How To Win A Janitorial Bid

How to win a janitorial bid. Diverse team in front of office building
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This blog post is not about how you can be the cheapest bidder for jobs.  It is not about promising one thing and doing something else.  Nor is this article about helping you to lie, scheme or “play” any system.  This article is about how to win a janitorial bid.  It is how to be the lowest and responsible bidder to win the contract. Want to know how to do this, realistically?


Let’s start by understanding what a “bid” is.


A BID is a request for a quote or a proposal for professional cleaning services.  It may be for a one-time cleaning, cleaning for a short period of time, or cleaning maintenance for an annual contract.

Sometimes the request for cleaning services will have specifications outlined and sometimes the requester will ask for the scope of services along with a price.  

It all depends on the property manager or engineer if the tasks have been outlined or left up to you to compose.  It really doesn’t matter, your proposal will make all the difference because it is what you are presenting based upon your expertise.  You will be able to showcase your knowledge in the proposal that you present.


Usually, if the the request has come with a cleaning schedule, you are probably replacing a cleaning service.  And, that’s just it.  The other company is no longer there, for whatever reason, so the requester wants a different schedule of services anyway.  This is your opportunity to give it your best shot.

Again, the scope of services will be up to you to create along with your cleaning service quote.

If the property manager or engineer has asked for a plan of action, then they simply want to start off fresh.  This is even more to your advantage.


Regardless if specifications came with the bid request, the requester will ask you to do a walk through of the job site.  There should always be a scheduled walk through for a bid request.  This is the time for you to assess the job COMPLETELY.


Keep in mind, the bidder that proposes the lowest amount may get the job.  I say may get the job because this is not always the case.  Understand this too, the bidder must also have the ability to perform the workload.  They must have the staff and resources to complete the job.

Knowing this, you should focus on two objectives when going to the walk through of the job site. One, how can I complete this job economically.  Two, how can I maximize my efforts to establish and maintain optimum cleanliness.

So, your focus is to be the lowest and responsible bidder to win the janitorial cleaning contract.


We have won many cleaning contracts using this very method.  This method of winning a cleaning bid has been very successful for us. 

Even if you have specifications from your requester outlining what they want done, sometimes there is room to create your own plan of action. This is the nuts and bolts of how to win a janitorial bid.


During the walk through, consider implementing these following options. It is a practical way of how to win a janitorial bid. It is a suggestion of how to be the lowest and responsible bidder and win the job.

  1. For instance, if the job calls for carpet cleaning, it may not detail how many times per year nor the frequency of cleaning for any particular area.  This is your chance to create your own schedule.  The requester just wants you to assume the duty but is not requesting the frequency, so create your own.
  2. At the walk through, see if it is necessary to perform all work according to the schedule at the intervals specified. Or, is there room to improvise as long as you will maintain the level of cleanliness. That’s the key, maintain the level of desired cleanliness.
  3. Check to see if you can create your own plan for extended hard surface floor care. If so, choose a high-quality floor finish to extend the life of the strip and wax jobs.  Implement floor burnishing to help extend the life of the floor. Choosing to use higher grade floor products will prolong the life of the hard surface as well.  And, since you won’t have to strip and wax floors as often it will cut labor cost for these extra care services.
  4. Also, at this walk through, see if there is a way to map out your general/ basic cleaning schedule to save time. Some areas may not need to be cleaned as often.  This is time saved and “time” that you do not need to calculate for a cleaning price.
  5. Additionally, if the contract asks for window cleaning. Remember, the outside of exterior windows may be cleaned 3 times more than the inside of the SAME exterior windows.   So, you don’t have to price the window cleaning at FULL PRICE. This is yet another way to save costs when pricing for your impending customer.


If you need help pricing an office cleaning job by the hour, read this article. It was how we learned to price office buildings by the hour and win the bid! 


Also, gab a FREE printable.  Our Commercial Customer Profile Worksheets can help you collect all pertinent information needed at your first walk-through.




Assess your new office building.  Create your own cleaning schedule.  Price according to the actual time that you will spend cleaning.  Take notes of these situations so that you can be creative regarding your price: carpet cleaning, hard surface floor care, basic cleaning, and window cleaning.  Devising a good action plan followed by a reasonable quote is how to win a janitorial bid!



“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” —Drew Houston, Dropbox founder and CEO


Until next time,

Happy cleaning



Creator of A Janitor’s Story®.  I started my office cleaning side hustle at 20 years old. Years later, with the partnership of my husband and our amazing staff, my business grew to mid-six figures and fulfilled my wildest dreams!  Now, 27 years STRONG, I’ve retired, and I help aspiring entrepreneurs to START and GROW their house and office cleaning service businesses to achieve their biggest dreams.  I’d like to help you do the same.


Click here to join my email list for constant inspiration, deals and special offers EXCLUSIVELY for new cleaning business solopreneurs and small cleaning teams.  I look forward to meeting you inside!



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