You know your business inside and out, and you know your customers and what they need from you. Therefore, writing a business proposal to sell your cleaning or cleaning services does not have to be a difficult task.
There are many resources available to show you how to introduce yourself, highlight your services, present your costs, and help your clients understand that you are the right person to trust for the job. Using pre-designed samples and templates in conjunction with some automation software can help you draft your proposal quickly and efficiently.
Writing a business proposal for cleaning services is fairly straightforward (including niche specialties such as cleaning services, carpet cleaning services, corporate event cleaning, window cleaners, crime scene cleaning, smoke and water damage cleaning, cleaning of commercial facilities, cleaning for special needs such as restaurants and gyms, etc.).
All of these situations are examples of companies selling a service; therefore, all these proposals will be included in the general category of commercial proposals that offer services.
Most proposals that offer services, regardless of the type of business, follow a similar structure: presentations, then a summary of the client’s needs, followed by descriptions of the services and costs and information about the service provider and its credentials and capabilities.
The average proposal is five to ten pages, depending on the size and special needs of the client and the type of cleaning or janitorial business. A very short quote or offer can be as short as a two-page work order and price list.
If the cleanup proposal is for a large account, such as a commercial business, you will generally also need to include detailed information related to the specific customer. For cleaning jobs that are smaller and narrowly defined, you can usually create a few variations on your proposal. For example, have a standard proposal for residential jobs, another for small commercial jobs, and another for whatever specialty services you serve.
If you are new to proposal writing, one thing to keep in mind is that a price list is not a substitute for a proposal. A proposal is a sales document intended to help persuade your potential customers to give you your business. To do that, you must instill confidence that you can provide the services that customers need. It’s not just about giving them a quote, especially if you have competition to deal with.
Before you start creating a custom proposal for your most important clients, you should gather enough information about the client to present a proposal that is truly tailored to that client’s needs, rather than simply sending each client an identical sales letter ( you can usually get away with small, well-defined jobs). A personalized proposal has a much better chance of being accepted by the client.
Therefore, following the general order outlined above, you should start with a cover letter and a title page to introduce yourself. The cover letter should be a short message that shows your business contact information and offers a personal introduction. You should print your cover letter on your company letterhead. The title page should present your proposal and name the specific work you are discussing.
Then add a few topics that show you understand your customer’s needs. Depending on how big the job you are presenting a plan for, you may or may not need to include a detailed summary. For complex work that requires a summary, this proposal section is typically called an Executive Summary for Corporate Clients or Client Summary for a less formal project. This is where you talk about your specific prospect and show your understanding of their requirements, as well as their needs and concerns (such as safety, liability, and handling of hazardous materials). This is not yet the place where your company is being talked about. Put the customer first.
Follow the presentations and customer information with your Services Provided, Products, Price List, Benefits, Summary of Service Costs, Warranty, Warranty and Contract and Terms pages as well as any other topics you need to discuss that describe exactly what is providing and how much it will cost.
Many types of janitorial or cleaning proposals may also require specialized topics. They are used when you need to address specific concerns, such as training your employees; that they wear easily identifiable uniforms and carry identification and have passed background checks; who have specialized training in hazardous waste management, etc. This is where you would add pages with relevant details such as descriptions of your insurance, equipment, security, safety plan, training plan, quality control, certifications, personnel, environmental issues, etc.
A cleaning company may have to deal with many different issues at once, such as selling both services and products, as well as servicing multiple locations for a client, along with all 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 proposition with fewer issues.
A highly specialized niche cleaning company, such as an accident or crime scene cleaning crew, will have very specialized topics that they need to discuss related to handling hazardous or biological waste and environmental issues.
A cleaning company performing higher risk jobs will need an additional focus on equipment, staff training, safety, responsibility, and safety concerns.
The final information sections that you must provide in your proposal are your business details. This is where you would place your About Us / Company History, Ratings, Capabilities, Our Clients, Testimonials or References, Policies, and Customer Service pages. This information appears last in the proposal and your goal is to convince your client that they can trust you to provide the services they need.
Once you have all the information written for your proposal outline and chapters, you need to focus on making your proposal visually appealing. Add some color and graphics by incorporating your business logo, using colored borders, and selecting custom bullets and fonts that match your business style.
Once you feel that your proposal is complete, be sure to carefully check and spell-check all pages. Ask someone who is not familiar with your proposal to try it out as well. It is very common to quickly scan your own work and miss errors.
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 customer. Emailing PDF files to clients is very common; however, there are times when a hand-delivered, signed, and printed proposal can carry more weight. Show that you value that customer enough to go the extra mile. The more valuable the work and the tighter the competition, the more personal effort you must put into the proposal and delivery.
As you can see, a “cleanup” 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 cleaning proposals follow a similar format and structure, and you can find all of the templates and samples mentioned in this article under Proposal Pack. And you’ll also find ready-made sample proposals that can help you get started right away.