How to Write a Winning Janitorial Business Proposal

You know your business inside and out, and you know your clients and what they need from you. So writing a business proposal to sell your janitorial or cleaning services doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

There are plenty of resources available to show you how to introduce yourself, highlight your services, present your costs and help your clients understand you are the right person to trust for the job. Using pre-designed templates and samples along with some automation software can help you write your proposal quickly and efficiently.

Writing a business proposal for janitorial services is pretty straightforward (including niche specialties such as maid services, carpet cleaning services, corporate event cleanup, window washers, crime scene cleanup, smoke and water damage cleanup, commercial facility cleaning, special needs cleaning such as restaurants and gyms, and so on).

All of these situations are examples of businesses selling a service; so these proposals will all fall under the general category of business proposals offering services.

Most proposals offering services, regardless of the type of business, follow a similar structure: introductions, then a summary of the client’s needs, followed by descriptions of the services and costs and information about the service provider and their credentials and capabilities.

The average proposal is five to ten pages long, depending on the size and special needs of the client and the type of janitorial or cleaning business. A very short quote or bid can be as short as a two-page Work Order and Price List.

If the janitorial proposal is for a large account such as a commercial business, you will also usually need to include detailed information pertaining to the specific client. For cleaning jobs that are smaller and narrowly defined, you can usually create a few variations on your proposal. For example, have one standard proposal for residential jobs, another for small commercial jobs and another for any specialized services you cater to.

If you are new to proposal writing, one thing to note is that a price list is not a substitute for a proposal. A proposal is a sales document meant to help persuade your potential clients to give you their business. To do that, you must instill trust that you can deliver the services that clients need. It’s not all about just giving them a price quote, especially if you have competition to deal with.

Before you start creating a tailored proposal for your more important clients, you should gather enough information about the client to present a proposal that is truly tailored to that client’s needs, as opposed to just sending every client an identical sales letter (which you can usually get away with for small, well-defined jobs). A tailored proposal stands a much better chance of being accepted by the client.

So, following the general order described above, you should start out with a Cover Letter and Title Page to introduce yourself. The Cover Letter should be a brief message that shows your company contact information and delivers a personal introduction. You should print your Cover Letter on your company letterhead. The Title Page should introduce your proposal and name the specific job you are discussing.

Next, add some topics that show that you understand the needs of your client. Depending on how large a job you are presenting a plan for, you may or may not need to include a detailed summary. For a complex job that needs a summary, this proposal section is normally called an Executive Summary for corporate clients, or a Client Summary for a less formal project. This is where you talk about your specific prospective client and show your understanding of their requirements as well as their needs and concerns (such as security, liability and hazardous materials handling). This is not yet the place where you talk about your company. Put the client first.

Follow the introductions and client information with your Services Provided, Products, Price List, Benefits, Services Cost Summary, Warranty, Guarantee and Contract & Terms pages, as well as any other topics you need to discuss that describe exactly what you are providing and how much it will cost.

Many types of janitorial or cleaning proposals may also require specialized topics. These are used when you need to address specific concerns such as your employees’ training; that they wear readily identifiable uniforms and carry identification and have passed background checks; that they have specialized training in hazardous waste handling, etc. This is where you would add pages with pertinent details, such as descriptions of your Insurance, Equipment, Security, Safety Plan, Training Plan, Quality Control, Certifications, Personnel, Environmental issues, and so on.

A janitorial company may have to deal with many different topics at once, such as selling both services and products as well as servicing multiple locations for a client, along with all the associated equipment and logistical needs.

A cleaning company with a very well defined niche such as a mobile carpet cleaning service will have a much shorter proposal with fewer topics.

A highly specialized niche cleaning company such as an accident or crime scene cleanup crew will have very specialized topics they need to discuss related to hazardous or biological waste handling and environmental issues.

A janitorial company performing higher risk jobs will need an extra focus on equipment, staff training, safety, liability, and security concerns.

The final information sections you should provide in your proposal are your company details. This is where you would put your About Us / Company History, Qualifications, Capabilities, Our Clients, Testimonials or References, Policies and Customer Service pages. This information comes last in the proposal, and your goal is to convince your client that you can be trusted to deliver the services they need.

After you have all the information written for your proposal outline and chapters, you should focus on making your proposal visually appealing. Add some color and graphics by incorporating your company logo, using colored borders, and selecting custom bullet points and fonts that match your business’s style.

Once you feel your proposal is complete, make sure to carefully proofread and spell-check all the pages. Have someone who is unfamiliar with your proposal proof it as well. It’s very common to quickly scan your own work and miss mistakes.

