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Quality commercial contracts

DrummerTW

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Thomas Webb
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I'd like to crossover into doing at least 50% commercial this year.. carpets, tile and hard surface floors. Any pointers on gaining new clients easily...
 

OxiFreshGuy

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No offense meant but if it was easy everyone would do it.
 
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SRD

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Like @OxiFreshGuy said it isnt easy but my best luck has always been just face to face contact direct sales. Alot of the problem with getting good commercial accounts are the idiots submiting bids for 4 or 5 cents a foot it ruins it for everyone.
 

SRD

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Several years back we serviced a massive fortune 500 companies world headquarters had the account for over 4 years was billing at 28 cents a foot wich was unheard of in my area but we treated them like gold anything they want they got and they got it immediately. Contract came up for bid and some jackoff bid it at 5 cents a foot and took it from us....their maintenance supervisor actually shed a tear when he was telling me they had to let me go but money talks with those guys lol.
 

floorclean

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Just remember that if you can steal an account from another contractor someone sooner or later is going to steal it from you.
Make your self invaluable to a good customer and no matter who try’s to steel your account they won’t get the time of day!
 
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SMCommerical

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In Commercial business money talks. Sometimes it is not even up to the facility manager to see if you will be getting the contract again. I am currently rebidding on a contract that the manager wants to keep us, but corporate is telling them they need to go out for competition. At the end of the day it comes down to the $ and quality comes after. That is the case in a lot of the larger companies where local people have a limited say so on who gets picked.

I was bidding a credit union as well for a M-F contract. The lady interviewing me and showing me around was impressed by our company and said if she has a say so that we will get picked. Well lets just say she did not have a say so because they went with another janitorial contract who bid about $200 less than us. We were basically offering them if my memory serves me correctly about $999 a month, 5 days a week, and still we were too high,. That came out to $46.11 a visit minus labor, insurance, cleaning supplies, equipment.

They called me the following year saying they would like for me to rebid it since they were impressed by me and that they didn't like the poor quality they received with the other company. So I went and met with the lady, she told me about the same scope of work. This time I bid $899 thinking hey maybe I can get it this time, its like 5 minutes from home so it would be nice to have. That means now my earnings per visit dropped to $41.49. I felt like this time they will give me a chance. Once again someone else bid lower and was told sorry. Never went back to bid again.
 
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OxiFreshGuy

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I actually challenge these accounts to pick two candidates and have both companies do a demo cleaning and then make their decision from there.
 
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DrummerTW

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That's how I've done all of my prior commercial carpet contracts is by doing a demo...I'm speaking more of is there a method that works better for some of you...I'm probably in all honesty one of the guys that will underbid a job just to add it to the bank...at the end of the day...money wins
 

OxiFreshGuy

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Disagree on that completely, underbidding means you lower the ceiling of quality and teach clients to expect it.

In turn, the money you "banked" might be you collecting pennies today when you need dollars tomorrow.

Then you hurt the next guy because client doesnt like the poor quality job but illogically assumes the next guy should do a higher quality job at the same low price.

Meanwhile all those pennies you collected dont pay the bills when something major happens and now you're out of business, leaving behind a less than desirable legacy for the next guy.

Those who underbid for the sake of money aren't professionals. Period, end of story.
 
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ACP

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even if its really dirty and they really need a hot TM flush to get rid of years of encap...

they will go back to the cheap guy once you give them the clean slate.
 

DrummerTW

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I beg to differ...those who underbid...without sacrificing quailty...such as myself put food on the table. Not speedboats in the garage.
 
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DrummerTW

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To clarify... underbidding for me personally is meant that I know my own quailty of work is much higher than what I will charge the customer. Not underbidding a competitors proposed bid. I dont run into situation knowingly.
 

OxiFreshGuy

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And how do you provide high quality while underbidding? If that's how business worked why do the top professionals charge top dollar?

You have to charge based on your expenses, almost every business, the higher your quality, the higher the expenses become.
 

DrummerTW

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For one...to put it simply I was brought into this business in 1991 so I've probably helped build a few of the blocks some of you are now cleaning homes in. Not everyone needs a $50,000 truckmpunt rig to get amazing results...nor a $5,000 crb. Perdonally all of my equipment is paid for. Including the fact that we buy vans used outright for pennies on the dollar and eliminate lease payments, interest, in other words...DEBT...when you start yr business in debt...its the consumer that gets charged crazy ass prices to pay for all the stuff companies go out and purchase. When you build a base of 30,000 customers repeat business as eliminates the costs of alot advertising. Not sure if any of you agree...opinions are welcome always...but I work 80+ hrs 7 days a week myself and I do it becuz I love what I do and the money follows suit.
 

DrummerTW

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Mar 10, 2019
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St.Louis, Mo.
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Thomas Webb
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United States
I certainly get amazing results without a truckmount...without a $20,000 3/4 ton van..without a generator...without a 175 to scrub...its about the tech...not the tool...I lock up 100% of my jobs. Zero debt. Low overhead..and moderate pricing...in turn passed onto customers with quailty work...works for me wonderfully on residential and the handful of small Mexican restaurants I do commercial on...this post was originally asking about pointers from anyone with experience in gaining more clients commercially...not what it turned into...
20190426_183735.jpg
 

george8585

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Nice picture (avatar) of you and your girl.

Nothing wrong with moderate pricing. It's working for you, and that's all that matters.
 
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Smtwn janitorial

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Lumping all commercial contracts into the same boat is silly. It's like doing the same with residential. There are many quality commercial accounts that dont have corporate to answer to. There are hundreds of thousands of family owned businesses that will pay for quality work. I have many commercial accounts that pay for reliability, trust, and quality. I make very good money on them. That being said, going for restaurant chains and hotel chains isnt usually worth your time.
 

Anderson

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Aug 16, 2006
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I agree with drummer.....

Because you can do a job faster doesnt mean you have to compromise on quality......

I am about 80% commercial....rentals, resturants, theaters, hotels, schools and business.

Do I underbid others///sometimes......or meet thier price..
But I make the same per hour and do better work than the next guy.......

Just went back and picked up 2 theaters that i used to have 10 years ago..... drop my price to equal the current carpet bid and budget.....no problem....

Now I hold both theaters and have cut these jobs from 15 man hours to 10 man hours......since they arent as dirty as they were when I first started and found more efficient cleaning methods.....
 

Anderson

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Aug 16, 2006
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Belton Texas
I certainly get amazing results without a truckmount...without a $20,000 3/4 ton van..without a generator...without a 175 to scrub...its about the tech...not the tool...I lock up 100% of my jobs. Zero debt. Low overhead..and moderate pricing...in turn passed onto customers with quailty work...works for me wonderfully on residential and the handful of small Mexican restaurants I do commercial on...this post was originally asking about pointers from anyone with experience in gaining more clients commercially...not what it turned into...
View attachment 84561
Commercial isnt like homes.....
Commercial doesnt care how long it takes......
they just want the job done right....

You dont bid carpet by the foot!!! some will disagree???
You bid it by man hours.......
If you can get it done faster and better quality with better equipment........
You can still make the - 100$ an hour