Measure to Grow Your Cleaning Business

You already know how important I think it is to workload every office-cleaning job you bid on.

Getting a calculated cleaning time by gathering the actual dimensions, or at the very least, the cleanable sq. ft. of the building is a must.

How else will you be able to determine a number of hours per visit to base your monthly price on - one that’s competitive AND gives your cleaners enough time to clean – properly?

That alone is reason enough for going through a building to record the measurements.

But, the good news is – you get even more ‘bang for your buck’ for the time you spend measuring.

That’s right, here’s the other added value and it’s BIG.

To explain, let me tell you what happened to me one day on a building walk-through.

And the thing I’ll tell you right now, is it’s not at all unusual – in fact, I heard it all the time.

While I was jotting down measurements, the prospect who was conducting the building tour asked me WHAT I was writing down.

I explained I was gathering information about their building such as measurements – by type of area, (office, conference room etc.) along with recording floor types and number of fixtures (toilets, sinks etc.) in order to workload their building – and calculate how long it would take to clean as agreed in the specifications.

I added that it was the only way I could set a fair and competitive price for their specific building.

Well, she was very impressed, commenting that no cleaning company she had ever given a tour to of the building to before – had ever measured or counted anything!

In fact, she said, ‘They just kind of walked along with her and then left the building without hardly making any notes at all.’

Lesson: You stand out like a real pro when you take the time to record measurements and related building information during your walk through.

In an industry too often labeled with stereotypes of being unprofessional – as well as being lumped together with comments like ‘They’re all the same!’…

measuring a building is a GOLDEN opportunity to break out of the stereotype!

It highlights your attention to detail. It will be obvious.

They’ll quickly know you’re not simply guessing, ‘throwing a dart at a board’ but are instead actually calculating a budgeted cleaning time.

Plus, your prospects will generally project this positive opinion of your approach to bidding style – into an overall positive opinion of your cleaning company.

And that’s a good thing!

Discover the Guru in YOU,

5 Responses to “Measure to Grow Your Cleaning Business”

  1. mark says:

    We usually determine the amount of time that it will take to properly clean a building. taking notes as we go through the walk through. Then we use a dollar amount times the amount of hours we feel it will take. Is this a good way to work out a quote? If not what would you recommend. Thank you!

  2. DLiebrecht says:

    Hi Mark, thanks for your note! Yes, we believe when setting the price for an office cleaning jobs, commercial cleaning business owners should start with calculating a time (hours) for cleaning the building each day. From there, expense and profit can be factored in along the way to figuring out what price to charge. We use a software program to help in the process. Wishing you much success in your cleaning business, CleanGuru LLC

  3. Scott says:

    I fully agree with Dan’s message, every job should be measured and customers should accept no exceptions to not hire without measurements. The problem is too many cleaning companies nationwide don’t have any know how to bid on cleaning jobs, they just walk the route with the customer and figure a price by guessing and then the service becomes trash & dash service; as they have to profit because they bid too low as they wanted the job and so does hiring the questionable immigrant workers on low wages.

    My view is, every state should enact legislation to mandate janitorial licenses, that would be for example professional if companies want to call themselves professional they abide by the professional license rules in their state if a law was enacted and passed into law. Measurements to reflect time on the each estimate referring to each job, so there is no guessing on pricing jobs to the consumer. Second, is the consumer has to allow any professional cleaning company to see the jobs and give them enough time to see the facilities than people only wanting pricing over the phone. That too is a problem, people want 5 to 15 bids on one job and cleaning companies see nothing or they are given a short time to view the job. States should mandate those particular clauses to save the cleaning industry from bad cleaning companies such as places to find them is on Craigslist.

    This is my 30th year my family bought a janitorial business, back then I never needed to bid on cleaning by measuring, every phone call was a job and hardly anybody was bidding but as immigration became more and more of an issue, so did the making of millions of new cleaning companies came with it.

    So I recommend anybody in any State to talk to your local legislator in discussing a janitorial licensing bill in your state. If everybody would follow the rule of measuring cleaning jobs and not guess jobs, it would weed out the bad cleaning companies.

  4. Charlie says:


    Do you REALLY want to be hassled by your State Government? I’m 32 years into my business, and the less I have to deal with my State Govt. the better. And do you REALLY want one more fee to pay the State?

    Trust me, I understand the challenges of competing against companies that pay “under the table”. It is making competing harder and harder. But I use the “all my employees are actually employees, and no one works under the table”, as a selling point. It brings up to them a point they may not have even thought of. While often prospects will ask if we are insured and bonded, I confirm this, and also let them know, “and we pay all the worker’s comp, Match the fica/meidicare, and unemployment. All the things that make me poor.” This usually gets a good chuckle because they understand.

    But let’s keep the State out of our businesses as much as we can!

  5. Carolyn says:

    I totally agree Charlie. I love the last part All things that make me poor. That is really true after paying all those expenses you are poor.

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