Finally, you can save your proposal as a PDF file or print it on paper and then deliver it to your potential client. Your delivery method will depend on your business and your relationship with your potential client. Emailing PDF files to clients is very common; however, there are times when a printed, signed and hand-delivered proposal can carry more weight. It shows you value that client enough to put in the extra personal effort. The more valuable the job is and the tighter the competition is, the more personal effort you should put into the proposal and delivery.

As you can see, a “janitorial” proposal can mean something different to everyone who needs to write one, and everyone’s needs for what to include will be different.

The good news is that all janitorial proposals follow a similar format and structure, and you can find all the templates and samples mentioned in this article in Proposal Pack. And you will also find sample proposals already written that can help you get started right away.

Purchasing a Business – The Final Inspection

You have come a long way in the business buying process if you get to the final business inspection stage which occurs just prior to you taking possession of the business. However, be warned, this is not the time to be complacent or let your excitement blind you.

Case in point – Lynn – a first time buyer who purchased a business herself earlier this year only to find after the possession date that not everything was as it had been presented to her. Lynn’s experience should be viewed as a lesson learned and not as an opportunity for criticism. In fact, her experience is a common experience for many entrepreneurs buying a business who do not have representation, or as it was in Lynn’s case – not having “competent” representation.

I have therefore taken the liberty to outline what you must do during the Final Inspection of the business. This list is not to be used as an alternative to hiring a savvy business broker but is provided as a means to help you understand why these particular items are important. These are not the only items that need to be covered in a final inspection but are certainly 5 things you must do regardless of the type of business you are purchasing.

5 things you MUST do during the final inspection:

1. Inspect every square inch of the business yourself!

Take the time to inspect the entire business – inside and out. Look for anything that stands out as being unusual or of concern, such as bare electrical cables sticking out of the wall, mold, missing lights, large cracks or water damage in the structure and animal feces to name just a few.

2. Check that there is no missing equipment that should have been included in the sale of the business.

A list of equipment included in the sale should have been included as part of the Offer to Purchase. Print this list out and visually check that each piece of equipment listed is present and accounted for.

3. Check the operation of the equipment, that it has an operating manual and that it is in a good state of repair.

While checking that all the equipment is present, be sure to check it is operating normally, for example computers, printers, ovens, fridges and freezers to name just a few. Any equipment not operating normally should be repaired at the sellers expense unless otherwise agreed upon.

4. Count all the inventory included in the sale.

As with the equipment a list of the inventory should have been included as part of the Offer to Purchase. Again print this list off and check each inventory item. For large inventory based businesses this might mean you need to hire a inventory company to come in and count the inventory.

It is important to note that for many businesses, inventory is a fluid dynamic so when it comes to inventory, there may be a need for a financial adjustment to be made in favor of the buyer or the seller.

5. Have the seller confirm in writing that they have paid all supplier accounts to date in full.

The reason we mention this is sometimes there is the assumption that the lawyer will take care of such matters. That may be so but consider the following. As an example assume for a moment that you are taking over an existing account, say the Point of Sale system at a retail location. If the seller has not paid the bill to date, then the vendor of the Point of Sale system may deactivate the account until the outstanding balance gets paid. This immediately effects the operation of your business and intern turns the excitement of business ownership into a high stress, mission critical, situation.

From what I understand of Lynn’s situation, problems started when the person who was brokering the sale did not turn up to the final inspection. Lynn was therefore left to handle a situation without experience or representation – by representation I mean someone impartial to the sale, ensuring that the best interests of the buyer are met.

Upon taking possession of the business, Lynn found out that the computer system was constantly crashing, the toilet was not working and cupboards had to be replaced due to damage from animal feces. A key supplier account had not been paid that effected the operation of Lynn’s business.

Lynn was fortunate to have the financial means to replace computers, cupboards and complete the necessary repairs to the business however it came at a considerable cost that amounted to thousands of dollars. The key is to identify and address such issues before you take possession of a business. This, we believe, only comes from experience.

Even if you want to handle the purchase of a business yourself hiring a business broker as a consultant can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars. Certainly for us being hired to provide a buyer with a second opinion is an opportunity to share our knowledge with the buyer, support the buyer and share in their excitement of purchasing a business.

How a Virtual Consultant Can Jumpstart Your Business

Imagine sitting at next Monday morning’s meeting with a three-dimensional model in the middle of the table in front of you that your entire organization can look at and understand in one glimpse. That’s what your business is paying for when they bring a talented and knowledgeable business advisor on board.

