Bidding for a Cleaning contract

When bidding for a cleaning contract, labour is always the biggest expense. In order to determine your labour expense for a cleaning contract you’ll need to figure out how many hours it will take to get the job done.

In order to determine the number of hours it will take, you’ll need to break the job down into separate tasks. Using a previously prepared  chart would be helpful in order to work it out.  Using a chart is not foolproof, but it will give you an average time per task under normal circumstances. No situation is ever really “normal”, it would be helpful to understand the different circumstances that could affect a “normal” cleaning procedure.

Square Footage

Perhaps the contract you’re bidding on has 2500 square feet of vinyl flooring that needs to be mopped. The standard period for mopping is 5000 square feet per hour, so 2500 square feet of floor should take 1/2 hour to mop. However, you need to ask yourself some questions, is the vinyl flooring all in one large area? Or is it divided into two separate floors, with 4 toilets, a rest room, copy room, computer room, and utility room? Do you think it would still take 1/2 hour when the floors are scattered throughout the building? This may not be a “normal circumstance” so you need to take that into consideration.


Task Frequency

How often are tasks being performed – once a day, once a week, once a month? Keep in mind that by lowering the frequency of a task, you’re not necessarily reducing time and expense for the customer.
Emptying trash 2 days a week instead of 5 days a week doesn’t really save much time and will affect your performance, if your bid requires emptying the rubbish in a busy office twice a week, you may find overflowing rubbish bins, which will slow the workers down.

Number of occupants

If you’re bidding on a small office building with a few employees and very little public traffic, your performance will probably soar. However if that same sized building has lots of employees crammed into numerous cubicles, and they get a lot of public traffic, then performance will go down due to more people occupying the building.



If you give your employees the wrong equipment, or give them equipment that has frequent breakdowns, then your performance will be affected, if your building has wide hallways and open areas, they’ll get more accomplished with a wide upright vacuum instead of a standard Henry vacuum cleaner.


Customer standards

One of the most ambiguous arguments in regards to cleaning performance has to do with customer standards. Is your prospective customer primarily interested in price? Then perhaps the “normal” performance will be accurate. However, if your customer is dissatisfied with the current cleaning contractor because the quality of service is not there, then your performance could be affected because you’ll want to make sure your employees spend enough time on each task. Keep these circumstances in mind when walking through a building and bidding on a new cleaning contract to help you “amend” the numbers the way they should be for this particular bid.