How to Get Cleaning Contracts and Grow Your Commercial Client List

Successful businesses in the commercial cleaning industry need cleaning contracts and a steady stream of new clients to thrive. But it can be a struggle to find new clients, let alone have them commit to recurring services. So, how do you find new customers or find open bids for cleaning contracts? How can you entice people to sign cleaning contracts?

Consider this your complete guide to growing your cleaning business. Learn how to get commercial cleaning contracts and find new clients. The following list of best tips can help your company bring in new clients and create more contracts for cleaning services, so your business can drive growth.

How to grow your client list

In the cleaning industry, the lowest bid technically acceptable often wins the cleaning service contract. That means your clients – and your potential clients – are probably always shopping the market for the best value relative to contract needs. That’s why it’s critical to have tactics in place to retain and expand your client list. Here’s a few tips on how to expand and find new customers. 

Create a traffic-generating website

Nowadays, businesses need to have more than just a website. Companies need to be easy to find online. Their sites also have to be easy to navigate and enticing. Otherwise potential customers will go elsewhere for their cleaning services. 

Your online presence is your chance to make a good first impression and says a lot about your company. Your website should be appealing, while also factoring for more complex marketing tactics, including SEO best practices. This work can be complex, so outsourcing marketing services can be a wise investment. 

Utilize social media

A visually appealing website is only part of building an online presence. You also need to use social media platforms to promote your brand and reach new customers. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat and TikTok can be avenues to new clients (as well as a potential recruitment tool for sourcing potential cleaners and crew members).

Create engaging posts about your business, promote deals and coupons, highlight positive customer reviews and show before and after pictures of your work. Connect with users by sharing inviting content they’ll want to read. Use social media to make your business feel relatable, but remain professional at all times, which is the best way to attract customers online.

Provide impeccable service

The best way to attract new clients is to offer exceptional cleaning services and sensational customer service. More clients will recommend you to others in their professional network, if your cleaning services are above and beyond. So, set your standard of service high.

While digital marketing and other modern resources can generate customers, word of mouth is still an effective way to attract new clients. Invest in the most effective cleaning products and services. Leverage sustainable cleaning practices and market environmentally safe services. 

Above all, nurture existing client relationships – they’ll be your advocates when potential customers are completing their due diligence during the bidding process. 

Every customer interaction should be professional and friendly. Go the extra mile to make clients feel comfortable and cared for, so they’ll recommend you to others and become loyal customers.

Ask clients for reviews

Positive reviews on sites like Google and Yelp will often generate new clients. Many consumers turn to these sites for business recommendations, which means a high rating and positive feedback can help lengthen your client list.

If you feel like your collection of reviews is sparse, reach out to your loyal clients and ask if they’d be willing to write a review and post it. If you offer satisfactory service, they’ll likely be happy to do it. However, you can also offer incentives like a discount on their next service. 

Network with other companies

You don’t have to collaborate with other companies who are your competitors, but networking with related businesses in similar industries can be beneficial. For example, industry associations such as BSCAI, ISSA, ARCSI and IICRC offer learning opportunities where companies can network with direct industry peers, learning and growing from shared industry knowledge.  

Reach out to realtors or managers

Commercial cleaning companies can find new clients easily by reaching out to realtors or property managers in their service area. It’s fairly simple to compile a list of local realtors and commercial properties. Then all it takes is some diligent emailing or calling. Offering a discount or limited-time coupon can entice them to hire you or recommend you.

You can clean homes for a realty company or ask them to recommend your residential services to home buyers. Or if you’re wondering how to get cleaning contracts with offices, property managers can introduce a number of different types of contracts, such as  apartment buildings, offices and more. 

Participate in local organizations

Getting involved in local organizations and community groups can also help you find new clients and opportunities for cleaning contracts for small businesses, local business, and even large companies. Some of the best organizations to join include your local chamber of commerce, neighborhood associations, business organizations, community groups and any other place where you can network.

Join national organizations

Local organizations are excellent for networking, but national organizations can help too. These organizations can help you network better and offer resources to help you grow your business. Some of the best national organizations to consider are:

The organizations listed above are a fraction of the options, so explore what national organizations could help you. There are organizations specifically for people of color or women, so find one or more that apply to you.

What are cleaning contracts?

Before getting into how to earn more commercial cleaning contracts, let’s define them. Cleaning contracts are legal agreements between a cleaning company and a property owner or manager.

These contracts detail the specifics of a cleaning schedule and cost for a given property or set of properties. These contracts are for recurring cleaning services, not one-time services. For example, a cleaning company may have a cleaning contract with an office building for one year that specifies SLA’s regarding floor cleaning.

Every cleaning contract should include at a minimum the following information:

  • Contact information for both parties
  • Start date and end date of the contract
  • Contracted services, such as floor cleaning, window cleaning, sanitizing, carpet cleaning, furniture, cleaning, etc.
  • Number of cleaning employees
  • Cleaning schedule with dates and times
  • The service area or address
  • Payment amount
  • Payment frequency
  • Payment method
  • Additional fees for things like late payments or incomplete payments
  • Requirements for contract determination
  • Contract renewal terms
  • Type of professional relationships, which could be employee, contractor, partner, etc.
  • Additional rules concerning safety, privacy, or confidentiality

Cleaning contracts specify all aspects of a cleaning arrangement and can include any additional details either party feels are necessary. These sound highly complex, but you can find cleaning contract templates online, making it easy to draw up these agreements.

