How to Get More Cleaning Contracts in 6 Easy Steps

How to Get More Cleaning Contracts in 6 Easy Steps 2024

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With so many competing priorities, homeowners and business owners often find it challenging to make time for cleaning. And let’s face it—to do the job right, it takes at least a few hours.

That’s where cleaning companies like yours come into play. You offer cleaning services. Homeowners and business owners need your cleaning services. So why have you not won as many cleaning contracts as you would like? The team at HouseCall Pro has some tips on how you can get more cleaning contracts to help grow your company in 2024.

Step by Step: How to find clients for new cleaning contracts 

We’ve had the privilege of talking to many small business owners in the cleaning space. And we’ve learned a lot about what works well—and not so well—when it comes to growing a business. In this article, we’ll walk you through the six key steps to create awareness and ensure your business gets the contracts it deserves.

But first, let’s talk just a bit about why you might not be getting the cleaning contracts you think you should be winning.

  • One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Trying to appeal to everyone can actually lead to appealing to no one. Tailoring your services to a specific market segment or type of client—like small businesses, luxury homes, government facilities, or medical facilities—can help you stand out and attract more of the contracts you really want.
  • Lack of Clarity in Offerings: Make sure you’re clear about what makes your service unique—whether it’s eco-friendly products, exceptional customer service, or flexible scheduling.
  • Not Advertising Effectively: If your advertising strategy is outdated or you’re not utilizing the most effective channels to reach your target audience, your message might not get through. Explore different advertising options, including digital marketing, to increase your visibility.
  • Relying Solely on Word of Mouth: While referrals are powerful, relying on them alone limits your potential growth. Combining word-of-mouth referrals with proactive marketing efforts can help you reach a wider audience.
  • Lack of Online Presence: Not having a solid online presence can be a significant setback. A user-friendly website, active social media profiles, and positive online reviews can help attract new clients.
  • Inconsistent Service Quality: Consistency is key in the cleaning business. If your service quality fluctuates, it can lead to dissatisfied customers and fewer referrals. Ensure your team is well-trained and committed to maintaining high standards.
  • Failing to Follow Up: Sometimes, the difference between winning and losing a contract is the follow-up. If you don’t check in with potential clients after initial contact, you might miss out on opportunities. Regular follow-up demonstrates your interest and commitment to potential clients.

So, now that you understand what might be getting in your way, let’s go through the steps to help you turn things around. 

Step # 1: Identify your ideal customer

While this might seem obvious, many businesses fail to identify their key customers. In the cleaning business, this is no different. The challenge here is that you might think your ideal customer is anyone needing cleaning services. But if you approach it that way, you’ll fail to show customers why your services are right for them.

Identifying your ideal customer goes beyond just recognizing the need for cleaning services. It involves conducting detailed market research to understand market segments’ specific needs, preferences, and behaviors. Start by examining your most successful projects and the characteristics of those clients. Who benefits most from your services? Is it busy professionals, large families, or businesses in a particular industry? 

Additionally, take a close look at who your competition is targeting. Analyzing their focus can reveal gaps in the market or underserved customer segments. This insight allows you to effectively tailor your marketing efforts and service offerings.

Step # 2: Create a winning marketing strategy 

As we said above, word-of-mouth referrals are great. In fact, it is estimated that 90% of people are far more likely to trust your brand when they have heard something good about it from others, even if you are a complete stranger. And, 88% of people trust your brand if the recommendation came from a family member or friend. But the fact is, unless you are a super small company not looking to grow, word-of-mouth leads will probably not cut it.

You need marketing to truly reach the right customers who will be interested in your services. Marketing amplifies awareness for your brand, significantly expanding your reach beyond word-of-mouth. While marketing efforts can involve some costs, creating a buzz about your services doesn’t have to break the bank. 

Leveraging social media platforms, engaging in local community events, and optimizing your website for search engines are cost-effective ways to get your name out there. These strategies increase visibility and build credibility and trust with potential customers. That said, let’s get into some specifics about the most important marketing efforts that you need to take to help your cleaning business grow.

Create a website for your cleaning business 

You might think that a website isn’t all that important. But when people spend nearly seven hours a day online, you’ll miss a golden opportunity if you don’t have a great website. And if the fear of creating a website is overwhelming to you, don’t worry. Websites by Housecall Pro can build you a great website, and even make it SEO-friendly, without it costing you an arm and a leg.

