Chapter 1

    Getting Ready to Bid

    Looking to learn more about how to effectively bid on commercial janitorial contracts? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve been doing our research, using our own in-depth knowledge of the cleaning industry, and asking other industry experts: How should a cleaning company prepare to bid on big contracts? The answers will all be revealed over the next three chapters in our newest blog series: Bidding on Contracts and Closing Deals.

    But First…

    Are you Prepared to Bid?

    By now you’ve learned to set sales targets for your janitorial company and you’re planning on how to achieve them. (Spoiler: By getting more business.) While this is all well and good, the very first thing to consider before you start bidding big, is whether or not you’re prepared to do so. Prepared in what way? Let’s deep dive into eight questions you need to ask yourself before you should start bidding.

    In Chapter One we’ll look at the first three questions:

    1. Is your digital presence good enough?

    2. Do you know your competitors’ pitches?

    3. How are you different from your competitors?

    Let’s dive in…

    Question 1: Is Your Digital Presence Good Enough?

    It’s time for some tough love. Welcome to 2020 — your digital presence needs to be at a certain level if you’re going to stand out against competitors. This means a comprehensive website, social media tools when appropriate, and sometimes other digital tools, too.

    Website

    You need a website. There’s no arguing that. Statistics show that over 63% of mid-sized janitorial companies had websites in 2018 and the remainder had planned on getting websites by the end of last year. But just having one isn’t good enough anymore. Here’s a basic checklist to make sure that your website content and design in 2020 is cutting it.

    Checklist

    • Design feels clean, modern and easy to navigate.

    • Your website is adaptable to mobile devices. (Quick Stat: 52.6% of world-wide online activity took place on mobile devices in the last quarter of 2019.)

    • Your website includes the following information, and it’s easy to find:

    -What type of cleaning you specialize in.

    -What makes your company credible.

    -How potential clients get in touch with you.

    -What geographical area you serve.

    Other Digital Tools

    Depending on who you serve and the clients you’re looking to attract, using social media tools may be right for your cleaning company. For more insight on which social media channels could work for you, please revisit our blog post on just that topic. In addition to social media channels, SEO audits and Google AdWords campaigns can both be valuable tools for finding new clients who are searching your industry keywords on Google while looking for janitorial services.

    Once you’ve tightened up your online presence, you’re one step closer to being ready to bid on those big contracts.

    Tip: If you’re not well-versed on digital tools and website design, there are a number of consultants out there who can help you!

    Question 2: Do you know your competitors’ pitches?

    Your competitors are out there selling, too, and in order to gain a serious competitive advantage, you should know what and how they’re selling to potential clients. We have a few pretty easy steps you can take in order to start getting very familiar with your competition.

    Step One – Google Search

    Here’s where the competitive research begins. Just get online and Google-search your list of top geographical competitors and makes notes on what kind of digital presence they have. What social media tools are they using? What does their website look like? Are they using any tools you haven’t thought about, or even heard of before? Dig a little deeper. Do sponsored ads pop up when you Google search them? This will give you a better idea of what they might be investing in their online presence (and if it looks impressive, it could help you figure out what you might need to invest in yours.)

    Step Two – Identify Weaknesses

    What aren’t they doing well? Can you quickly identify any sticking points? Is anything important missing? Maybe even do a quick S.W.O.T. Analysis [Link to: SWOT Analysis Chapter 1] based on the information you can grab, to identify their weaknesses and threats. This should give you an edge when bidding for new business.

    Step Three – Get Their Pitch

    Try and get actual quotes from your competitors. Perhaps they have an online form you can submit to get more information. Gather everything you can so you know what you’re up against.

    Question 3: How will you differentiate your cleaning company?

    Now that you’ve done competitive research, you can work on positioning yourself against your competitors when you bid for new business. Take a look back at your own S.W.O.T. Analysis and think about the things that make your company stand out. What do you do well? What do your competitors not do well? It’s time to take advantage of those differences and to show clients how you can meet their needs in a way that your competitors cannot.

    Want more information on bidding but can’t wait for Chapter Two (we understand), then check out one of our latest blog posts — Your Bid Vs. Cleaning Variables.

    Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. With two more chapters coming, and no shortage of useful know-how about bidding in the janitorial industry, rest assured we have a lot to say on this particular hot topic!

    Swept is dedicated to highlighting stories that touch everyone in the janitorial industry. Having started as a commercial cleaning company ourselves, our hearts go well beyond the janitorial software we offer. Learn more about Swept’s cleaning company software here. And to keep up on all the trends in the janitorial services industry, subscribe to our blog!

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