How to get commercial cleaning contracts: 5 tips to secure new clients

If you manage a cleaning company, it’s essential to discover how to secure commercial cleaning contracts and grow your customer base. The industry is highly competitive, and customers tend to switch swiftly if their expectations aren’t met. However, by showcasing professionalism in your small cleaning business, you can better attract and keep clients.

Licensing and insurance requirements for a commercial cleaning business

Starting a commercial cleaning venture is relatively straightforward, especially when compared to businesses requiring extensive equipment or commercial facilities. However, to take on cleaning projects, you’ll need to address certain legal and insurance requirements.

Obtain Your Business License

To secure office cleaning contracts or other types of agreements, it’s crucial to have a valid business license that permits your cleaning service to operate legally. Each state has distinct business licensing prerequisites, but generally, you’ll need a vendor’s license and a “doing business as” (DBA) license. Consult your state’s department of revenue or taxation authority, and don’t forget to verify with your local city or county licensing board.

  • Operating without a proper license can result in substantial fines or even legal consequences. Displaying your license to potential clients demonstrates your professionalism and commitment to compliance.

Carry Sufficient Insurance

Every business carries certain risks. In the case of a commercial cleaning company, potential issues could range from customer slip-and-fall accidents to property damage during cleaning. Having the right cleaning business insurance provides clients with the assurance that your company is financially responsible and dependable.

    • Consider obtaining liability insurance, which can include:
      • General liability insurance, covering common accidents such as property damage and injuries to non-employees.
      • Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, offering financial protection in case a client disputes your work quality or claims you made a costly mistake.

Understanding Commercial Cleaning Contracts

A commercial cleaning contract is an agreement between your cleaning business and the client, specifying the services to be provided. Typically, it covers the following elements:

  • Contact Information: Identifies the parties involved and their contact details.
  • Scope of Services: Outlines work schedules and cleaning responsibilities.
  • Employment Information: Specifies the contract’s duration, renewal terms, and termination conditions.
  • Payment Details: Clarifies payment terms, due dates, accepted payment methods, and more.

Additionally, the contract should address logistical details, such as the handling of supplies. For example, it should specify whether the customer will supply trash bin liners or if your company will provide them. It should also mention the contact person for restocking cleaning products provided on-site by the customer.

Pros and Cons of Cleaning Service Contracts

While commercial cleaning contracts can offer several advantages, it’s essential to be aware of their benefits and challenges before entering into such agreements.

Benefits of Commercial Cleaning Contracts:

  • Steady, reliable income flow.
  • Opportunities to upsell additional services to existing clients.
  • Act as references and marketing tools to attract new clients.

Challenges of Commercial Cleaning Contracts:

  • High competition for the same customer base.
  • Some customers may be reluctant to commit to long-term service contracts without prior experience with your services.

Understanding and addressing these aspects is essential for a successful and legally compliant commercial cleaning business.

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5 Strategies for Securing More Commercial Cleaning Contracts

If you’re looking to establish your cleaning business and attract clients, these tips can guide you toward success:

1. Identify Your Ideal Clients

Various establishments like small businesses, offices, factories, schools, hospitals, and more require cleaning services, each with specific needs. Some may necessitate specialized products or adherence to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Tailor your services to address these unique needs. Position yourself as an “expert” in their specific requirements, setting your business apart from competitors.

2. Study Your Competition

To effectively compete for commercial contracts, it’s crucial to understand your competitors and their offerings. National franchises such as Jani-King, Servicemaster, and Molly Maid possess significant resources and staff.

To stand out, you must convince potential clients that your products and services surpass the competition. Highlight your industry expertise, eco-friendly products, exceptional customer service, and any distinctive qualities that make your business exceptional.

3. Establish a Strong Online Presence

Consider your own online behavior when making purchases or reservations; chances are, you research and read reviews. Prospective clients do the same when searching for cleaning services.

Develop a digital presence to ensure that your business can be found online. Here are some online marketing strategies to consider:

  • Create a website to showcase your services to your target audience.
  • Share positive customer testimonials on your website and social media platforms to build social proof.
  • Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on sites like Yelp.
  • Maintain a blog, FAQ page, or social media content to address common questions.

4. Network Widely

Building a network and raising your profile in your community are key to winning commercial contracts. Potential clients may be all around you, but they might not be aware of your services.

Depending on your niche, you can start by reaching out to business owners, facilities supervisors, or office managers. Even if they don’t currently require cleaning services, they may know someone who does.

Collaborating with local businesses can also expand your network. For example, real estate offices often have connections with commercial spaces, and apartment complexes can provide valuable referrals.

When meeting potential clients, take thorough notes and ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand their expectations. This information will be invaluable when creating your contract bids.

5. Join a Professional Trade Association

Membership in a national trade association demonstrates your professionalism and enhances client trust. Associations like the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association (ISSA) and International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association (IJCSA) connect cleaning businesses with industry professionals and potential job opportunities.

Associations also offer valuable insights from fellow industry players, helping you stay informed about industry developments. Some associations provide discounts on business supplies and services, as well as training and certification opportunities for your business and employees.

How Liberty Mutual and Bassett Insurance Group Supports Your Commercial Cleaning Business Growth

We simplify the process of managing your cleaning business insurance, ensuring you have the right coverage. Here’s how we make it easy:

  • Request a quote and customize your insurance package in under 15 minutes.
  • Access your certificate of insurance 24/7, making it convenient for presenting to potential clients.
  • If you require assistance, our U.S.-based, licensed insurance professionals are ready to help.

To get started with a free quote from Liberty Mutual, contact us today.