Different types of cleaning contracts

Cleaning contracts vary depending on the property and working relationship. If you’re unsure what the best type of cleaning contract would be for you, consider the options below:

  • Commercial cleaning
  • Bank cleaning
  • Airbnb and rental cleaning
  • Office cleaning contracts
  • Government building cleaning (Government contracts)
  • Cleaning for builders
  • Apartment cleaning
  • Residential cleaning

As an enterprise cleaning business, individual residential and rental cleanings may be too small for you, but you can always look for substantial contracts.

For example, you may be able to book a cleaning contract for ten Airbnbs owned by the same company or even a residential cleaning contract through an HOA. Consider what type of cleaning contract would work best for your business and focus on finding those.

Do I need licensing for cleaning contracts?

Some states require cleaning companies to be certified but not every state. However, you’re more likely to obtain more cleaning contracts if you are a fully certified commercial cleaning company.

Property managers, builders and property owners are more likely to choose a certified business over an uncertified one. A certification or business license increases the chances of landing cleaning contracts but also comes with benefits such as more knowledge, ownership of your business name and other advantages.

Do I need insurance for cleaning contracts?

Many states do not require you to have insurance as a cleaning company. But business insurance can protect you and your clients in the event of a disaster. If you do not already have insurance for your company, consider getting one of these types of policies:

  • General liability insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Business owner’s policy
  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Hired and non-owned auto insurance
  • Commercial umbrella insurance

Accidents happen, and a solid insurance policy can be the difference between keeping your business open and having to close after a costly mishap.

How to obtain more cleaning contracts

Below are a few ways to create more cleaning contracts so you can maintain long-term clients and keep business consistent. 

Research your customer base and competition

Start by thoroughly understanding your client base and competition. Ask yourself questions about what your ideal customer looks like and how your business can meet their needs. Compare yourself to similar commercial cleaning companies in the area.

  • Are your prices higher or lower? 
  • Do you have better customer reviews? 
  • What complaints do people have about your competition? 
  • What kind of advertising tactics are they using?

Before you can obtain more cleaning contracts or bid for cleaning contracts, you need to understand your market, so you can approach clients accordingly. While affordable prices are great, too low of a price can imply inexperience or poor service. Too high a price can also lose customers. Thorough research can help you find the right price for your services. Then you can better tailor your elevator pitches and marketing strategies to help you earn the type of customers you want to attract.

Devise a marketing plan

Once you know who you’re marketing to and what businesses you’re marketing against, you can devise a thoughtful marketing plan. Focus on your ideal client and what makes you different from similar companies. 

  • Do you have any specialties? 
  • Do you offer unique services? 

Tailor your marketing strategy to the customers you want to attract, and reel them in by showing how you’re better than the competition. There should be a wide variety of marketing strategies. Choose the plans that work best for your business.

Prepare a Pitch

As a cleaning company, you probably offer a wide variety of  services. You don’t need to list every single service you offer to clients, as this can overwhelm them. Create a short statement or “elevator pitch,” which succinctly captures what your business offers clients.

Ensure the pitch highlights the unique aspects of your business and targets your ideal customer. Even if you write a fantastic pitch, it will come out awkward and unnatural if you do not practice it.

Treat it like a script. Memorize it, practice it in front of a mirror, test it out on friends and family, ask for feedback and then practice again. This pitch should become second nature, so you can deliver it to potential clients comfortably and organically, rather than stiffly trying to recite it. Teach this pitch to employees too so they can deliver it to inquiring customers.

Make Pricing Simple

Complex pricing can deter clients from choosing your services. If they feel like they can’t understand your pricing, they’ll be hesitant to sign a contract. Keep your pricing straightforward so clients feel comfortable agreeing to your payment terms.

The best way to devise a simple and clear pricing system is to browse competitor pricing. You can take elements from their pricing that you think work and avoid confusing ones. Try to avoid hidden fees or confusing costs and be as transparent as possible to build trust and avoid miscommunications.

Focus on Client Convenience and Comfort

This tip coincides with simple pricing, but there are other aspects to consider. Things like simple pricing, flexible scheduling, a wide array of cleaning services and speedy cleaning all contribute to client convenience. If you can clean an apartment building in six hours but it takes your competition eight, that slight difference may land you the cleaning contract.

In addition to convenience, small details that enhance client comfort can also help you get more cleaning contracts. Using cleaning products with more pleasant scents or quieter vacuums can enhance client comfort, giving you an edge over the competition. Consider what aspects of cleaning contracts inconvenience clients and edge out the competition by eliminating these inconveniences.

Using advanced software to manage your company can also avoid inconveniencing clients. With the right software, things like employee scheduling, contract renewals and product deliveries can be automated, so you can focus on customer service and prevent mishaps like scheduling conflicts or late deliveries.

Create a Referral Program

Create a referral program specifically for cleaning contracts. Sometimes, people want cleaning contracts, but they need an extra nudge to commit. A referral program is perfect because it fosters word-of-mouth marketing and entices people to sign long-term contracts instead of one-time services.

Happy clients are the best form of advertising, and referral programs encourage them to talk about your business. Create a referral program with discounts or coupons attached so everyone benefits from the referral, including you, the referring customer and the referred customer. Referrals are invaluable. They grow your client list, better your reputation and referred customers have higher retention rates than other clients.

Final Advice

Knowing how to get commercial cleaning contracts is imperative, and it’s just as important to retain each client you win. Contract renewals can help your business thrive and grow for years, so focus on your current customers as much as your future ones.

With over 35 years of industry-specific experience, TEAM Software by WorkWave is the market expert in software that drives efficiencies and profitability for commercial cleaning businesses. Our software provides integrated solutions for time and attendance tracking, scheduling, employee engagement, service delivery and back-office needs – including accounting and payroll. With these resources covered, you can focus on what matters most to your business – finding, winning and retaining your clients and cleaning contracts. 

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