Bidding in a Post-COVID World – Follow Up Q&A
April 30, 2020
April 30, 2020
Even before the world was flipped upside down by this pandemic, bidding has always been a difficult process for janitorial company owners.
Swept CEO Michael Brown had a chance to chat with CEO/Founder of Rozalado Services, Ricky Regalado, about bidding in a post-COVID world. The result was an honest, informative, and eye-opening look at where the commercial cleaning business will be when the world opens back up, and beyond.
There were a LOT of questions asked, and we couldn’t get to every one of them during the webinar. Ricky, however, was nice enough to go through every single question and give a short, but informative answer.
Q: How do we find RFPs so we can try to win them?
A- You can always look at your city or state RFP, or Bid-opportunities board within your specific areas of service.
- Q: Do you charge extra for disinfecting because of covid-19?
A- Yes! – We call it the “virucide disinfection services for non confirmed / confirmed case decontamination cleaning”.
- Q: What contracts do you turn down?
A- Anything that is under 3 days a week, but this of course, is case by case. Remember a 1 x a week account complains as much as a 5 day a week account.
- Q: How do you reach those different verticals?
A- I’d say you have to service each vertical first-hand to fully understand the vertical, then you can speak on it and truly be able to sell and service each type.
- Q: how do you price virucide?
A- We base it off a minimum visit price, and per square foot.
- How do you get those verticals?
A- You first identify them… walking in, google search, and networking events.
- Q: How do I approach a business when they say they have a cleaning company?
A- First off that’s a good thing! That then means they outsource their cleaning, therefore they will hear you out. Present them with some marketing material or a pitch about who you are and what differentiates you. Be able to offer multiple services other than just cleaning, so then you always have something extra to speak on.
- Q: How much of a process do you go through with a client “partner” before the RFP?
A- I am always vetting affiliate partners. (Other small cleaning companies). Now if you’re referring to the potential client as a partner, then you most likely will speak to them on a call or email, and then meet in person for a walkthrough before seeing an RFP. However, in some cases, depending on the type of client, they may also send you the RFP before even speaking, therefore buying you time to see if you meet the prerequisites.
- Q: How do you see the future scope of work changing to account for COVID-19?
A- The scope has always had language regarding deep-cleaning, disinfecting, etc. What I do see is more added context on chemical usage, dwell time, type of disinfecting cleaning, and so forth. More drawn out details highlighting steps being taken, or steps being requested to be taken, during our work schedules.
- Q: I would love recommendations on a template that helps you create scope of work
A- I would recommend using Route software to help you with creating a reusable proposal and scope-of-work templates. (sorry I had to)
- Q: Any thoughts on the future of short term rentals, and changes in turn over time, and bidding those?
A- I don’t have much experience with rental cleanings… Sorry. I would say though, in general, the cleaning industry will see a BOOM, because now every type, or residential, or commercial space will think long and hard about their current and future cleaning program.
- Q: All of my bids appointments happen so fast. How do I respectfully slow down the client to get a valuable tour of their facility and effective conversation with them?
A- I would definitely recommend using the approach of always letting the client know you will take some time during the visit, and this will allow you to develop a customized proposal for them.
- Q: Have you figured out how to go around the RFP? And talk with the client during the process?
A- There is always a contact person for the RFP, If this is in reference to an RFP by a property manager for a tenant. You will still have to speak to the property manager, not the client.
- Q: How much does “innovation” or new ways of doing things factor into an RFP?
A- It is now more important than ever before! Clients are beginning to want more and more data, and more of a streamlined and efficient process to get answers they want to see at the touch of a button. They are looking for more transparency, and visibility.
- Q: What is your largest platform for Marketing?
A- Google is the best I have used. More so Google Business, Organic, Content and SEO Strategies, and last-but-not-least Google Reviews. Your company website is crucial as well. It defines who you are, and it tells your story.
Education / Training
Q: Where can we get mentoring?
A- I can speak to everyone on a monthly basis and then add them to our Route Community portal to help with ongoing tips, advice, coaching, etc.
- Q: Where can we find Cleaning and Cocktails?
- Q: What mastermind group are you in?
A- Elite business coaching, Route Tribe community.
- Q: What about certifications for businesses, ex. OSHA etc
A- OSHA yes, ISSA, BSCAI
- Q: a lot of cleaning companies are doing disinfection without Knowledge, where can we find training?
A- You can check out GBAC, ISSA, CMI websites to go through training and webinars.
Cleaning / Disinfecting
Q: How does Cleaning for appearance become delivering a healthy and disinfected environment related to customer expectations?
A- You must clean to clean, not for appearance plain and simple. Now more than ever.
- Q: What’s the difference between electrostatic spraying and fogging?
