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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Question

I'm thinking about bidding on a carpet cleaning job for a 110,000 sq. ft. government building. They want carpet cleaning 4 times a year, for a 2 year period. I have found that under bidding is major problem in my area. What is a competitive bid? I was thinking about bidding .5 cent per square foot.


Answer

What you should bid will be dependent on what level of cleaning is required and therefore how much time it will take. For example, if it is maintenance cleaning using a process such as encapsulation with spot removal included, your production rate will be relatively high and therefore your cost per square foot will be less.
If, on the other hand, the bid specifies restorative cleaning your production rate will be lower and your cost per square foot higher.
Many bid requests will either be nonspecific or will specify one or the other process. In reality, a successful and cost-effective carpet care program will combine both.
As for the bid, in my experience you will probably have to go low enough that profitability will be marginal. Your resources might be better spent on pursuing more profitable contracts. It would be unwise and inappropriate for me to recommend a bid price (way too many unknowns). I would say, though, that there is a good chance that the "successful" bid will be 5 cents per square foot per cleaning or less.

John Downey
President, Downey's Carpet Care of Granville
Founder, Cleanfax magazine