How Do You Get A Government Cleaning Contract?
Cleaning contracts with the government can be lucrative, but you must first win out the competitors.
Jobs with the federal government might be a great source of money for your cleaning business. Government cleaning contracts, on the other hand, are scarce. Despite the fact that the federal government sets aside 23% of contractor payments for small businesses, many small businesses are competing for those funds. Not only that, but there are additional steps you must take when bidding on government contracts, and if you miss any of them, your chances of winning the offer may be affected.
The good news is that government cleaning contracts are also available at the state and local levels, which normally require less paperwork and are just as lucrative. Whether you deal with the federal, state, or local government, it's critical to understand how government bids differ from private sector bids and what you need to do to obtain those contracts.
Your 5-Part Approach to Bidding on Government Cleaning Contracts — and Winning Them
1. Obtain the Necessary Certificates
You must first obtain qualifications before bidding on government cleaning contracts. The first is a D-U-N-S number, which stands for Dun and Bradstreet. Governments use this nine-digit number to assess your credibility and financial soundness. The number is often required for government contract bids, but you can apply for it online at the Dunn and Bradstreet website.
The next step is to register with the System for Award Management (SAM). To cooperate with the government, you'll need this. You can apply for your SAM registration online, just like you can for your D-U-N-S number, and because it's a government website, you can use it for free to register, renew, or check the progress of your application.
Finally, you must know your NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System). The code for most janitorial services is 561720. There are few exceptions, such as carpet cleaning, for specialized services. Check out their website and look up your code for free to make sure you're using the correct code.
2. Locate Suitable Employment Opportunities
You're now prepared to compete for government cleaning contracts! But how do you locate them? There are a few websites where you may check up on government contracts and bid on them. GovernmentBids.com, GovGB.com, and sam.gov are all excellent sources of government contract information. The US General Services Administration also assists small firms in obtaining government contracts.
Check with your state Department of Labor or your local Chamber of Commerce for requests that match the services you provide for state and local bids. You can also search for non-federal contracts on Google, but make sure to narrow your search to the location(s) where you want to do business.
3. Obtain An RFP And Submit A Bid.
Cleaning contracts with the government will begin with a Request for Proposal (RFP), which is a document that lays out exactly what the cleaning task entails. It's critical to read through these thoroughly to ensure that your cleaning business provides all of the services required to complete the task. You're ready to draft and submit your proposal if you do.
Proposals for government positions must be exceedingly extensive and detailed. Remember that you'll be competing with a lot of other people for the same position, so you'll need to stand out. What makes your company stand out from the competition? What do you have to give that they don't? This is also the place where you'll break down your expenses, such as cleaning services, employee compensation, supplies, and profit margin. If you want to get government cleaning contracts, make sure you complete your homework and provide the lowest competitive quote feasible. This will make your proposal look more appealing. (Just make sure your bid will still get you money.)
4. What Are The Benefits Of Government Contracts?
If all of this seems like a lot of labor, you might be asking what the point of government cleaning contracts is. What distinguishes them from ordinary contracts?
Government contracts have the potential to be long-term, which is one of their main advantages. While some bids are "spot bids," meaning they expire at the end of the job, others are for lengthy periods, guaranteeing you business as long as you keep doing a good job.
Another benefit is financial. Cleaning contracts with the government are often lucrative, with the government spending millions of dollars on cleaning services each year. If you're clever, you can turn this into a considerable source of money.
5. Government Cleaning Jobs Come In A Variety Of Shapes And Sizes.
Cleaning federal and state government facilities isn't the only thing that has to be done. Other intriguing and innovative government cleaning tasks abound. Cleaning public schools or state universities, city halls, libraries, firehouses, and police stations are all possible bids. These jobs can be more interesting and offer substantially more money than standard office cleaning jobs. Just keep in mind that additional certificates may be required to clean certain types of buildings, such as hospitals.
Whatever types of jobs you wind up taking on, it's a good idea to use tools to help you keep organized and manage your appointments. Writing bid proposals, organizing projects, maintaining in touch with clients, keeping track of inventory, and more may all be made easier with software like Janitorial Manager. Janitorial management software is especially important for government employment since many government cleaning contracts involve specific, subtle elements that may be ignored if they aren't tracked from the start. Furthermore, being able to engage with customers in real-time raises the likelihood of customer happiness.
