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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Question

How much should I charge for cleaning a 20,000 sq. ft. office building that has 2-3 stall restrooms, 2-unisex restrooms, some offices (4-6 total), not sure how many cubicles. We would just be vacuuming, mopping, and getting trash in these areas, maybe 1-2 days a week. Iím not sure how much to bid it at or what my proposal should contain. If you can help me figure this out it would be great; this is our first time doing this big of a job. We usually clean houses, so weíre a little lost on how to approach this or what to charge.


Answer

We donít know how much you should charge because we donít know enough about the project. And it is safe to say that you donít either!
How many offices and/or cubicles? How many days a week? No dusting at all? Are you just picking up trash and doing floor work, or are the restrooms fixtures to be cleaned and product restocked?
There are too many unknowns here. You must learn the expected service schedule because two days are twice the cost of one day for labor alone.
Go to the building and actually measure the cleanable space. This is the wall to wall measurement of each room, hallway or office, not just the overall building footprint. Separate the areas by flooring, tile and carpet, because they are cleaned differently.
Figure your cleaning production rates for each space. Total trash pickup and disposal time; total vacuuming time; total mopping time; total whatever time. Add it all up and calculate the labor cost at so much per man-hour (or woman hour).
Now, figure in your overhead and desired profit and you will have a workable figure to propose to the manager.
This is a bit different from house cleaning, but it all hinges on production time. How long do you need to do what is expected? What do you need to charge to do it?
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor
lekrafft@juno.com