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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Question

I am new to the world of commercial cleaning. My business partner and I are bidding a job for a company near us. They have about 3,000 sq. ft. and need vacuuming, dusting, windows and bathrooms cleaned, mopping, and a kitchen area cleaned 3 times a week. I estimated that the job would take the two of us about 2 hrs. a day. I am trying to figure out how to bid the job. (This is the formula I used. I am not sure if this is too high or if I am doing it correctly.) These are my figures per week: Labor and Materials: $168.00 ($12.00 per hr. per cleaner and 5% for supplies) Overhead: (35%) $58.80 (The book said overhead should be between 20-50%) Net Profit: (20%) $45.36 (The book said net profit should be between 10-28%) Total would be: $267.96 a week This makes the average cost $.09 per sq. ft. per week. Am I doing this correctly? (I used the formulas from How to Start a Cleaning Service - Entrepreneur.com


Answer

Your figures are in the ballpark, but may need some tweaking. First off, it is difficult to give exact answers without knowing your experience level, training, general speed, and a host of challenges on the worksite. I like to classify the challenges as Cleaning Variables that are unique to each building. With that in mind, here are a few observations.
Your cleaning time of two people for two hours would put you at a cleaning production rate of 750 sq. ft. per hour. That rate is usually reserved for even smaller accounts that are almost uncleanable, and only cleaned once or twice a month.
We expect to see a much higher production rate for buildings over 2,500 sq. ft., cleaned 3 times a week. Even if you were down to 1,500 sq. ft. per hour, that job would only take one person 2 hours. Your hourly rate is ok, depending upon your location. The overhead is quite high, especially if you don't have an office. The markup is low for a small, 3 times a week account, but overall the two will average each other out.
So, your price of $89 a time could be too high for two hours of work - depending again on the cost of living in your local area. If you cut the labor by say, 40%, that could bring your bid into the competitive winnerís ring (we hope).

Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com