Most business owners strive to increase profit, while decreasing cost. If they do not do these two things, they probably will not be in business very long. But, there's a third component to making your business successful. That component is: efficiency. If your business is not efficient, then suddenly your profits will decrease, your expenses will increase, and your business will fail.
When it comes to the janitorial expenditure, most business owners simply go with the lowest bidder, thinking that they're keeping their cost low. However, ask yourself a question: how does the lowest bidder do it? How can they do what other companies do, while being 25-50% cheaper. I know, and soon you will too. Consider the following:
1. The lowest bidder never intends to clean your facility at the level s / he tells you they're clean. In other words, they plan to "over-promise" and "under-perform."
2. The lowest bidder may be planning to do a great job for the first couple of weeks or a month, and then come to you and ask for more money. After all, if you want the excellent quality and dependability to continue, you should be willing to pay more for it, right?
3. The lowest bidder plans to use illegal or criminal workers to clean your facility. Illegal workers will clean for far less money than legal workers will, usually because they're paid in cash (so they do not pay taxes). Workers with criminal records may not be able to get a job that performs criminal backgrounds. So, they turn to the janitorial industry, and find a company that just wants a 'warm body' to show up. In addition, criminals LOVE to be in commercial buildings at night … alone … with several hours to themselves. (I wonder why?) These unethical tactics are used every day in the cleaning industry. And, you know what the sad thing is, unfortunately … they work! Business owners will accept cleaning companies under performing, because they know they're getting what they paid for.
Owners will pay more to a company that under bid the account 30 days ago, hoping that service will continue at the current level. Businesses will allow cleaning companies to give out their keys and security codes, hoping they will not be robbed, or worse yet, report to the authorities. My question is this: Knowing the problems associated with the lowest bidder, why risk it? For many business owners, the answer is, they do not know what they should be paying. Until now!
Here are a couple of suggestions for business owner who wants to pay a fair wage to their cleaning company.
Method # 1: Take three bids and throw out the high and low, and go with the middle. Knowledgeable janitorial companies know what to charge. If you take three bids, and hire the middle bidder you're 100 times ahead of the game, than if you chose one of the other two.
Method # 2: Ask your competitors who they're using, and considering hiring the one they suggest. If you operate a large car dealership, then call other dealers and ask who they use, and if they're happy with service. (After all, cleaning a dealership is much different from cleaning a law office.) After 3-5 calls, if the same name keeps being stated as a good company, guess what? They'll probably be a good company for you, too!
Method # 3: Do the math yourself. If you want to know what the going rate is for service, figure it up for yourself.
Here's how to do it: Calculate the total number of cleans per week and multiply that number by 4.33 (That is the number of weeks there are in a month.) Write that number down. We'll call this point A Next estimate how long it would take you to clean the building yourself. However, you should base this number on one thing … how long would it take to clean AFTER you had worked an eight-hour day. Most janitors have day jobs, and clean buildings in the evening for extra money. A person who has rested all day can clean faster than a person who has been at work all day. So, figure the number of hours it would take you to clean your facility AFTER you've worked an eight-hour shift. Write this number down. We'll call this point B. Next, go to your local 7-Eleven (or other major convenience store) and ask the manager how much do they pay new employees. Take that figure and multiply it by 1.75 and you'll have the GROSS hourly wage, including taxes, insurance, profit, etc., a cleaning company may charge you. Write this number down, and we'll call it point C. Finally, multiply point A, B and C together and you'll have an approximate monthly cost that a cleaning company may charge you to service your building. Let's put some numbers to this formula: You want your building cleaned five days per week. So, you'll take '5' and multiply it by 4.33, and discover there are 21.66 cleaning days per month. (Point A) Next, you estimate that it will take 4 hours per night for a person to properly clean your building. (Point B) Finally, you find out the starting wage at your local convenience store is $ 10.00 per hour. Multiplying that number by 1.75, you come up with $ 17.50 as the GROSS hourly wage. (Point C) Now, simply multiply 21.66 (cleans per month) X 4 hours (per clean) X $ 17.50 (gross hourly wage) and you'll come up with a monthly cost $ 1,516.20. So, using Method # 3, you should expect to pay approximately $ 1,500 per month for janitorial service.
No matter what method you use, use common sense in choosing your next janitorial company. After all, they may be with you for years to come!