Proposal Contents Explained
Cover Page / Table of Contents
Many of the larger janitorial firms have nice laminated covers with their company’s name and/or a representative logo on it. Along with the proposal, this package is usually held together by a spiral binding. I have found this expense to be unnecessary and oftentimes purchase an inexpensive yet attractive looking vinyl jacket with a clear cover and side clasp to hold the pages of my proposal together.
My Cover page is also my Table of Contents page that displays the customer’s name and the main categories of the proposal within.
This page is to thank the customer for the opportunity to bid on their janitorial needs and to further elaborate a bit about your company’s dedication to these cleaning needs. While it is not necessary to have a Forward in your proposal, you are trying to convey a degree of professionalism that separates yourself from the rest. You’ll find that all major companies include a Forward in their proposals because of this very conveyance of professionalism. The customer may not even read it or simply gloss over it, but its presence, in my opinion, speaks volume.
You may either include a Checklist in your proposal, a worded Summary of Scheduled Services of the work involved, or both. A Checklist is visually appealing and provides a quick glance of the scheduled work to be .performed. You can either hand-scribe and check the appropriate categories or have a stamp made for you to provide a professional looking mark. Checklists for your use can be found in the Template section of this eBook including blank ones that allow you to order the list to your liking. You can also have a professional printer redo it to your liking.
A Summary of Scheduled Services is a worded version of the checklist. Some customers prefer this worded layout to the checklist. Although it is a summary of the scheduled work, it does allow you to go into greater detail not only every procedure but also the amount you will be charging monthly for this work and the payment conditions you expect in exchange for these services. Start from the nearest occurrence of services to the farthest (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, etc.). At the end of the Summary is found the following statement:
EXTREMELY CLEAN provides all equipment, materials and labor for the completion of the enclosed outline of services, and that these scheduled services shall be performed by qualified, careful and efficient personnel in conformity with the best practices and highest applicable standards. In exchange for performance of services, payments due EXTREMELY CLEAN shall be received no later than the 25th of each month.
Monthly Cost: $520.00 per month
If a contract is not involved in your proposal, this is the paragraph that best summarizes your intentions. Highlighting the Monthly Cost is a good idea so the customer, even yourself, has fast reference to it. Payment terms are usually up to the discretion of the service provider unless requested otherwise by the customer. You should not allow more than 30 days for payment to be sent to you.
A contract is also optional. It’s pretty standard legalize, the wording of which can be found in most service providers contracts. If a customer would rather forego the contract and on a month-to-month basis, that is and should be their choice. The contract is written in a manner allowing the customer to cancel services by 30 day notice.
Some customers feel more comfortable having signing a contract while others feel it is an unwelcome obligation on their part to keep you for an extended period beyond their displeasure with you should you disappoint them.
Insurance / Bonding
The contract states that you, your company, shall provide the insurance coverage set forth below, and deliver to the customer certificates of insurance upon request. All I have ever included in my proposals is the less expensive Honesty Bond without displaying a more expensive copy of Comprehensive Liability. I have been pleasantly surprised that the Honesty Bond gives the impression of full coverage therefore saving me the need to purchase Comprehensive Liability. However if the customer does bring it up, I would explain that a copy of the Comprehensive Liability will be mailed to them by the insurance provider. This will buy you some time to decide whether you do wish to purchase the additional insurance or not. If you don’t have employees, you may not feel like it’s necessary. And if the customer is satisfied with the Honesty Bond, you may easily find it a cost-effective move to forego the purchase of expensive liability insurance until you are a larger company. Janitorial Honesty Bonding or Insurance can be found at:
Every major janitorial firm started with no customers --no references. So don’t let it get you down that you currently cannot display an active list of satisfied customers. But once you do have customers, proudly display them. Once you have three customers, you’ve reached the number of customers that other companies like to see as proof of your viability. I’ll admit that I’ve slightly underbid by 10% just to acquire those first three customers – those first three references. Consider having acquired those first three customers as a graduation step. It is your first goal as acquiring work afterwards is so much easier.
Chapter14__Presentation / Closing