You finished an excellent janitorial cleaning walkthrough with a new prospect and now it’s time to write the proposal. This can be a daunting task for any contractor, even if you’ve completed hundreds of service contracts in the past. No matter how little or how great your experience level is, it is always good to return to the fundamental basics of proposal writing in order to secure the bid with your prospects on a consistent basis.
This article will serve as a resource for commercial janitorial cleaners to help them improve their proposal writing skills. Throughout this piece, we will cover topics such as the do's and don’ts in janitorial proposals, best practices in writing and design, and useful hints. This will help you as a commercial janitorial contractor stand out against the competition to win your next bid. If you’re ready to make your contract service agreements shine, let’s get started.
The Do's And Don’ts Of A Janitorial Cleaning Services Proposal
When writing a janitorial cleaning service proposal, there are some important things to keep in mind that can change both the professionalism and the price in your final bid.
1. Don’t Use The Phrase “As Needed”
When writing, “as needed”, what you are saying is, you, the janitorial contractor, will be servicing a specific part of the facility as many times as it needs to be cleaned with no cap. This means that you could use a huge amount of time and resources cleaning one room that was never factored into your time and labor costs. Always give a definite number of service times per year (or however long your contract extends) within the proposal itself. You may also state how much additional cleaning services will cost, if the prospect feels they may need services that extend the number you’ve quoted.
2. Don’t Focus Too Hard On Your Supplies
This may seem silly but a lot of commercial cleaners get hung up on what they are going to bring with them, the chemicals they use, etc. While that may be interesting to people like us who work in the industry, your prospect is more interested in what makes you stand out and it’s not your supplies. Highlight your efficiency, your excellent past jobs, and your personality in the proposal instead.
This is where using a janitorial bidding software like Route can add to your quote. By importing photos automatically in the Proposal Generator, you can show your prospect your work in real time, show them the before-and-after, or introduce them to your experienced team with the click of a button. Using the features already built into Route’s intuitive design will give you a one-of-a-kind proposal that will make your janitorial cleaning company memorable against the competition.
3. Do Tell Your Prospect Your Mission Statement
It is said that many companies tell you what they do and how they do it, but truly great companies tell you why they’re doing what they do.
A good example of what a why-driven mission statement might look like is;
Cleaning Services exists to provide a beneficial, value-added service to facilities through hard work, commitment to excellence, and the positive treatment of employees and prospects alike.
To write your own mission statement, think about why your commercial cleaning services are important, why they leave a lasting impact, and why your company does the job better than anyone else. It may take some practice to get it into words but once you have it down, you can take your reputation with you anywhere.
4. Do Include Client Reviews And Testimonials In Your Bid
If you’re using Route, you can pull up your past jobs and show what your clients thought about your stellar services. This is by far the easiest way to showcase your talents. Route gives you a polished portfolio of your work that you can carry in the palm of your hand.
Proposal Writing And Design
When you’re ready to write your janitorial service proposal, the first thing to do is to review your walkthrough notes.
Open Route on your phone and go to the Walkthrough Builder™. You’ll find all your walkthroughs saved in an organized fashion for you to pull up. Select the walkthrough you’re writing a proposal for.
Carefully inspect the notes and photos, paying special attention to areas of concern. You want to factor in some cushion to cover any additional costs you might incur as this is common in janitorial services. Remember that you are trying to determine the time it will take you clean the given area based on all the notes you took. This part is just for your own mental refreshment; we will come back to the notes later when writing the contract.
The next step is to write either a cover letter or an introductory statement describing your business. This should be no more than one page in length. In this section, remember to focus on why you do what you do and communicate your commitment to your client’s facility.
A popular way to outline these important topics is to divide your intro letter into sections, such as, “our philosophy”, “our team”, “our clients”, and “our testimonials”.
In each of these sections, do a write up that best describes your business and services. The philosophy can be the mission statement we practiced earlier. This is also an element you won’t have to re-write for every bid; you can save your cover letter and use it over and over again.
If this is a large facility, you may want to include a sheet that briefly explains the full scope of your service contract. For example, a common service package for janitorial contractors is, “consultation, deep cleaning, maintenance”.
The consultation is the walkthrough. Deep cleaning is the most expensive and labor-heavy service and is usually performed once or twice a year. Maintenance cleaning is what most people would think of as “janitorial services”.
Having these terms defined may help your prospect better understand the proposal as well as providing them with insight as to what to expect from your services.
Customizing A Service Plan For Your Client
The next step in writing a cleaning proposal is to create a customized plan for your prospect based on your walkthrough notes. You should already have a good idea of what your services are going to look like if you’ve reviewed your notes in the Walkthrough Builder™.
Now open Route on your phone and select the Proposal Generator tool. This innovative template-based program allows you to import your walkthrough notes and photos automatically and choose from a variety of cleaning services from drop-down menus. You can also add the frequency of service with checkboxes and make a note of what additional services will cost.
Within the proposal generator, you can also add your company’s standard legal verbiage with the click of a button, which will finish your contract for you in moments. You can then send it to your prospect straight from your phone, making the process of getting a contract in a prospect’s hands easier than ever before.
Writing proposals for janitorial cleaning services is a wonderful skill to master and will make your professional abilities soar.
Inexperienced contractors sometimes think that the bulk of the work has been done in the walkthrough but your first impression doesn’t end when the tour ends.
Having the knowhow to craft and expertly worded contract is crucial in landing bigger and better bids in the cleaning service industry.
When writing your janitorial service proposal, remember not to focus too much on your supplies or equipment. Instead, work on establishing a human connection with the prospect and tell them why you do the work you do.
Avoid using open-ended terms like, “as-needed”. This means that there is no cap on how many times you will perform a service which could be a huge mistake in cost and labor. Always give closed timeframes for any service you propose with a set cost for additional service frequencies to avoid underbidding.
When writing a proposal, take some time to reflect on your company’s commitment to excellence and value-added benefits. Write a mission statement that best describes your work ethic. This statement can be used across a variety of communications you share with your clients. It will also help you build and establish a strong brand identity as a janitorial contractor.
Write a cover letter or introductory statement to include with your proposal. This is where you can include your mission statement and any other relevant information about what makes you different from the rest of the competition. This cover letter can be saved and used for multiple bids. You may want to update your cover letter as you get more great reviews from clients.
Consider defining your services by writing a brief description of your service package along with your cover letter. This could be as simple as defining the difference between deep cleaning and maintenance cleaning and how often you typically perform those services for clients.
Finally, when creating a customized janitorial service plan, use the Proposal Generator on the Route app to quickly select dates, times, service frequency, and legal verbiage. This removes a lot of hassle because it functions like a cleaning proposal template. You will have a contract ready to sign in seconds when using the tools available to you on Route.
By utilizing all these tips, your ability to write janitorial service proposals will maximize in real-time. Try for yourself and watch your company grow to a gold-standard in the cleaning services industry.