How to Get Commercial Cleaning Contracts
In the cleaning industry, commercial contracts can end up being quite lucrative, as typically the work is steady and businesses are willing to pay good money for a thorough, professional job. When you enter the corporate world as a cleaning enterprise, business is usually conducted by way of contracts, which are legally binding agreements between parties, so it’s good to educate yourself so you know how to negotiate win-win agreements. In addition, in order to attract clients, you will need to establish yourself in the market and start to build a strong reputation for yourself and your brand. Here’s a closer look at how to set up a commercial cleaning business and how to negotiate and land commercial cleaning contracts.
Setting Up a Commercial Cleaning Business
Whether you are just starting out or are looking to expand your residential cleaning business into the commercial realm, there are certain things you can do to break into your local market. As with any business launch, there are several main goals that need to be accomplished: setting up your infrastructure so you can handle commercial contracts as they come in, defining your brand and establishing yourself in your local market, and doing your research to ensure that the cleaning contract is fair for both parties and lucrative for your business. The last bit is particularly important, as it will form the framework from which you negotiate contracts with potential clients.
What Should Be Included in a Commercial Contract?
It’s important to remember that commercial cleaning contracts are legally binding. This means that your business will be legally responsible or liable should you fail to meet the responsibilities outlined in the contract. Therefore, it’s important to give some consideration to each contract you sign to make sure that you will be able to meet all terms outlined. Here are some important elements that should be included in any commercial cleaning contract:
- The names of both parties should be clearly written on the contract, as well as addresses and other pertinent contact information.
- The date of agreement needs to be listed, as well as the term of contract (specifically down to the date, month, and year).
- Rules of termination should be set out: for instance, the nullifying party needs to give written notice or the contract can be terminated within 10 days of signing it.
- Details of cleaning responsibilities need to be listed. This should include everything from frequency of cleanings, amount of time spent cleaning, and specific cleaning services that will be rendered.
- It needs to be clarified who is supplying the cleaning equipment for the performance of said services.
- Procedures should be outlined concerning what will be done if any damage or breakage occurs, as well as what the steps will be should there be any late or nonpayment on the part of the client.
It’s always recommended that you review any legal business document with a lawyer. He or she will help ensure that all necessary components are included and that the contract fully protects you and your business.
Tips for Reaching Customers
There are several strategies that you can use to reach out to potential commercial clients and start to drum up business. If you offer a quality product, then eventually word of mouth will accomplish this for you, but in the beginning you will need to work to let people know that you exist and what you offer. Here are some great beginning tactics for securing commercial cleaning contracts.
- Cold Calling: Identify those companies you might be interested in working for and check them out online. Try to identify who might be in charge of cleaning services (usually it’s someone in upper management or in logistical/facilities maintenance) and reach out to them via phone or email. Try to set up an appointment with them to discuss your services, where you can give them an estimate or bid in writing. Even if they currently have a cleaning service, if the price is right they may keep you in mind when that contract comes to an end.
- Networking: If you can afford it, advertising is always the way to go for new businesses, preferably in the local paper or other local business publications. Another great networking strategy is to join your local service organization or Chamber of Commerce. And don’t forget about digital channels. Start to build an email list for direct marketing, and in the meantime set up a social media page through which you can reach out to community and start to get your business known.
- Run New Customer Promotions: Nothing brings in clientele like a good deal. Offering a discount for new clients is a great way to “seal the deal,” so to speak. You can also use promotions to build up your social media followings: for instance, offering a discount or coupon for every person who “likes” your Facebook page.
Once you begin to work for your new commercial clients, never forget the importance of quality in this business. If you consistently deliver professional grade cleaning, you will soon have more commercial cleaning contracts than you know what to do with.