This is the reason we have spent years working on guides, reports and infographics to help
consumers particularly based in Boston, MA determine their commercial cleaning service needs, how to put together RFPs for cleaning services, how much others are paying for cleaning services and much more.
Take a look here: https://bostonsbestcommercialcleaning.com/resources/
I promise you that we will not spam you. We use your email to deliver quality information only and do so sporadically (we don’t want to send you junk but good info that adds value to you and your colleagues).
In our Resources page you will find reports on:
I hope you find it helpful. Email me or subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch with us.
Do you find yourself wondering how much to allocate to cleaning costs in Boston, MA? But its so hard to find out because people don’t normally share this info…so we did a client survey to figure out how much they spend as a percentage of revenues in cleaning services. We surveyed mostly Property Managers and Administration Managers / Office Managers of Professional Office Spaces (Marketing Offices, Information Tech Offices, etc.). Its important to know that this is only for Boston Metro Area —the data would vary widely depending on location.
We figured 2 important things that may help you if you are trying to put a cleaning budget together for your business. #1 The Janitorial / Cleaning costs as a percentage of gross revenues depends heavily on how many employees these companies have in that particular branch / office. And #2 how many visitors normally visit the facility.
Basically, Managers who reported allocating 1% of their revenues in cleaning costs have 2 things in common: #1 they have more than 10 employees in the facility and some visitors on a daily basis coming in and out of that particular facility. And #2 The companies spending less than 1% in cleaning costs have less than 7 employees and almost no visitors on a daily basis to their place of business.
The companies who spend 2% or higher in cleaning costs per year have more than 25 employees working from that specific facility and have a high number of customer visits to their place of business. For example, a high end building that we clean for in Boston – spends 3% of their revenues in cleaning costs, its a high-end condo building and the building normally has over 50 employees throughout the day. We clean 7 days per week. This high-end residential building is allocating 3% of their gross revenues to cleaning costs because of the type of condo-owners and their needs for a 5 star cleaning service 7/days per week.
View the infographic here. And find out what these managers also said is most important to them from a cleaning service company.
Keep in mind that cleaning costs don’t have to be high to be effective. Every company is different, you have to find a company that can understand your needs. The more info you share during your meeting with the different janitorial companies, the better they would be able to put together a proposal that makes sense to address your needs.
I hope this has been helpful!
Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of meeting with Cole Young, a partner at Strang, Scott, Giroux & Young LLP, a law firm which primarily focuses on construction and commercial real estate transactions and litigation. I got the opportunity to get some valuable advice from Cole. I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of his blog posts here because I found them to be of great value.
BTW – this doesnt apply only to construction, this statute applies to any of us hiring contractors to perform work/services for us –including Property Managers, Office Managers, Developers, Business Owners, etc.
Directly from Cole’s blog post: “In most construction projects, general contractors require subcontractors to indemnify the general contractor for the subcontractor’s negligent actions. Meaning, if the subcontractor’s negligence causes injury to a third-party and that third-party sues the general contractor, the subcontractor agrees to defend the general contractor. Often times, general contractors will attempt to go a step further and seek indemnification from the subcontractor for injuries beyond the subcontractor’s control. In Massachusetts, such provisions are void.” Read the full blog post here http://www.strangscott.com/subcontractors-indemnification-with-general-contractor-is-it-void/
Also if you are looking to get some good advice on Non-Competes Agreements, here is a great blog post on the matter. We use Non-competes so I found this post fascinating!
Have a great weekend!
p.s. And a blog on How to Protect your confidential business info here 😉
In the summer of 2015 we took on a renovation project that was quite stressful. I had to coordinate with several general contractors as finishing the project in a short time frame was extremely important. In 2014 to 2015 I also worked with over 7 contractors for different projects for 1 of our clients with several buildings in Boston. So because I had a tiny little experience I thought I was ready for a bigger project so I took the role of project manager to do a full rehab in 3 months. I worked with an electrician and his employees, a 2 plumbers, a couple of contractors and even some odd person I found in home depot to fix a fence (which ended up costing me more because we had to undo his work and fix it properly!) and so much more – the list is too long!
I was going to pull my hair! I knew I was too stressed when during a doctors apt I asked the physician for a stress pill. The conversation lasted for a few minutes before my pcp proceeded to prescribe me 10 pills to help with the stress. After I read the side affects and the fact that the pill was for individuals with epilepsy I decided to find another way to deal with my stress. But going back to the contractors…I was so stressed because I was coordinating all the projects, working with an engineer, dealing with the city to approve permits, etc….just thinking about it gives me a headache. The whole point is that I learned some key lessons!
