In the commercial cleaning business, the original contract is important. You want your clients happy. Clients may take advantage of your services by asking for additional tasks that are not on the contract. You’ll spend more time cleaning and less time making your business profitable. It’s critical for your contract to include all of your services in detail. Although some details seem like “common sense” – there’s always other things to consider. In the commercial cleaning business, clients don’t consider the time it takes to accomplish many tasks, which can cost your business money.
Have a Professional Review the Contract
Whether it is a lawyer or your insurance and bonding provider for your business, have someone review your contractual agreement to help you provide all the necessary information to your clients. Your clients and employees need to adhere to your contract and your terms for janitorial bonding and insurance, as well as other critical factors. Often, clients and employees don’t understand the repercussions of not adhering to the contract. If a professional who’s knowledgeable of the legal aspects of the contract reviews it, you’ll be much safer.
Detail Every Aspect of Your Services
Many cleaning contracts only cover the basics of the tasks that will be accomplished. It’s important to detail each of those tasks. To give an example – if you suggest your business will mop floors and vacuum, include how often your business will perform those services.
If clients add services to your list of tasks, always keep track of those tasks. Some clients may ask you to do specific tasks without additional charges. You may choose to do the tasks for free to keep the client happy, but if you keep track of it, you can renegotiate your rates later based on the additional services not listed in the original contract – especially if the additional responsibilities require purchasing more cleaning products, equipment and taking more time to complete them.
Contract negotiations should be done yearly, similar to how companies do performance reviews to give employees raises. By maintaining careful records of changes in a contract, you can negotiate an increase in pay because you added those services. Even if the increase is minimal, it’s worth it because you need to keep your employees happy by providing them an increase in pay and continue to make your business profitable.
Additional Services Will Include Additional Fees
Some services are better for other professionals in a specific trade. Would your clients ask the plumber to mop the floors, vacuum or clean windows while they are doing a plumbing job? No – so don’t allow you or your employees to take on tasks that aren’t in the contract. If something goes wrong, it falls back on your business. If an employee is hurt or something is damaged at a client’s site, the expenses may not be covered by bonding and insurance or covered by the client.
If the services are covered by your bonding and insurance, you may wish to offer the work for additional fees if you or your employees are skilled doing the task. Each trade’s bonding and insurance have different requirements, licenses and rates. It’s critical to ensure it’s covered.
Ensure Your Employees Understand the Contract
Your employees don’t have to read the contract – it’s not their job. After the contract is agreed upon by you and the client, make a list of detailed tasks for your employees to accomplish and what day the task should be accomplished. The detailed cleaning contract arrangements can be easily transferred into another document for employees to see. List the responsibilities for each day of the cleaning contract. To give an example – if the contract requires cleaning windows on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, make a list that states what is to be done each day of the week for their reference. Put the list somewhere the employees will have easy access to it, such as the janitorial closet or where the cleaning supplies are kept.
Implement a Contract Cancellation Process
Even if you do an impeccable job for your clients, it’s almost certain another cleaning company will propose a bid much less than what you’re currently offering. Your clients will receive sales calls from other cleaning business. Many commercial cleaning franchisees and other cleaning businesses are eager to find work and accept the low price – especially if their business is new. Because clients are looking to save every penny they can, they’ll often accept a bid from another cleaning company based on the lower price – no matter how bad the service is.
When writing the contract, include a long-term cancellation process. If the client decides to cancel your contract, implement a policy giving your business at least 30 or 60 days notice of cancellation. Take that time to find other clients. This allows you time to find another client and keep your business profitable.