Want to maximize the control, profit and financial security of your cleaning business?
If so, aim to be the janitorial business owner who holds the cleaning contract with and works directly for the building owner - rather than a sub-contractor who simply performs the service for a large regional cleaning service or national maintenance management company.
Learn from the lobster.
You know which lobster – the unlucky, unwary one.
The unsuspecting crustacean, aka lobster, was placed into a pot of what was at first - lukewarm water, but soon met his unfortunate fate ; being out-smarted by the experienced cook who slowly but steadily increased the temperature of the water, one degree at a time - until boiling.
Result? One cooked lobster who didn't recognize what was happening until it was too late.
Many of today's janitorial businesses can be a lot like the unfortunate lobster in our story, only in this case, rather than a pot of water, these cleaning companies are lured into accepting one poorly structured sub-contracting agreement after another - until they're financially 'boiling'.
It's true - an inexperienced or struggling cleaning business owners desperate to find more work, can quickly find they're signing deals which consistently leave them on the 'short end of the financial stick'.
That's right, by accepting low profit, low control, high-frustration sub-contracting arrangements where the work is done for a large, often distant 3rd party middleman, local cleaning business owners can begin to wonder why they're working harder than ever - but without ever seeming to get anywhere financially.
In many cases, fear is the culprit.
Uncertain how to find or land new accounts on their own, janitorial businesses may find themselves reluctantly but repeatedly agreeing to deliver cleaning services as a sub-contractor - falling into the easy trap of thinking 'any work is better than no work - a misguided philosophy at best; and one with potentially devastating consequences.
So, what's so wrong with sub contracted cleaning jobs anyway?
Well, maybe nothing, maybe a lot. Let's say a 3rd party national maintenance management outfit calls and asks a local janitorial business to work for them as a subcontractor at three nearby bank branches. And, let's further say these branches are just a few of more than 350 located nationwide the management company has signed on to manage for the customer (the party who signed the national deal with the building(s) owner).
If the agreement provides for enough travel, cleaning and supervisory time to reasonably and consistently deliver professional cleaning and at a price that not only covers all expenses, but provides for a reasonable profit for the nature and difficulty of the work as well, then there's nothing necessarily wrong - if the cleaning business sub contractor doesn't mind the lack of first position, direct contractual connection with the customer (the party who signed the deal with the management company).
That's right, if they're willing to play by the rules required by the 3rd party middleman and are comfortable accepting the terms of the subcontract agreement, then the arrangement, while not ideal, may be acceptable.
However, the problem occurs when the subcontracting agreement doesn't provide the local cleaning business with either 1.) a sufficient amount of cleaning time (labor hours) to personally clean the building or to assign to an employee to properly clean or 2.) an adequate profit after expenses.
If either one of these two conditions occurs, the problem of having to take a virtual 'back seat' position in the deal (low-control) can quickly fade in comparison to the service and financial pressures of – too little time (cleaning) or too little money (profit).
It serves as another reminder that - busy does not necessarily equal profitable.
Unfortunately, this truth, which seems so reasonable and easy to understand, can quickly get lost in the rush or at times, near panic of a local cleaning business owner desperate to find new cleaning jobs.
These cleaning contractors can in some ways be compared to sailors lost at sea in a life raft, who after days of dehydration find themselves desperately, mindlessly drinking ocean water – satisfying their momentary thirst but while often creating even bigger, more dire consequences.
In a similar way, commercial cleaning companies who decide to grow by carrying out the 'heavy lifting' of performing the actual cleaning for a larger and/or more experience national cleaning or management companies – might soon find they've paid a high, long term price for a short term convenience.
Let's look at an example NOT in cleaning – specifically, the difference between buying and leasing a car. There is always a price to pay for something done for you.
Don't want to deal with the hassle of finding a buyer for your old car? No problem, the dealership will deal with that hassle so you don't have to – for a price.
Don't want to deal with having to do the homework of shopping around to compare lenders and rates for a loan? No problem, the dealership will help you there too by arranging for financing for you as you sit in a comfy chair in the shiny showroom – for a price.
So it is with all things - there is a price to be paid for every convenience, every hassle eliminated, any responsibility moved from your lap to someone else's.
You don't have to find the lead. You don't have to attract the lead. You don't have to make the sales presentation. These functions can be taken over by a 3rd party like a large regional cleaning business or national management maintenance company - but not without a cost.
On the other hand, being the contract holder – the party who holds the signed bid proposal and agreement with the actual owner of the building or buildings to be cleaned has a number of advantages including - not having to share profit dollars with an additional 3rd party, as well as, regular, direct contact with the customer.
If after thorough review a local cleaning business can find profitable subcontracting opportunities offered by reputable management companies; structured in a way that allows for adequate cleaning hours, profit as well as wage rate to keep the account consistently clean and staffed – then, taking a controlled percentage of these kinds of accounts, while not ideal, may be acceptable.
However, in general, we suggest independent janitorial business owners build their companies by learning how to find, land and keep cleaning accounts by and for themselves - rather than having to turn to outside, 3rd party national cleaning or management companies for work.