Remodeling or making any repairs to your office building is an important financial investment. And if you don’t have experience it could be a health issue too (wink wink)! If you plan to hire a general contractor to complete your project you should know what to expect before the project gets started in order to help you better prepare for the process. A general contractor takes full responsibility to get the job done for the bid price; he purchases the materials, manage budgets, and schedule a cast of subcontractors to get the work done. But at the end of the day you still need to manage that work-relationship with your contractor. So here are a few tips to help you establishing clear expectations.
Tip 1: Establish a schedule
Having a schedule that outlines not just the start and end date but also the tasks and timing; this way you will have a big-picture view of sequencing and deadlines for everything. An accurate schedule will give you a benchmark so that you know if things are slipping by a week or two.
Idea: Perhaps a team meeting to go over the schedule with all contractors involved would help to get everyone on the same page. Getting the contractors together also was a major problem – most of the time for me..they didn’t show up when they were supposed to! I just didn’t understand – but I noticed the same issue for all the contractors not just 1 or 2! So having a clear expectations in writing and checking reference to ask about how good they are but also how were they in regards to communication is important.
Tip 2: Accurate bid estimating
Make sure to use an RFP with very detail info so you choose the right contractor. Effective project estimation is one of the most challenging and important activities when working with a general contractor. Accurate project planning and control is not possible without a reliable and detailed estimate. A dependable estimate explains every detail about the job on a line-by-line basis. Make sure you have a basis for comparison when requesting bids by providing to each contractor with the same project details. For example, if you know which materials you want for which area let the contractors know so they all bid on the same requirements.
Tip 3: Check the Contractor’s Reputation
Ask for references and contact them to check on the services provided, including quality assurance and problem solving mechanisms. A well-established company should be able to provide more than three references.
A better idea would be to stop by in person to check the work done by the contractors bidding on your project.
Tip 4: Insurance
Although this may be super obvious -trust me, we’ve heard and experience first hand so many horror stories: Make sure the company is licensed and insured. You can request to see copies of insurance certificates, or in case of an accident you could be held liable for any injuries and damages that might occur during the project. You should also find out how the general contractor controls access to your building.
Note: Ensure to post the workers compensation insurance certificate for all your visitors and employees to see in case of any injuries.
Tip 5: Get a Written Contract & Get Visual – Ask for drawings plans if possible
The proper drafting and negotiation of contracts are imperative. Make sure the contract you sign is clear and concise and includes every aspect that has been discussed. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure it also includes who is responsible for purchasing the materials that are going to be used.
Keep it in mind that contractors will mark up labor and materials so ensuring that you got the quote for the appropriate materials is also key. I had several major increases because the contractor bided on cheaper materials than what we ‘assumed’ he was bidding on –obviously this caused several conversations and unpleasant moments. Don’t Assume Anything! Make sure you get everything in writing and if at all possible request samples and all details on material types / colors / sizes, etc. Even if its your best friend doing the job, getting everything in writing will make the job easier and pleasant.
Spending time upfront to find a reliable and knowledgeable general contractor that perfectly meets the requirements of your project can save hours of time and lots of headaches.
Side note: I noticed that several of the employees of the contractors loved to curse! Yes, cursing was their thing and it drove me crazy because all these people were supposed to be professionals. So I had a team meeting with all of them and required in writing too that there would be no further cursing in our facility. Immediately they stopped!
What we at Boston’s Best Commercial Cleaning have discovered is that by not taking the time to write a thorough RFP, professionals like you find themselves having to revisit the whole contracting and hiring process, and often within less than eight months.
So we’re here to help.
an e-guide for managers responsible for hiring cleaning services
We put this eguide with you, professional managers, in mind…here is a quick view on the intro of this eguide and you can download the full eguide here
This e-guide will help you and your company save time, save money, achieve your objectives, and eliminate the mistakes that too many companies make when hiring a cleaning service. Over the past three years of representing Boston’s Best Commercial Cleaning in sales meetings and contract discussions with over two hundred companies, we have noticed some very common mistakes that put companies at a disadvantage and that set them up for inevitable failure and frustration:
– Assuming that cleaning a building is just taking out the trash, scrubbing floors, and vacuuming, so they hire cleaning companies by their price and how competent the sales rep seemed to be
– Failing to analyze their cleaning needs as if they were going to manage the work themselves, so they fail to fully assess the complexity of the job and fail to approach the hire with that awareness
– By failing to use an RFP, companies not only invite vague bids, they also set themselves up to accept vague bids, and they simply set themselves up to repeat that process every time they get frustrated with their current cleaning service and start looking for a new one.