Think of it like this—a website is like an online front door to your cleaning business, providing a first impression that can either attract or alienate potential clients. It’s a platform where you can promote your services, highlight customer testimonials, and detail your unique selling propositions. 

With intuitive navigation and a clean design, your website can effectively communicate the quality and reliability of your cleaning services. Additionally, integrating Housecall Pro’s easy-to-use online booking system can streamline the process for clients to request quotes or services, making it simpler for them to choose you over the competition.

Use social media advertising

Remember how we said that people spend almost seven hours a day online? Well, consider that people spend about 143 minutes—that’s over two hours a day—on social media! And the great news is that you can use social media to promote your business, without spending a dime.

However, leveraging social media for your cleaning business means more than just setting up profiles; it’s about engaging with your audience, sharing valuable content, and declaring what makes your services stand out. The best channels to promote your cleaning business typically include Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest. 

  • Facebook and Instagram are ideal for sharing before-and-after photos of your work, customer testimonials, and special offers to create a visual appeal and engage directly with potential clients. 
  • Pinterest, on the other hand, is an excellent platform for posting blogs and infographics related to cleaning tips, organization hacks, and other valuable content. This can not only help establish your authority in the cleaning space but also drive traffic to your website, where potential clients can learn more about your services. 

Giving your social media strategy a bit of oomph with Facebook or Instagram ads can significantly increase your reach and visibility, too. 

Book more jobs through your Google Business Profile

Next on your marketing activities list is to ensure your business is represented on Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). This means that when people visit Google (or other search engines) and type in a search term such as cleaning services near me, your company profile will pop up to the right of the screen and in the search results.

Once that is set up, you will want to consider Google Local Service Ads. These ads appear at the very top of the search results, above traditional search ads and organic listings, providing maximum visibility. When users search for specific services, your ad can show up with your business name, ratings, and contact information, making it easy for them to choose you. 

Housecall Pro’s Google LSA integration makes it easy for potential cleaning clients to book your company directly from Google. What sets these ads apart is that you only pay if a customer contacts you directly through the ad, making it a cost-effective option. This pay-per-lead model ensures that your advertising budget is used efficiently, targeting only those actively looking for cleaning services in your area.

Step # 3: How to master bidding for cleaning contracts

Next up is to clean up—pun intended—your bidding strategy. While it might work to have a verbal agreement for one-and-done cleaning services simply, it’s highly advisable to get more formalized when bidding on long-standing contracts. Having your ducks in a row can ensure your business comes off as professional and as a business that the end-user will want to spend money on.

Create your cleaning services price list

Person using Housecall Pro price book software on mobile device

Let’s face it—price matters. And, one of the worst things you can do to drive away customers is make it hard for them to know how much they’re going to pay. That’s why documenting and publishing your cleaning prices is so important. It doesn’t mean that you can’t revise your prices from time to time. The key here is to make sure that you have one place where customers can go to get not only the list of services you provide but the costs, too.

Ultimately, having a clear and accessible services and pricing list, aka a visual price book, is essential for transparency and convenience. Ensure this list is available on your website for potential clients to review anytime. If you have a public-facing office, display this list prominently there as well. Consider having printable rate cards for in-person conversations or networking events. It’s a non-negotiable, too, that prices are consistent across all platforms and include a disclaimer about potential changes, specifying how often prices may be revised. 

This approach helps you build trust by providing clear expectations and streamlines the estimate process

For more info on how to price your cleaning services, check out our house cleaning pricing guide.

Outline a precise cleaning quote

Have you ever asked for a quote or price information from a vendor, only for them to respond by saying, “we can do whatever you want.” If you’re like most people, that’s not helpful. Not only can they likely not do everything you want, it doesn’t give you the information you need to figure out how much to set aside in your budget for that particular service.

This is why having a precise cleaning quote is so important. Create a way for customers to select the services they want on your website. For example, this can be on your Get a Quote page. A customer can click on window cleaning, linen refresh, and baseboard cleanings as extra services above and beyond your standard services. Perhaps you even offer carpet cleaning services. Then, they click submit and are returned with a precise cleaning quote for those services. Your customers will be super thankful that you made it so easy for them.

