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Tuesday's Ask the Experts: Startup bidding

January 10, 2012
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Tuesday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: We are just starting our business and we want to visit many grocery stores. Our services are scrubbing, buffing, refinishing once a month, and stripping twice a year. We know the time for each store, but my question is, How much we can charge or bid? We are two guys running this business.

The answer:

The better question is, How much do we need to earn to support two men and any dependents?
If you know, for certain, the time involved in each operation you describe, you know how many jobs you can do each night or weekend, or whenever you can do the work safely without people in your way. You should be using the most productive equipment and procedures possible, because time truly is money in this business. You must price your service per hour high enough to cover your personal labor, your supplies, transportation, insurances, overhead and make a bit of profit, which is ... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor

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