And most of them simply aren’t aware of this. If they were, they’d be a lot happier, they’d be saving a lot more money, and they’d likely be keeping their cleaning companies for many more years than they do now.
Here’s an example of how these mistakes create problems: A prospective client in the Financial District recently met with us and mentioned that their cleaning provider had just sent over the new rates for the coming year showing a 20% increase! Why such a drastic change? What went wrong that they charged ‘so little’ in the first year and then hiked the price by 20% in the next? A normal year-by-year increase is 1%-5% – but 20%? It’s likely that the cleaning service raised its rates by 20% because, when they signed the original contract, they promised the client an unrealistically low price (in order to beat out competing bids), or they simply weren’t able to accurately assess the cleaning needs in their bid and initial contract because they weren’t given an RFP or full list of cleaning needs or they failed to do their due diligence – so, in order to avoid going out of business, they raised the rates back up to a realistic level. We hear about this frequently from potential clients.
If the company that hired the cleaners didn’t provide an RFP, then they didn’t have a clear understanding of what they needed, what it would cost them, or how to compare bids from different cleaning providers.
Whether you hire us or not, this guide will help you become a better shopper for and supervisor of cleaning services. That only helps BBCC in the long run, because our services are focused on quality, integrity, and long-term growth of our company – core values that are served best by better-informed and more capable customers. We seek to have a positive influence on everyone in the cleaning sector: customers and providers.
And remember: A cleaning service is a team that ensures your office staff and clients are working in a clean and healthy environment, and that affects employee morale and productivity. The research1 on this is well-established and has demonstrated over and over that cleaning has a direct impact on a business’s bottom line.
So if you consider it from this point of view, why wouldn’t you make hiring a cleaning company an important task?
… with that in mind, let’s get started!
While it’s true that every business, regardless of product sold or service provided, deserves to be as clean as possible in order to attract and retain customers, it’s not always clear which aspects need cleaning. We encourage you to use the checklist below to identify and assess exactly what needs to be cleaned now, and what can wait.
Carpets and floors are the #1 concern for any type of business or office space. The problem with most hard-surface flooring is that it shows dirt and dust-bunnies quickly. Usually the floors can be cleaned with a damp mop, dry static duster or broom, but they may also need to be steam cleaned or scrubbed/stripped/waxed periodically for proper maintenance. And without the right equipment and know-how, that cleaning can be hard, time-consuming work.
Note: Due to the high frequency of activities that involve children sitting or lying down, childcare facilities should have their carpets and floors cleaned quarterly. Manufacturing facilities, or offices with high-energy appliances should have carpets and floors cleaned roughly as often, to avoid damage incurred by debris or other loose materials.
Windows are essential to office spaces, residential and commercial building spaces. Windows help to promote positive morale and comfort. For that reason windows should be cleaned at least bi-monthly, to avoid being clouded with dirt. High rise buildings may schedule the outside of the windows on a quarterly basis. Some even on a bi-annual basis.
Tip: during winter cleaning outside of windows with window cleaner does not work. Instead use anti-freeze to avoid the chemical from freezing.
Restrooms are an integral space in any building, but especially offices and childcare facilities. Restrooms should therefore be cleaned daily, to protect users from bacteria and exposure to harmful bio-hazardous waste. If your bathrooms are not being cleaned regularly, you and your business could be compromising the health of your employees and their families.
Kitchens or kitchenettes are a common break room feature among many office buildings. These are spaces that experience a high volume of human interaction throughout the workday, and therefore should be cleaned on a weekly basis, and even more so when seasonal illnesses are being spread. For this reason daily touch ups are highly encouraged.
Office appliances that are common human touch points, such as computers, should be cleaned daily in shared offices. As the BBC reports, some keyboards can harbor more bacteria than a toilet seat. Touch points such as keyboards are common culprits in the spreading of common colds and other contagious illnesses.
Tip: microwaves and coffee stations must be cleaned daily to avoid infectious / virus especially during flu season. Place a hand sanitizer near in your break room area to help promote a healthy environment.
Like computers, desks and tables are also common touch points, often occupied by many people in a single day. For those who eat lunch at their desks, these surfaces can be littered with food scraps and additional refuse, and should therefore also be cleaned daily, or at least weekly. Kitchen tables, especially, should be cleared daily to avoid the spread of bacteria.
While these are just a few areas of concern for people looking to invest in a janitorial service, it’s a good initial reference for helping you to assess where you need our help the most.
*If you decide there are only several areas in particular where cleaning is needed most, we suggest Kitchen’s and Bath’s be at the top of your priority list.