Quality business coaching can make your brand identity sharper, your marketing materials snap, crackle, and pop. Contrary to fears that consultants are high-priced luxuries, consulting services are critical to your operations. Try and change the direction of your organization without a professional consultant who has a view of the larger context your company’s competing in and you’re almost guaranteed to create more chaos than improvement.

Knowing your business inside and out gets you a “C.” Knowing your industry, including your present and future competitors as well as the global dynamics that impact your bottom line, gets you an “A+.” Unfortunately, getting such a high grade in running your business involves studying lots of moving parts, wearing too many hats. For that idealized view from 30,000 feet that you need to be successful, expert consulting services are needed. Only a business consultant with experience can ensure that your company can win on an ever-changing and expanding playing field. Business planning consultants minimize the risk of running a business in a global business environment where disruptive technologies can quickly make the products and services you offer obsolete. They also help you stay in tune with your market.

A consultant is a business coach invaluable in providing fiscal discipline. The pressure for an organization to have financial reports that are impressive, can often lead to justifying poor performance. As we’ve learned all too well in recent years, sloppy decision-making can lead entire companies to pull the wool over their own eyes.

In theory, every business wants to be uniform and coordinated. In practice, too many companies try to spend as little as possible on consulting support. If you want to have a business that’s manageable and capable of growth, you need a business planning consultant. Small and large businesses both require safety nets and those safety nets are business consultants.

Aside from the tangible map and summation of your plans that business transformation consulting efforts will yield, small and large business management consulting creates an environment in which your team knows what to do. If management and the people that report to them are not delivering, the involvement of a consultant is also often a wake-up call to them to get their acts together. There’s a level of urgency that a consultant business plan creates that supports your company’s bottom line and structure. It motivates clearer communications within your organization as well as without. A highly competent business coach maximizes your growth rate, positively influencing the daily flow of your organization’s events.

Issues such as accountability as well as market momentum can become blurry in the politics of office life. The best way to measure if your company’s bar is set high enough is through the acquisition of an impartial consulting professional. If your company’s longevity and profitability has been handled by the same core management people who are constantly scratching their heads when they analyze it, you owe it to yourself to try something new. Virtual consulting services that deliver the results you seek without charging you an arm and a leg are the best choice — especially for small businesses. At any rate, whomever you decide to hire, common sense suggests that it’s time.

Introduction to Business Accounts Receivable Financing Companies

For as long as there will be businesses who need money, there will always be accounts receivable financing companies competing for the business’ receivables.

Before I get into the three helpful receivable financing companies out there, let me shed some light on why there are so many companies offering factoring services out there. All businesses, no matter what kind or in what industry, need money to sustain day to day operations and grow.

While that will always be the case, it will also always be the case that money will remain the most scarce resource. It doesn’t grow on trees after all. It is because of that scarcity that business accounts receivable financing has become a widely offered practice.

If you want to know more about what is receivable financing, I suggest you read my article on that topic. In this article, I plan on writing about how factoring exactly works from the factoring company’s perspective.

How does the Accounts Receivable Financing process work?

As a business, you first have to put together a list of all the invoices that are owed to you by your customers and clients. Factoring companies typically require that these invoices are signed by the customer, along with some other customer information which depends on the factoring company’s guidelines.

This list is then sent to the factoring company, who conducts their own background checks on your customers to evaluate their risk. In other words, they are interested in the credit worthiness of your clients and customers.

Based on their research, they will either accept or deny your invoices. If they accept to take the invoices, they will decide what rate to charge you and how much money they can advance to you.

The company then goes through the individual invoices and notifies your customers that they have taken over the invoice. The notification informs your customers to pay them directly instead of paying your business.

It can take up to a week to get your advance (money) from the factoring company, although once a relationship is established it can take as less as 24 hours. Payments can be via paper check or direct deposit ACH which is a more common way of doing business now.

How much are you paid by the factoring company?

You will be paid the face amount (receivable balance) minus the discount rate, or the percentage that the company charges you for their services.

The first payment is usually up to 90% of what the company owes you, and once they collect from your customers, you will be paid the rest of the amount net of all the fees and charges. These fees are generally between 1% to 5%, though more commonly in the 3% to 4% range in my experience.

What are some good Receivable Financing Companies?

I can only speak from my experience based on the companies I have researched, tried and tested over the years. I have been an entrepreneur for a few years now, and I resorted to business accounts receivable financing first when I was denied loans by the banks and the SBA.

The following companies provided me with quality accounts receivable financing services when I first started out.

  • – JD Financial
  • – BTB Capital – Greg de Vries over at BTB knows this business inside out
  • – ACA – American Capital Advance