Pricing a contract for a retail facility can be tricky business. There are many variables to keep in mind before putting together your quote, from the merchandise display areas to the restrooms and carpet to the landscaping.
In the retail environment, facility image is all too important, particularly for high-end retailers providing luxury goods and services, like jewelry or cars. From the showroom to the service department and every area in between, a solid cleaning estimate needs to account for all aspects of the property—even the areas that don’t appear to be glamorous.
With this in mind, here are some important tips to consider when creating a scope of work for a car dealership.
Understand the Scope of Work
Be thorough during your walk-through and ask the right questions to ensure you put together an estimate that is fair to both you and the dealership. It’s important to clarify from the start which areas your team will be cleaning. There is more than just the showroom to consider; you may also need to consider the front of the dealership, the service department, the waiting areas, restrooms, and break areas for employees. Each of these areas requires a different type of attention to detail. Consider the service department, for example.
While you will be responsible for taking out the facility’s trash, you will need to clarify if it is normal building trash or trash from the dealership’s mechanics, such as messy oil filters and heavy parts. Depending on the service department and its volume of work, one might easily make 10 to 15 trips in a day to dispose of the garbage.
Additionally, will the contract include cleaning the restrooms and break rooms the mechanics use? If the contract does, this should affect your bid. Due to the nature of the mechanics’ work, those areas are going to take more time to clean and involve a different cleaning strategy than a typical public restroom.
When considering the scope of the job, you will also want to consider the size of the dealership. Size can vary greatly from dealership to dealership—study the space during the walk-through, ask questions about each area, and take copious notes so you can provide an accurate quote.
Frequency of Service
How often a cleaning company services the building is another variable that can vary widely from dealership to dealership. Given that pricing will depend largely on the amount of time you invest in the space, there’s going to be a significant difference in price if the dealer wants cleaning services three days a week versus six, or even seven, days a week.
It is also important to properly set expectations. If a high-volume dealership with lots of foot traffic and a busy service department only wants cleaning services three days a week, the dealership must realize that general cleanliness and appearance of the facility may suffer due to infrequent cleaning.
The importance of using an autoscrubber in dealership service departments cannot be overstated; using a deck brush can be very time-consuming. So, if you’re not using an autoscrubber, you’re going to have to factor the additional labor time for manually brushing the floor into the bid. If you need to purchase an autoscrubber to clean the dealership, you’re going to want to factor that cost into your proposal.
It is recommended to suggest a two- or three-year agreement if you need to make large equipment purchases to service the dealer. A long-term deal justifies the additional spending on your end.
Factor in Weather Conditions
Cleaning an auto dealership in Southwest Florida is going to be a lot different than in Chicago, IL, particularly in the winter. When you’re cleaning a Chicago-based dealership in January, you’re going to face inclement winter weather; you need to be prepared for these additional floor care and exterior maintenance challenges that accompany it. In southern states like Florida, you’re still going to deal with rain and inclement weather; however, you will never have to deal with snowstorms or dirty snow from shoes and car tires, or shoveling the lot (if the dealership is in need of snow removal services).
Often Overlooked Areas
When doing a walk-through with a prospect, it’s imperative that you inspect areas that are prone to oversight. For example, in child-friendly waiting areas, you may find the furniture sticky from little fingers and crumbs under the chairs and toys, not to mention other nasty elements like snot and earwax (sorry for that unpleasant visual, but it is a reality). If not properly cleaned, the germs will latch on to the next unsuspecting child. Make sure to stress the importance of cleaning this area regularly and factor it into your quote.
Additionally, you cannot overlook the coffee area. People tend to snack and drink a lot of coffee while anxiously waiting for financing to clear or service to be completed on their car. You may find spilt coffee and crumbs in this area. Any dealer that wants the entire facility to shine needs to focus on these non-sales areas.
Weekend Food Delivery
Weekends or Mondays may be the most intense days of cleaning. Many dealerships buy greasy food like pizza to keep sales teams happy and fueled during the weekends. This trash is inevitably left for the cleaning crew—another factor to consider when analyzing the job’s scope of service. This job can easily add 30 minutes of extra trash removal each weekend.
Some high-traffic or high-end dealerships may want a day porter service to keep bathrooms clean and showroom floors shiny throughout the day. Be sure to ask your customers if they want this and determine which days and hours you will need to provide a porter.
Ask the Right Questions
While completing your walk-through, remember to ask a lot of questions and pay attention to all the areas of the dealership, not just the show floor. While servicing a car dealership is an opportunity to service a high-end retail facility, there is a lot of elbow grease that goes into the job; make sure to account for it accordingly.