How to price office cleaning contracts

Written by kristin urbauer
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How to price office cleaning contracts
Office cleaning proves lucrative if you price your work correctly. (empty offices image by A74.FR Ben Fontaine from

Many people have come to see the advantages of operating a commercial cleaning business. Working for yourself, higher income and flexibility are just a few of the benefits. Properly estimating and bidding on prospective contracts is often the most difficult part of this job. A low bid results in an unacceptable wage and suggests to potential clients that you are inexperienced. A high bid brings fewer accounts, slowing the growth of your business. Estimate time and cleaning requirements accurately to give yourself a reasonable income while providing the client with a reasonable bid.

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  1. 1

    Know your market. The average price for office cleaning contracts varies considerably between locations, though 8 to 10 cents per square foot is usually a good price range in which to start. Prices may reach as low as 5 cents per square foot or as high as 20 cents per square foot in some locations and depending on the cleaning tasks, frequency and building to be cleaned. Understand the price range you should be working in by contacting other office cleaning companies. Get experienced and helpful information by calling those companies just outside your area of competition. Company owners not competing with you directly will likely be very willing to discuss different bidding and pricing methods with you.

  2. 2

    See the building in person and meet with the manager or owner to discuss their cleaning needs. Make note of the number and types of rooms, along with the square footage of each. Take detailed notes from the person accompanying you regarding special requests, cleaning frequency desired in different areas and other pertinent information such as times the building is available for cleaning.

  3. 3

    Review the information and numbers you've been given. Provide a bid based on the building's square footage. This is the most commonly used estimation method in commercial cleaning. Plan for at least 1 hour of cleaning time per worker for 1,000 square feet. The more frequent the cleaning, the less time it takes, so give a slightly lower price per square feet for frequent cleaning. You should also give discounts for big buildings with a larger total profit.

  4. 4

    Take other factors into account that will affect the time requirements of the job. Many offices look for regular maintenance cleaning on a daily or regular basis in addition to less frequent jobs such as stripping or waxing floors. Ensure your bid reflects a fair price by including such tasks in your estimate.

  5. 5

    Provide a detailed estimate or bid sheet to the prospective client. This sheet should describe the cleaning tasks to be performed, their frequency and the price for each. Special requirements or notes on the job should be included as well. Do not succumb to the temptation to provide the lowest bid as this will often not be the bid the company chooses. Instead, sell the company on the worth of your bid and your company by providing a professional image, prompt attention and stellar references.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose software designed to compute a cleaning bid price if you feel completely overwhelmed by this process. Locate several options with a quick Internet search for "office cleaning bid software".

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