ESS spraying using electrically charged methods that charge the chemical, can then cause the spray to gravitate to an entire surface. It wraps itself around the surface, whereas “Fogging” just hits the front of a surface depending on how you point it.
- Q: Are you wiping and disinfecting touch points before you electrostatic spray?
Yes – always pre-clean the soiled and dirty areas first by spraying and wiping down the standard way or using a backpack pump sprayer, then you follow on with the ESS machine.
- Q: Was it better to do an automatic sprayer or manual?
We use both, either work just fine.
- Q: Can the same concept be used for house cleaning?
Yes, you can use all the equipment and chemicals for both residential and commercial.
- Q: Will you recommend chemicals can be used with foggers?
Yes but you have to research the proper chemicals.
- We use Spartan by peroxy. Any hydrogen peroxide type chemical is the best option.
Q: What can cleaning companies do about supply shortages in terms of PPE (masks, gloves), and certain janitorial products (disinfecting wipes, paper towels, and definitely toilet paper?
A- Team up with other small cleaning companies, and buy in bulk as a group, this helps with meeting minimums for orders.
- Q: where can we purchase an electrostatic sprayer?
You can speak with your supplier and local distributor reps, search online. Speak with Home depot supplyworks, NSA, North American, Jon Don,
- Q: Ricky, what brand electrostatic sprayers do you use?
I have Karcher, Victory and Clorox 360.
- Q: How do you go about insurance when someone subs for you?
You must mandate they have COI for GL, umbrella and Workman’s comp, or else they can’t work for or with you.
- Q: I’m a small business of 4 employees want to hire more but dont have the working capital
We all start there. I started with 5 people. All family. YOU take it day by day, little by little. The goal is to aim to get some 5 day a week accounts, accounts that can be serviced by somebody full-time, then add little by little. You want to have everyone be able to work a min. of 30 hours, then that is your trigger to find more accounts. Then fill someone’s schedule again, over and over and over again.
- Q: Advice on hiring the right people?
Always be hiring, you never know when the right talent and personality is going to walk through the door. That is my motto. I hire personality and drive first, we can always teach cleaning skills
- Q: Should I secure contracts first and then hire or hire then secure staff?
I do. I’m always securing contracts and work first. Worst case, you service the account until you find somebody. I feel this is the best way to grow and really understand the business in and out.
- Q: How do you approach cleaning wages?
Always pay above min. Wage – at least $1-2 more. Attract talent with incentives!
- Q: What is the best approach to find trustable subcontractors?
Vet them with questions, understand how they approach business, remember you are ultimately their client so imagine how they treat your clients facilities if they treat you a certain way. It is very important to try to find like-minded people,
The above is just one of our many efforts to keep you in-the-know.
We have published Ricky’s answers unedited and in full. Some of his ideas or opinions may not be that of Swept. There’s a lot we don’t know about COVID, and as new evidence emerges, facts may change. We strive to keep you informed with the most up-to-date information available to us. We do hope this is helpful.
And as a final bit of valuable information, Ricky and the fine folks at Rozalado Services, thanks to some hard work on the part of the team at ROUTE, brought a COVID-Janitorial Bidding Guide (in PDF form) for us to offer to anyone who wants it. We can’t even begin to describe how detailed this document is, but if you are concerned about how your janitorial company needs to adapt the way it does bidding once things start to open up again, this document is an invaluable read. Grab it right here:
And if you want some more basic ground rules around bidding in general, please enjoy Swept’s own Guide to Bidding.
We’ve always known cleaners were undervalued heros, and finally, the rest of the world is seeing how important the work they do truly is. We want to continue to enable you and your teams to stay safe and keep our communities safe.
It is a time where it may be difficult to separate fact from fiction, but we all need to be dedicated, diligent, and believe that things will be changing in a positive direction soon.
In reaction to the global issue, the expected levels of sanitation have been raised across the board, and we’re guessing that these levels will stay elevated for years to come. The best move is to adjust to the changes now and to put long-term plans into place to make these practices your “new normal”. Again, we’ll be here throughout this journey to support you. We’ll also be making important changes in order to stay current, adapt easily, and be in a position to help. We have your back!
Swept is dedicated to highlighting stories that keep everyone in the janitorial industry as up to date on world events and in-the-know as possible. Having started as a commercial cleaning company ourselves, our hearts go well beyond the janitorial software we offer. Learn more about Swept’s cleaning company software here. And to keep up on all the trends in the janitorial services industry, subscribe to our blog!
Curious what actions your janitorial company can make toward adapting to this fast-changing market? How to improve your communication and message in times of hardship like this, and finding the right service to provide to meet the pain-points currently in high demand? We’ve got the right place to start your search right here!