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Monday's Ask the Experts: Bidding & Estimating

August 30, 2010
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Monday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: I would like to submit proposals for beauty salons and spas. How much per sq. foot should I charge in NJ? Should I make cold calls on the phone and make an appointment, or just drive around and do a walk-in? How many bids I should submit per week to get at least one account weekly?
The answer:
As with any proposal, the charge or fee must accurately reflect your cost of doing business and add a profit so you can see a reason for being in business. The square feet charge is simply a breakdown of the overall fee and often is based on how long it takes you to do the actual work. For example, charging a 1200 sqaure feet salon 10 cents a square feet per cleaning means that the $120 generated is divided the time it takes, to give you an hourly rate. In this case, that would be $120 an hour if the job takes an hour, or $240 an hour if the job takes half an hour. Good money, but will they pay that much each time you clean? If you can clean the salon in a half an hour and you charge a minimum of $60 an hour for your time, equipment, and expertise, you have effectively made $120 an hour. However, that $60 fee will likely be far more acceptable to the salon owner and you may stand a chance of actually selling the job.
Make cold calls by walking in and ... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor
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