Prepare a cleaning proposal

Mastering the bidding process for cleaning contracts doesn’t start and stop with the pricing. Create a process for a customer to receive a formal cleaning proposal. When accepted by the customer, this proposal can easily transition to your service contract.

In your cleaning proposal, include detailed timeframes for project completion, clearly outline which services are included as standard, and specify any extras available upon request. You can even take the good, better, and best approach so a customer can decide the best tier for them.

It’s also important to list materials and equipment for use, along with any guarantees or policies regarding satisfaction and redoing work if expectations are unmet. Providing this level of detail demonstrates professionalism and helps customers make an informed choice.

Step # 4: Send your cleaning contract bid

Now that you have your prices well-documented, your website in play, and a proposal template you can work with, next up is sending the contract bid. This might sometimes mean printing everything off and hand-delivering it in an organized binder or other system for a customer to review at an in-person meeting. In fact, this can be especially useful for you to come prepared for any walk-throughs where a customer is asking for a bid. 

But, there’s a bit more to this process that can help elevate your professionalism and protect you and the prospective client.

Determine the scope of work

Determining the scope of work is a must for any cleaning contract bid. This step involves defining precisely what your standard services cover and distinguishing these from any add-on services a client might request. Adopting that good, better, best scenario we mentioned earlier can effectively cater to different client needs and budgets, offering a range of service packages from basic cleaning to premium, all-inclusive options. This provides clarity and choice for your clients and allows you to streamline your operations according to the predefined scopes of work.

Having the scope of work clearly documented—and published on your website or in your proposal materials—serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it sets clear expectations with the client, reducing the risk of misunderstandings or unmet expectations. Secondly, it provides legal safeguards for your business. 

By outlining what is included in each service package and any additional costs associated with add-on services, you create a transparent agreement that can protect both parties if disputes arise. 

Have your license and proof of insurance 

Next up is to ensure you have the proper licensing and proof of insurance for your business. While legalities may differ from state to state, most clients will want to see that you have licensing and proof of insurance before they are willing to sign a contract. And not only does this protect them, it protects you and your business, too.

Depending on your location or your specific clientele, you might also need a special license or bond to comply with local laws or client requirements. These measures ensure your business practices meet the standards set by regulatory authorities and provide a layer of trust for your clients.

Furthermore, securing general liability insurance is super important for your cleaning company. This type of insurance generally covers damages or injuries that could result from your cleaning services, including property damage and bodily injury claims, as well as any associated legal costs. It’s an essential safeguard that protects your business against unforeseen circumstances, ensuring that you and your clients have peace of mind during your work. 

Step # 5: Provide an exceptional cleaning experience

No matter how hard you work to implement all of the above steps, things can quickly go south if you or your team deliver a poor cleaning experience. A good way to ensure nothing is missed is to develop standard operating procedures, often called SOPs. 

Create standard operating procedures for high-quality work consistency

An SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is a comprehensive guide for your team, ensuring consistency and quality in every cleaning job. This internal document acts as a checklist, preventing any task from being overlooked and maintaining high service standards. Within the SOP, specifying the order of operations, the acceptable products for each cleaning task, and the completion criteria for each step adds an additional layer of detail that guarantees each job meets your company’s high standards. 

This meticulous approach to defining and following a set process enhances the cleaning experience for your clients and streamlines your team’s workflow, making each task more efficient and effective.

  • Helpful Tip: Make sure that your SOP complements the list of services and scope of work that we mentioned earlier. Your SOP should have documentation on every service that you offer.

Impress customers with cleaning business software

Housecall Pro sms cleaning business software text message send customer arrival time

With Housecall Pro as your cleaning ally, you can rest assured that you’ll deliver a great customer experience, every time. From start to finish, cleaning service software like Housecall Pro helps you deliver unforgettable service. As the job comes in, stay in touch with customers every step of the way with in-app chat. When unexpected last-minute changes come up, Housecall Pro automatically notifies customers and your team of any changes. Send customers “on my way texts” with your GPS location and precise ETA’s so they know exactly when to expect you. You’ll have access to all the client’s and job details well before you even step foot on their property.

Armed with this data, you can deliver personalized, unforgettable service. After the job is done, quickly send an invoice, and accept payments for a seamless transaction. Send a one-time invoice or schedule them on a recurring weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Lastly, Housecall Pro puts getting customer reviews on autopilot. Display them on your website, Google Business Profile, or Facebook page, and watch your online reputation grow effortlessly. 

