Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as legal, financial or tax advice. Please always consult a knowledgeable professional advisor.
You’ve done the hard part of learning how to start a cleaning business, but now you need to know how to get cleaning contracts so that you can guarantee work, stabilise your revenue flow, and run your cleaning business overall. But getting a cleaning contract can be a lengthy and involved process (that doesn’t always pay out).
That doesn’t mean you should shy away from bidding for a commercial cleaning contract, though. Instead, you should look to create more opportunities for contracts.
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How to get cleaning contracts
You can’t expect customers to just come to you and request a cleaning contract. You need to be proactive and make sure you’re promoting your services, providing competitive quotes, and taking advantage of your network.
Here are a few ways to get cleaning contracts:
1. Create a website.
Companies looking for cleaning services often turn to the internet to research, making an online presence crucial for your cleaning business. Some prospective clients may forgo the research and bidding process entirely and offer a cleaning contract if they come across an impressive cleaning business website they feel they can trust.
Your cleaning services website should provide general business information, the services you offer, and price ranges for your work. You can also include testimonials and customer reviews to highlight your work.
To get the most out of your website and increase the chance of getting a cleaning contract, you should invest in online marketing strategies that drive traffic to your website such as referral programs. This increases your website’s visibility and allows more customers to find your business online.
2. Partner with local organisations.
A great way to build your reputation and secure cleaning contracts is to pair up with local organisations. Think about other companies that have a similar target market but aren’t in your immediate industry. Real estate companies, for example, may know homeowners interested in house cleaning services, and office supply wholesalers may have established relationships with businesses in your area. These partnerships could help you eventually secure office cleaning contracts and other more lucrative business in place of smaller ad hoc businesses that can make it harder for you to project earnings.
Reach out to local businesses to form professional relationships and brainstorm ways to create an effective partnership. Whether you’re simply sharing leads or running a marketing campaign together, having local partnerships is a great way to reach new customers and be incredibly efficient with your marketing budget.
3. Provide exceptional service throughout the bidding process.
While your pricing or the length of a contract may cause you to lose some cleaning contracts, your customer service during bidding should never be a reason you miss out on business. This is incredibly important to understand when learning how to get cleaning contracts.
In the initial stages of bidding on cleaning services, communication and details are key. Do a walk-through of the premises with your prospective client and discuss the work to be done. Prepare a detailed quote so that your prospect fully understands what they would be paying for.
Be certain to call or send an email and thank them for the opportunity. Once you have provided a quote or put in a bid for a cleaning contract, be sure to follow up. It’s important that you check all the professional courtesies when trying to land a contract. If a prospective client decides to go with a different company, find out why. An insight like this can help you improve your cleaning business and get other cleaning contracts in the future.
4. Establish a referral program.
Satisfied customers can be a gold mine for new cleaning contracts, so ask your best clients to refer their friends and family. Many cleaning companies incentivise clients with discounts in exchange for referrals, but a referral program can be formatted any number of ways (whatever best fits your business model). Prospects that have been referred are not only more likely to trust your services, they also have better customer retention according to a recent study. Referral programs are often an effective part of a brilliant marketing scheme. One study on customer referral programs done by Harvard Business Review showed that, on average, referred customers were 18 per cent more likely than others to stay with the business and they generated roughly 16 per cent more profits for the business.
Once you’ve gotten a verbal agreement from a client, it’s time to put it in writing. If you’re looking for a quick way to create a cleaning contract, there are several free documents, forms and contracts available from sites like LawDepot that you can easily customise to fit your cleaning service business needs.