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Bidding And Estimating / Ask The Experts
Ask The Experts

ICAN/ATEX: How should an industry newcomer bid on their first job?

February 07, 2013
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Many cleaning professionals visit the International Custodial Advisers Network (ICAN) Ask the Experts page for insight and, every business day, we deliver advice to better help you perform your job.

Thursday’s Question:ICANATEX Logo

I am new to the world of commercial cleaning. My business partner and I are bidding a job for a company near us.

They have about 3,000 sq. ft. and need vacuuming, dusting, windows and bathrooms cleaned, mopping, and a kitchen area cleaned 3 times a week.

I estimated that the job would take the two of us about 2 hrs. a day. I am trying to figure out how to bid the job.

(This is the formula I used. I am not sure if this is too high or if I am doing it correctly.)

These are my figures per week: Labor and Materials: $168.00 ($12.00 per hr. per cleaner and 5% for supplies) Overhead: (35%) $58.80 (The book said overhead should be between 20-50%) Net Profit: (20%) $45.36 (The book said net profit should be between 10-28%) Total would be: $267.96 a week.

This makes the average cost $.09 per sq. ft. per week.

Am I doing this correctly? (I used the formulas from How to Start a Cleaning Service -

Thursday’s Answer:

calculatorYour figures are in the ballpark, but may need some tweaking.

First off, it is difficult to give exact answers without knowing your experience level, training, general speed, and a host of challenges on the worksite.

I like to classify the challenges as Cleaning Variables that are unique to each building. With that in mind, here are a few observations.

Your cleaning time of two people for two hours would put you at a cleaning production rate of 750 sq. ft. per hour.

That rate is usually reserved for even smaller accounts that are almost uncleanable, and only cleaned once or … - Gary Clipperton, president of National Pro Clean Corporation

To read this response in its entirety, click here.

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