Cleaning business invoice software

Step # 6: Renew with a cleaning service agreement

An auto-renewal clause is one of the easiest ways to renew your cleaning service agreements. For example, if your initial contract is set up for two years, you can have a clause that indicates the contract will auto-renew in one-year increments thereafter. You can also align this with your price increases and indicate that auto-renewals will happen in conjunction with a price increase aligned with your current rates at that time.

However, you also want to ensure that customers have the opportunity to add (or remove) services if they wish to do so. Your auto-renewal clause should be written to assume no change in services. So, if a customer wants to make changes, ensure that your contract clearly indicates when and how they can do that.

Remember, the real win for your cleaning business is not just landing a job but keeping those customers returning for more. Setting up your contracts with an auto-renewal feature is a smart move. It’s like saying, “Hey, let’s keep this good thing going,” without the hassle of renegotiating every year. Plus, it’s a smooth way to handle price adjustments and refer back to that visual price book. 

And remember, it’s essential to let your customers mix things up if they want to—maybe add a service or skip one. Make sure they know how to make those changes easily. In the end, it’s all about keeping your customers so happy they wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else. Keep ’em smiling, and they’ll stick with you, so your business keeps growing.

How to get different types of cleaning contracts 

Now that you have done all this work by following our six steps above, it is important to know that you can’t approach your cleaning contracts as a one-size-fits-all. Different industries have different requirements. So, be sure that any systems you set up can be retro-fitted to make sense for the industry your client is in. Doing so will help you win more contracts, faster. 

How to get more commercial cleaning contracts 

When targeting commercial cleaning contracts, emphasize specialized services like after-hours cleaning or customized cleaning plans that cater to the unique needs of different businesses. Networking at local business events and joining commerce associations can also open doors to commercial opportunities. Make sure your marketing materials speak to the specific concerns of business owners, such as reliability, security, and minimal disruption to their operations.

How to get more home cleaning contracts

Securing more home cleaning contracts means showing your company’s trustworthiness, flexibility, and attention to detail. Offering package deals or loyalty discounts can be very appealing. Consider targeting specific neighborhoods or communities with door-to-door flyers or local social media groups. A strong referral program can turn satisfied customers into advocates for your service.

How to get cleaning contracts with banks

Banks require a level of cleanliness that reflects their professional attention to trust and security. To win cleaning contracts with banks, show your knowledge of and compliance with security procedures and your ability to work discretely around sensitive information. Offering services outside of banking hours to avoid disrupting operations will make your proposal more attractive. References from other commercial clients can significantly help your credibility here.

How to get cleaning contracts with office buildings

For office buildings, demonstrate that you can handle large-scale operations and maintain a clean, healthy environment for workers and visitors. You will need to show your flexibility in working around business hours and your experience with eco-friendly cleaning practices. Networking with property managers and real estate agents can provide valuable leads. Be sure to offer up testimonials from satisfied clients as these can go a long way.

How to get Airbnb cleaning contracts 

Airbnb cleaning contracts and contracts for similar rental properties require a quick turnaround and attention to detail. Stress your flexibility and responsiveness to last-minute requests, as well as your experience in hospitality or short-term rental cleaning. Creating partnerships with local Airbnb hosts or rental agencies by offering them a trial cleaning service at a discounted rate can help establish trust and open up ongoing contract opportunities.

How to get government cleaning contracts 

Securing government cleaning contracts will likely require a formal bidding process and adherence to strict compliance standards. You’ll need to do some homework to become familiar with the requirements for government vendors, including any certifications or security clearances needed. If you want to play in this space, you may wish to attend government contracting workshops or seminars to understand the procurement process better. If you are able to get a meeting, be prepared to speak to your company’s reliability, compliance with regulations, and ability to meet security needs.

Growing your cleaning business with Housecall Pro

Lady cleaning pro pointing to reporting dashboard on TV screen

At Housecall Pro, we’re well-versed in helping cleaning companies grow to scale. This means providing them access to software that can streamline their services. From helping you drive sales to complete jobs and even manage invoicing and payments, we’ve got you covered. Try Housecall Pro for free today to see how we can support you, every step of the way.

author avatar
Luis Ortiz

Luis Ortiz