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I s this your first time hiring a janitorial cleaning company? Here are the questions you should be asking the companies when going out for bids:

  1. Franchise vs Local – Is the company a franchise company or a local company? Here’s why this is important, franchises have VERY different business practices and incentives for themselves. Be aware of what those are and that they are often more beneficial to the franchise than to your facility or the independent contractor providing the services. To learn a little more about this check out our post on Janitorial Franchise vs Local/Privately Owned Commercial Cleaning Company.
  2. Liability Insurance – Does the company have the proper liability insurance? What if your facility is flooded? These scenarios actually do play out so not only should you ask about it but ask for proof of insurance as well. Ask for at least $1 million in coverage plus $2 million aggregate.
  3. Bond Insurance – What if there is suspected theft? Does the company have the proper insurance to cover that?
  4. Workers Compensation – What if the cleaner falls, is that your responsibility or the cleaning companies?
  5. Termination – What happens if you need to terminate the contract due to inconsistent service? Do you get billed for this? Look at that termination clause in the contract and ask appropriate questions.
  6. Additional Services – Does the company offer other services like carpet cleaning, floor services, window washing, pressure washing, etc?  It’s much easier to do business with the same company rather than hire a new vendor for each of these services. Make it easier on yourself and hire a full service janitorial company.
  7. Backup Plan – What’s the backup plan if the cleaner calls in sick? Do they have one? Is it solid? This scenario happens all the time so make sure the company has a backup plan in place vs a no show – you don’t have time to be stuck cleaning the office yourself with no notice.
  8. Customer Service – While this one is hard to measure initially, it’s important to ask what the process is like when a complaint is received. Also, to some extent, you need to go with your gut on this one. How quickly does the service provider respond to email and phone calls? How quickly are they able to generate a service agreement after the initial walk-through? Additionally, read reviews about the company to see what clients have to say on Google or Yelp.
  9. Walk-through – Make sure the company walks your facility as this will ensure accurate pricing and it will help when preparing the work scope items in the service agreement.

I intentionally left out price and while I understand it’s a factor, it absolutely should not be the only one. A company that has all the proper insurances, backup plan and staffing in place will likely not be the lowest bidder. And when you are comparing pricing and companies, it’s important to understand this. Do your research and ask the right questions.