The best cleaning times standards are the ones you developed yourself. Utilizing computer software with builtin time standards or simply purchasing a book is a great start but should not be the end. We all need to feel assured that we are competitive, reasonable and on target with our pricing. The reality is that using time standards incorrectly can cost a lot of opportunities simply because the low bidder may have used the “SWAG” (Silly Wild * Guess) method based on indefensible and down right dumb assumptions. 


Many people will take the total Square Footage of an area/building and divide it by 2,000 or 3,000 or 4,000 SF/Hour to arrive at their daily labor rate. They then multiply that number by the total days per year of service ( 22 daily hours x 260 = 5,720 annual direct labor hours). They multiply this number by their Burdened Labor Rate (wages + benefits + ?) to determine their labor costs. They then determine the cost for a lead or supervisor (working or nonworking?) and then calculated their costs for supplies, equipment and finally add a percentage for profit. They submit the number and when the prospect challenges the amount, they cave and go to a lower number without adjusting the services required.


Unfortunately this process may not pass the test of time as to income and costs. Once the Building Service Contractor has acquired the account, they too often realize they have more month than money and either start cutting services or terminate the contract on very short notice. 


This is the time for you to show up with valid, supportable numbers that will probably be higher than the outgoing service. Your professionalism and value will be more evident now than before so sell, sell, sell. 


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