Once a BSC gets a clear picture of productivity rates, they should try to determine the potential client’s budget for cleaning services.

“If the client cannot afford what they want then the BSC is wasting their time,” says McLemore. “It’s like me walking into a Ferrari dealership. I can take it for a test drive and I would love to have the car, but I don’t have the means to buy it.”

Weeding out prospects that do not have the necessary budget and declining pipedream jobs will free up time and resources for BSCs to pursue stronger business prospects that fit their enterprise.

Diamond says BSCs should examine the relationship between wage rate and productivity when outlining a bid proposal. There can be a cost of being more efficient. In many cases, he believes the worker making $15 an hour is probably going to do a better job than the one making $11.

As mentioned earlier, the total labor burden, including taxes and insurance, needs to be factored into the bid price. Consumable supplies (based on the building’s density) that will be used by the client, such as toilet tissue, paper towels and hand soap, as well as supplies that staff will use to clean the space, should also be factored into the bid.

The quantity consumed by people working in the building is typically determined by industry standards, but the cost is based on the purchasing power of the BSC. Other direct costs, including items such as uniforms and parking should also be considered when creating a bid.

Showing costs specific to the job — fees for thorough background checks of workers cleaning a financial firm, or special training for cleaning a healthcare facility, for example — can give the prospect a point of reference when comparing bids.

Another suggestion for BSCs is to include references closely reflecting the prospective client. This displays expertise, especially in fields like healthcare, finance and education. If the BSC does not have experience, they should be prepared to explain how they plan to fulfill their commitment, McLemore says.

BSCs must also closely follow the prospect’s bid proposal requirements on what to include, such as detailing costs and descriptions of the work. The proposal should be organized by tabbed sections, so it is easy to refer to and understand.

If a bid fails to win business, experts suggest BSCs ask where the proposal came up short so they can understand where improvements are needed.

“I’ve learned that if I don’t win a customer this time around, it doesn’t mean I won’t win them next time,” says Diamond.

Brendan O’Brien is a freelance writer based in Greenfield, Wisconsin.

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