Cleaning Service Contract Template
This cleaning services contract is entered into on [Agreement.CreatedDate] between [Sender.Company] (Service Provider), and [Client.Company] (Client), collectively known as the “Parties”.
The Client seeks to obtain facility cleaning services from the Service Provider, and,
The Service Provider agrees they are capable and willing to meet all requirements outlined in this contract.
PandaTip: This template is designed to offer cleaning services on a flexible basis. This allows you to perform services as they are required, and bill the client according to the pricing table in the template (below).
The Service Provider agrees to offer the following services during the term of this contract.
Services will be performed on an as-needed basis, and billed according to the table below.
|Sweeping, Mopping, Vacuuming||$0.00||1||$0.00|
This cleaning services contract shall begin on [Contract.StartDate] and will conclude as of [Contract.EndDate].
If either party wishes to terminate this contract prior to [Contract.EndDate], written notice must be provided to the other party.
PandaTip: The independent contractor section of this template makes it clear that your company is not an employee of the client, but shall remain an independent business hired to provide cleaning services.
The Service Provider is in agreement they are not an employee of the Client and will act as an independent contractor for the term of this cleaning service contract.
The Service Provider agrees to provide services to the best of their ability at all times.
The Client shall have the right to, at any time, perform an inspection of the Service Provider’s work.
Should the Client discover any fault or failure during such inspections, the Client reserves the right to withhold payment until such errors are corrected by the Service Provider.
Upon receipt of a notice of failure or fault from the Client, the Service Provider agrees to fully address and remedy such errors as soon as reasonably possible.
PandaTip: Use the template’s payment section to outline acceptable payment methods.
The Service Provider shall perform the above-listed services on an as-needed basis, and shall invoice the client as such.
The Service Provider shall generate a complete invoice for all services rendered every 30 days.
Client agrees to pay all invoices associated with this cleaning agreement within 30 days of receipt unless notice of fault or failure to perform allows for delayed payment.
Payments may be made via the following methods:
(insert multi-line text field)
PandaTip: The confidentiality section of the template protects your client’s intellectual property. This language is necessary for any service where a provider could potentially have access to a client’s private or proprietary information.
Any information or knowledge obtained during the term of this cleaning services contract about the Client is considered confidential.
The Service Provider agrees to keep all information not openly known to the public confidential and private as such.
Should the Service Provider or its employees’ actions lead to the Client’s confidential information being disclosed to unauthorized parties, the Client shall have the right to seek full remedy in accordance with applicable copyright law.
Return of Property
Upon conclusion of this cleaning service contract either by termination by either party or completion by completion of the agreed agreement term, all property given to the Service Provider by the Client shall be returned in the state it was given.
This is inclusive of any documentation, keys, and any codes given.
Any and all notifications between the Client and Service Provider shall be done so in written form.
Notices may be delivered in person, emailed,or mailed via certified letter to the following addresses.
(Insert Text Field)
Service Provider Address
(Insert Text Field)
Each party agrees to indemnify and hold the opposite party harmless against any and all liability or damages without limitation.
The indemnification clause of this cleaning services contract shall survive the termination or conclusion of this agreement and shall remain in effect for a term of 12 months following conclusion or termination of this contract.
PandaTip: This template states that your cleaning services contract cannot be modified, except in writing with signature from both parties.
Modification of Agreement
Any and all amendments to this cleaning services contract shall be submitted in writing and signed by both Parties.
No amendment, modification, addition, or extension of this cleaning services contract shall be considered binding if not conducted in the prescribed manner.
Time of Essence
This agreement is based on a fixed period and terms and shall remain as such.
This cleaning services contract may be re-entered upon completion but will not be extended or drawn out by either party past [Agreement.EndDate].
PandaTip: The assignment section of this template serves as protection for both parties. The service provider can’t subcontract the listed services without approval from the client, and the Client must agree that the agreement will remain intact if the property being serviced is sold.
Under no term of this agreement shall the Service Provider subcontract any other individual or agency to complete any services included in this contract without prior written consent from the Client.
This article of the cleaning services contract shall not restrict the Service Provider’s ability to hire and retain employees of it’s own to conduct the listed services.
Should the Client sell its interest in the property being serviced to another entity, that entity shall be responsible for adhering to the terms of this cleaning services contract in it’s entirety.
This cleaning services contract shall constitute the entire agreement and shall replace any and all written or verbal agreements before this agreement.
Any and all legal manners related to this cleaning services contract shall be subject to jurisdiction in the state of [Client.State].
The Parties agree that in the instance of a disagreement both parties will seek mediation from a neutral arbitrator before seeking remedy through a court of law.
PandaTip: This section of the template states that this contract shall survive should any single aspect of it be deemed unenforceable or unfair.
Should any single term of this contract be held as unenforceable or illegal, the term shall be replaced with a similarly enforceable term.
Upon the replacement or cancellation of any term of this agreement, all remaining terms will remain in full effect.
PandaTip: Once this template is complete, You can send the final cleaning services contract to yourself and your client for electronic signature.
Both parties are in agreement to all terms and conditions above and will, to their best abilities, fulfill all aspects of this cleaning services contract.
The signatures below indicate complete consent and approval by each party.