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

A BSC might be able to wrangle a charter school account through a small college or university it already cleans, since those universities fund many charter schools, says Lazorik. Other charter schools might be startups that don’t already have an established in-house cleaning crew.

In general, BSCs have found charter schools to be more receptive to the idea of outsourcing janitorial services.

“They’re all managed by a management company,” says Lazorik. “And that management company outsources pretty much everything. So they have contract services come in to do the cooking for lunch, and they have contract maintenance people, and they contract the janitorial in the evening out to someone. They’re very much in the routine of contracting things out.”

Private schools can occasionally work the same way. But just as important, private schools often have more money for and more of an emphasis on janitorial services, says O’Mahony. Since private school administrators are often hosting parents of prospective students, trying to convince those parents to send their kids to the school, the school must be spotless.

“Private schools, especially the larger ones, mainly due to the fact that they charge a high tuition, put a lot of emphasis on the appearance of their facility,” says O’Mahony.

Despite a private or charter school’s familiarity with contracting services, O’Mahony says BSCs should be careful not to assume any school clients — public, private or charter — are the same as their non-school clients.

IBS Direct even lost money on its first few school accounts, because it was unprepared to handle the differences in the school market compared to others.

“There’s a huge learning curve with schools,” says O’Mahony. “You can be top notch at cleaning commercial offices, retail stores. [But schools are] a totally different ballgame.”

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Network With Community Leaders, School Administrators
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Meeting School Janitor Expectations