Even before the world was flipped upside down by this pandemic, bidding has always been a difficult process for janitorial company owners.
With a race-to-the-bottom mentality and fierce competition, many companies have been known to bid well under the cost of actually cleaning a space, just to ensure they would win a contract. Then figure out how to make it work financially afterward.
Now that the world has a newfound respect for sanitation, deep-cleaning, and ensuring the right supplies are being used, the process of bidding in the janitorial industry is changing shape. And in many ways, for the better.
Swept CEO Michael Brown had a chance to chat with CEO/Founder of Rozalado Services, Ricky Regalado, about bidding in a post-COVID world. The result was an honest, informative and eye-opening look at where the commercial cleaning business will be when the world opens back up, and beyond.
Michael Brown (MB):
How will COVID change the way cleaning companies bid on contracts?
Ricky Regalado (RR):
A bid is just a number. Ultimately it’s everything around that number, your protocol, your process, the added value you bring, the plethora of services you offer, this is where we’ll see most of the major changes.
There’s a lot that will change, but the number 1 thing that I am seeing across the industry is the scope of work a janitorial company is offering. And clients want to know more details. What kind of protocols are you adhering to, what kind of chemicals are you using, how often are you cleaning (number of touch-points)? There is a high chance once this pandemic ends, you’ll be cleaning things daily and not weekly. All of this is going to affect the cost your company absorbs, which will affect the number that sits on your bid.
Our industry is so relevant right now, but do you think these changes are long term… or will things go back to normal do you see this is the start of a fundamental shift in our industry?
Absolutely, this is a daily talking point right now. There is going to be a strong leaning toward more cleaning, more disinfecting, but at the end of the day, for a lot of people, it is still going to come down to budget. I strongly feel the days of spraying and wiping are over.
However, you are still going to find potential clients who say: I don’t have the budget for this. This is where you need to be clever and find out where you can compromise without sacrificing the essential protocols of a post-COVID world.
Speaking to people I know in the security industry, after 9:11 happened, the way we do security changed, and it may have slowed down a bit in the years since, but mostly that moment changed security forever. And it was better for the world. New standards were set and maintained. This, I feel, is going to do something very similar in our industry as well.
Exactly, this is definitely a turning-point and one that I honestly think there is no going back from. But not in a bad way, this is going to save lives in the long run. And giving people valuable peace of mind when the world re-opens.
What kind of things should people be keeping top-of-mind when bidding now. What are some actionable things they can be doing? Do you provide potential clients with a supply document now? Even though before all this, that is something a client would never have asked for?
There is definitely a lot to be done, and I believe there is an efficient, digital approach. Like any good solution, its best to start with a list:
- Look at the frequency you put in your bid, this is definitely something that is going to change. One to two day a week cleanings shouldn’t even exist anymore. It’s time to push the envelope of “minimums”.
- Identify the HPT (high Touchpoints) and account for daily cleaning.
- Your proposal should be a story. What differentiates your company. You only need to craft these things once or twice. Hire a good graphic designer, and get a lovely google-slide presentation made that can be adapted to each client.
- Add transparency, tell them how much time you’ll spend on what tasks, with what supplies, at what frequency. This will go a long way to building trust.
Honestly, right now I think transparency is the thing that is going to be making a huge difference in the bidding process. We are seeing unprecedented interest in processes, supplies, and procedures. So take advantage of that, anticipate your clients’ desire to know, and come prepared to talk about these things in detail. Heck, prepare to demo some of the chemicals and products you’ll be using and explain the value in using them.
The more your prospect knows, the more they are going to start feeling a sense of trust in you and your ability to fulfill their needs. And this is a big step to getting a leg up on the competition.
The above is just the tip of the iceberg
There’s more…so much more. We discussed this and a lot more in our webinar, so if you want to get in-depth, then feel free to watch the replay, and be sure to take notes. We even learned a thing or two (or 5) from Mr. Rozalado.
And as a final bit of valuable information, Ricky and the fine folks at Rozalado Services, thanks to some hard work on the part of the team at ROUTE, brought a COVID-Janitorial Bidding Guide (in PDF form) for us to offer to anyone who wants it. We can’t even begin to describe how detailed this document is, but if you are concerned about how your janitorial company needs to adapt the way it does bidding once things start to open up again, this document is an invaluable read. Grab it right here:
And if you want some more basic ground rules around bidding in general, please enjoy Swept’s own Guide to Bidding.
We’ve always known cleaners were undervalued heros, and finally, the rest of the world is seeing how important the work they do truly is. We want to continue to enable you and your teams to stay safe and keep our communities safe.
It is a time where it may be difficult to separate fact from fiction, but we all need to be dedicated, diligent, and believe that things will be changing in a positive direction soon.
In reaction to the global issue, the expected levels of sanitation have been raised across the board, and we’re guessing that these levels will stay elevated for years to come. The best move is to adjust to the changes now and to put long-term plans into place to make these practices your “new normal”. Again, we’ll be here throughout this journey to support you. We’ll also be making important changes in order to stay current, adapt easily, and be in a position to help. We have your back!
Swept is dedicated to highlighting stories that keep everyone in the janitorial industry as up to date on world events and in-the-know as possible. 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!
Curious what actions your janitorial company can make toward adapting to this fast-changing market? How to improve your communication and message in times of hardship like this, and finding the right service to provide to meet the pain-points currently in high demand? We’ve got the right place to start your search right here!