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

When competing for a school contract-cleaning job, the importance of a BSC’s written proposal shouldn’t be underestimated, says Senecal.

Especially for public schools, where school administrators may narrow the bids down to just a select few that will be presented to a board of education, a written proposal may be a BSC’s only chance to make its case. It better be well-written.

What’s more, many school board members and administrators for a public school district are wary of contract cleaners.

“You will have enemies,” says Senecal.

Most employee unions in schools don’t support outsourcing, he says. And many staff and school board members may have grown close to the in-house cleaner potentially being replaced.

“You’re going to have people who are not invested in your success and would rather see you fail,” says Senecal. “Because if you fail, then they can make the case to go back to the old way.”

It’s critical that BSCs pre-emptively address in their written proposal any potential objections to their hiring, he says.

As for price, opinions are split. In today’s economy, says Bryan Lazorik, president of Bryco Services in Merrillville, Indiana, price is still a deciding factor for many clients. But if BSCs present a discernible value that goes along with a higher price, clients might not balk.

Senecal, on the other hand, says he never competes on price.

Ultimately, the price issue may come down to transparency, says O’Mahony. If a BSC can help a potential school client understand the BSC’s profit margins and costs — many of which a school administrator has no knowledge — the deal is more likely to be made.

“I’ve had circumstances where I’ve showed my cost sheets to people in schools. ‘Here, this is my cost sheet, this is what I pay, this is what all the overheads and everything are, and this is my profit. Anything less than that, there’s no point in me coming to work for you,’” says O’Mahony.

BSCs tend to agree on the importance of providing their workers a living wage when cleaning for a school. Most schools want to know that a contractor values its employees, says Lazorik. This is especially the case if the BSC’s staff is replacing in-house cleaners who have worked at the school for a long time.

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How Contract Cleaners Can Stand Out In The Education Market
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Emphasize Student Health And Safety In School Cleaning