What Is The Easiest Government Contracts To Win For Small Businesses?
As previously noted, each government contract presents its own set of issues. However, because not every government contractor has equal access to federal business prospects, certain cleaning contracts, such as these, are more available to disadvantaged businesses:
Contracts for set-aside
Set-aside contracts, also known as set-asides, are federal contracts that are only awarded to small businesses that meet certain criteria. Set-asides are automatically applied to government contracts worth between $3,500 and $150,000.
Competitive set-asides and sole-source set-asides are the two types of set-aside contracts. To get the contract, you must outbid other small firms, just like any other federal contract. The latter, on the other hand, does not require small businesses to bid because there are times when just one small business is capable of completing the contract's tasks.
However, not all small firms are eligible to participate in set-asides.
Here are the steps you must do to be considered for this type of contract:
- SAM.gov is a website where you can register your business.
- Become eligible for the Small Business Administration's federal contracting support programs.
Cleaning Contracts for Small Business with the General Services Administration
Government agencies employ these long-term government-wide contracts, also known as Multiple Award Schedule (MAS), to acquire products and hire services in bulk at reasonable prices. The General Services Administration (GSA) oversees these transactions to guarantee contract efficiency and effectiveness.
The GSA offers training to firms interested in being scheduled. Small disadvantaged enterprises receive support and help from the group as well.
Subcontracts with the Federal Government
Federal subcontracts are not issued directly by a government agency, unlike the previously stated government cleaning contracts for small businesses. Instead, another government contractor, also known as the prime contractor, receives the contract.
Subcontracting is a federal contracting process in which prime contractors hire specialists to work on a specific aspect of their contract. Subcontracting is a common initial step for small firms looking to test the waters. This venture allows them to obtain expertise in the industry without having to go through the time-consuming procedure of applying to work for the government.
How do You Bid on a Cleaning Contract for a Small Business?
Cleaning Contracts Won
Before you come up with pricing for a government cleaning contract for a small business, the most significant portion of bidding takes place. By conducting research, asking questions, and calculating costs properly, you can ensure that your estimate accurately reflects the quality of service you deliver to a possible new client. Use these five pointers to secure cleaning jobs.
First and Foremost, Comprehend the Client's Expectations.
Doing your due homework is the first step in creating effective proposals for cleaning contracts for small businesses. SMG Corporate Services President Scott Weintraub adds, "Get a thorough grasp of the client's industry and type of building." Schedule an onsite visit with the client to stroll around the property if possible. An in-person meeting allows you to present your narrative and learn about the client's needs and expectations. If you can build a personal connection and provide outstanding service, your chances of winning a bid increase dramatically.
Snap detailed notes and ask if you can take photographs during the site visit. If the client does not supply measurements, be prepared to take them yourself. When writing the final bid, you can refer to your notes, photos, and dimensions.
Evaluate the Situation
During the tour, inquire about the client's happiness with their present cleaning service. What are their main concerns and grievances? What is their motivation for bidding on a new government cleaning contract for small businesses? "Understand the client's primary purchasing motivations," Mack advises. "What will it take to win, and why are they going to market?" You will be able to outperform the competition if you ask good questions.
Here are some ideas on what to see and do during your visit:
- Cleaning task frequency Supply providers Specialized equipment and supplies
- Levels of product utilization
- Requests for special consideration3
- Space that can be cleaned and space that cannot be cleaned
Calculate the amount of space that can be cleaned.
If you price commercial cleaning jobs correctly, you'll have a better chance of getting your proposal accepted. According to a study, using the RFP is critical for giving accurate data in the offer. If touring the space isn't possible, an RFP is a fantastic resource for creating a commercial cleaning contract offer. The RFP will contain all of the information you'll need to put together your offer, including information acquired during a site visit. The cleanable square footage is one of the items that should be mentioned in a commercial cleaning RFP. Cleanable square footage is one approach to figuring out how much a business cleaning project will cost.
A government cleaning contract can help to secure your company's future. You place your company in a position to earn future and more profitable contracts if the job is executed correctly and your price remains competitive.
Taking the appropriate steps, such as registering your firm with SAM, obtaining necessary tax ID numbers, and following proven best practices can help you appear as a strong contender among government organizations seeking respectable vendors.
When it comes to competing for government cleaning contracts, a small business loan could be the key to your success.