Armed with all the necessary information, provide your new client with a final estimate for their cleaning service. Hopefully, this figure remains close to your initial estimate, as a drastically different figure could lose you a contract.

Profitability of Commercial Cleaning Businesses

Anyone considering establishing a commercial cleaning business likely wants to know what the upside will be in the investment. Cleaning businesses have high chances of profitability.

With only ten weekly clients at $0.10 per square foot, you could earn up to $3,000 a week. That translates to over $150k throughout the year, giving you a high probability of walking away with generous profits.

Revitalize Your Workspace with Top-Quality Office Cleaning Services

Whether you’re looking to start a commercial cleaning business or have a corporate space that needs professional cleaning services, our experts can help. As one of the best commercial cleaning companies in the industry, Executive Cleaning Services offers top-notch office cleaning services while treating both customers and employees like family. Our corporate cleaners value hard work, community, and positivity, expertly cleaning every building with a smile.