A reader asks: "Thanks for the tips on bidding on large buildings but I am just getting started. Any ideas of how I can grow my part time business to full time?"

I realize the prior articles did not deal directly with your question on bidding but it is important you have the right motives, goals and foundation if you are to succeed in an ever competitive market that has a lot of small "Mom and Pop" companies that usually last until some agency nails them for failing to abide by the myriad rules and regulations imposed on them.

The other extreme are the mega-cleaning businesses that can literally buy out their competition or starve them out by underpricing for an extended period of time to secure a market share in a given area. Of course, in the middle there are regional and local companies that have carved a niche in their area with aspirations of growing into other areas or at least being dominant in their home turf.

The next key question to ask is "What contacts do you have that could open the door for your cleaning services?" This is an important question in that you need to develop a list of "low hanging fruit" that could jump start your business and give you at least a modest reference list to share with prospects.

My suggestion is that you be willing to assume their current contract (same terms, price and conditions) for a limited period of time (30-90 days) so that you can have time to evaluate the real costs related to the account. The other option is to determine your real costs including labor, supplies (expendable and consumable), equipment (including vehicle), licenses, insurance (liability and workers comp to start) and your desired profit margin.

We will continue with bidding in a future article. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

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.