When bidding on janitorial services in a commercial setting, it is necessary to put together a “Bid Packet" to present to your prospective client. Many small businesses seeking cleaning services do not know what to expect when receiving a bid, or their experience has been receiving a single page bid, which is not very impressive. When you present a nicely packaged proposal, you've just increased your chances of winning the bid, regardless of price. This is because you've given the impression that your bid packet is neat and professional, so your performance on the job must be too.
What should you include in your bid packet?
1. Cover page. This page should include your logo and contact information. The heading should read something like, “Cleaning Proposal for XYZ Corporation".
2. Table of Contents. There are many pages in your packet, so having an index of the contents is helpful to the prospect.
3. Information about your business. Be creative here. Tell about your company, but in a way that shows how you are the perfect company to solve your prospects cleaning problems. You might also include what makes your cleaning company unique, and what specialty services your company provides.
4. Cover letter for bid proposal. This will include a brief introductory paragraph and list the key points included in the bid including days and times of service and prices. If you are to provide restroom and other supplies, include that list here too. And be sure to thank them for the opportunity to bid on cleaning their building.
5. Specifications list. If the prospect provided you with a list of specifications, rewrite them in your bid packet. If they did not provide you with a list of specifications, then provide your own standard list. Oftentimes, the prospect doesn't know what needs to be done and the frequency of each task, so using your list is the better choice.
6. Contract. Make the contract page a simple, one or two page document. The longer it is and the more legal jargon you use, the less likely they will be to sign the contract - especially in a smaller-sized account. Be sure to restate the pricing on this page, and include the payment terms, date service begins, length of the contract (if applicable), termination procedures, and a place for both parties to sign the document.
7. References. Include a list of references the prospect can call. Include company name, contact person name, address, and phone number.
Put the Bid Packet into some type of presentation binder, found at an office supply store. One choice might be to use a clear cover, so your cover sheet is what they see when you present them with the bid. When submitting your proposal, be sure to present it in person if possible. Set up an appointment to drop it off. Put it into a manila envelope, addressed to your contact person in case they're not there to accept it in person.
You'll be pleasantly surprised at the positive comments you'll receive when presenting a professionally designed Bid Packet. And you'll be even happier when the contract is awarded to your cleaning company!
Copyright (c) 2006 The Janitorial Store
Steve Hanson is co-founding member of The Janitorial Store (TM), an online community that offers weekly tips, articles, downloads, discussion forums, and more for anyone who would like to learn how to start a cleaning business . Visit The Janitorial Store's blog and get inspired by reading cleaning success stories from owners of cleaning companies.