This is the fourth part of a six-part article on how BSCs can break into the education market.

A dynamite proposal is worthless, though, if the school won’t even entertain the idea of hiring a contract cleaner.

The trick for BSCs is to get a foot in the door.

Public schools have traditionally been the domain of in-house facility cleaners. There are some geographic locations where seemingly no public schools are looking to hire outside help.

“We keep hoping to see a shift in that trend, and we keep hearing hints that they might,” says Jim Sutton with Better Business Cleaning in Erie, Colorado. “But nothing’s happened yet.”

Other parts of the country, however, are seeing change by attrition, says Senecal. As in-house cleaners leave or retire, some schools will fill those vacancies temporarily. Then once enough of the in-house staff members have moved on, a school district will reassign the last remaining workers to another school and hire a BSC to fill the void.

“They’re not converting the whole system at once,” he says.

When a public school decides to bring in outside cleaning help, BSCs must be ready to stand out. One way to accomplish that is to get involved in the community, says Lazorik. He is a member of his local Chamber of Commerce, as is the local school district’s superintendent.

Terry Woodley, chief operating officer of Woodley Building Maintenance in Kansas City, Missouri, says he has even heard of BSCs paying for small scholarships for students or sponsoring concessions at athletic events — anything to get their company’s name in front of administrators and school board members.

Rubbing elbows with the right facility managers can also help lead to referrals, says O’Mahony.

“Facility people all know each other,” he says.

But not every school has the same group of administrators involved in the hiring. In bigger schools, a chief financial officer may be involved in the process, whereas in smaller schools the person involved in hiring may be a facility manager who was a former janitor and was promoted, says O’Mahony. A BSC’s approach should vary depending on the circumstance.

Another way to stand out is by working with a municipality’s economic development liaison, whose job is to facilitate relationships with locally owned small businesses, says Senecal.

Relevant cleaning experience also helps. Bryco Services’ experience cleaning in the healthcare field — especially with the focus on infection control and cleaning for health — helped the company land its first school account, says Lazorik.

Woodley says his company broke into the education market by partnering with a large national firm that was already working with the local school district.

“We were able to parlay that level of experience into other opportunities,” he says.

If that doesn’t work, seeking out charter school and private school contracts is another way to break into the education market.

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Emphasize Student Health And Safety In School Cleaning
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Start Cleaning Charter And Private Schools