Using published time standards is a two edged sword in that the published standards may or may not apply to your situation. Over time you can learn how to adjust published standards so that they are more competitive and give you a better chance at acquiring the opportunity.


Many people utilize a franchise or subcontract custodial work for someone else simply because they are uncomfortable with bidding and estimating. There are many different ways of learning to bid and estimate an opportunity. A determined, teachable person can successfully get enough business to stay in the game. 


If you are new to the trade, I highly recommend you check out some of the associations and trade shows (both locally and nationally) so that you can expose yourself to some of the tools out there that may be of benefit. Learn to crawl at least before attempting a 10 K marathon. Learn from mistakes by making note of every proposal submitted and asking why did I get (or not get) this opportunity? It will be a combination of relationship marketing, trust, integrity (perceived or real), knowing your numbers and being able to support your proposal.


If the prospective customer requires blind proposals that are focused on the bottom line, then focus on cost. If they allow you to justify your proposal due to the additional value brought to the table then make the most of it. Have a great website, links and other supporting tools to validate your company to them. If they are requiring service and standards that they are not willing to pay for, then take the loss and follow up with your company newsletter and offers to solve any other problems they may have.


It is all about experience, which comes from learning which comes from mistakes which comes from trying and failing and trying again. 


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