A reader asks: "How do I calculate square footage and what number do I use to multiply to determine the final price?"

Good question and hopefully this brief answer will get you started in the right direction. Deminig, Walker and others state that you "can't manage what you don't measure." I concur with that sentiment. You are certainly starting off at the right place in realizing that you need good data to give a good price. Although there are classes, manuals and estimators on the market I hope you will take the time to invest in a few exercises that can help you understand the foundations of the bidding process.

The formula for figuring square footage is Length x Width. Example: A room that is 20 feet long and 30 feet wide = 600 square feet. Once you have measured each area with notes as to what type surface is on the floor, you can add them up for the total square footage that is in the building or area. I always recommend you measure ALL space and designate what it is used for so that you have a complete picture of the area to be cleaned. Whether you are bidding on a 1,000 square foot office space or a 1,000,000 square foot office complex you need to know certain things;

1. What is the total square footage and composition of the opportunity?How many square feet are carpeted?

2. How many square feet of hard floor?

3. What is the composition/type of hard floor? Example: VCT (vinyl composite tile, terrazzo, marble, granite, slate, wood, rubber, etc.)

4. What square footage is non cleanable? Example: elevator shafts, storage rooms, HVAC rooms, electrical rooms, empty space, etc.)

In another article we will discuss the elusive magic number that has become the Holy Grail of custodial bidding.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.