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Janitorial Services

How to Create a Janitorial RFP

Companies create requests for proposals, or RFPs, for a range of different services. These documents lay the foundation for a company’s needs and solicit proposed plans and detailed solutions from a variety of qualified companies. By creating a comprehensive RFP, you can help ensure that you find the best service provider to suit your business’s needs.

The professionals at ServiceMaster Cleanâ are here to help you draft the perfect janitorial RFP for your company. Learn all the aspects of a janitorial RFP, plus tips on what unique cleaning services to request, below.

What Is an RFP?

An RFP details specific guidelines that can be sent to multiple companies or contractors. These companies are given a certain amount of time to respond to the RFP, and are expected to include their own processes, costs, services available and other crucial details. From there, the company who sent out the RFP can evaluate the responses and pick the best option for their business.

The intention of a janitorial RFP is to make a business’s specifications available to an array of cleaning professionals or janitorial services. That way, cleaning companies can understand exactly what is expected of them before they respond. If RFP recipients think they are qualified for the job, they will respond to the RFP with their company’s details and attempt to win the business.

The Importance of Creating a Cleaning Services Proposal

Regardless of what industry you're in, you have specific requirements as a business owner that need to be addressed. When it comes to cleaning your facility, your schedule, your building's size, its layout, and any unique needs you have should each be considered.

When writing a cleaning services proposal, it’s crucial to include as much information as possible. Otherwise, your efforts might not produce the outcome you're seeking, and you may end up with a cleaning company who’s less than perfect.

How to Write an RFP

A request for proposal should reflect your goals and requirements in a detailed and organized manner. Good RFPs may lead to better prospects and, in turn, a better working relationship with the cleaning service you select.

The experts at ServiceMaster Clean want to help you learn how to write a request for proposal so you can achieve your intended goals. Use these helpful janitorial RFP tips to ensure an ideal outcome for your business.

1. Create a Summary Overview of Your Company’s Background

Write an introduction that outlines your objectives and submission requirements. Briefly explain the history of your business and some of your vision to prospective cleaning services. Introduce your organization and the reason you're writing the janitorial RFP. In your RFP cover letter, summarize the following:

Key Information About Your Company

Include the name and address of your company, and provide a brief background of your organization. By describing what your company does and what kind of industry you're in, you may be better matched with a cleaning service that can fulfill your exact requirements. For example, if you work in the healthcare industry, you'll need specialized cleaning and disinfection services to help you establish a clean, safe, and healthy environment for your employees and patients.

Special Considerations

You may have unique requirements that cleaning companies will need to know before they start working. Perhaps you'll need the service to empty the wastebaskets and recycle daily or be responsible for changing your facility's light bulbs. Or, maybe your cleaning regimen requires specialized tools, equipment or cleaning solutions that will need to be provided by the cleaning company. Or, your business may prefer to have the option of more environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies and recycling services.

If you have any special considerations, detail them in this section of the request for proposal so prospective cleaning services can identify whether they'll be a good fit for your needs. The more specific you are, the more likely you'll be matched with truly qualified companies.

Deadline for RFP Submissions

Set a firm time and date in which all request for proposal submissions should be completed. You may want to set separate deadlines for receipt of the submissions, selecting semi-finalists and finalizing your decision. In this section, you may also want to include whether you’ll need the proposals submitted in a specific format.

2. Provide Details About Your Company’s Cleaning Goals

Discuss the outcome your business expects from the cleaning service. Think about which problems you face and request the cleaning companies to respond with detailed plans and solutions that can remedy them. Let the cleaning service know exactly how they can assist your business by providing information about the following:

How Often You Need Your Facility Cleaned

Are you looking for a service to clean on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?

What Products Would You Like the Cleaning Service to Use

Do you have special preferences, such as a choice of environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies or certain levels of sanitization or disinfection?

What Areas Need to Be Cleaned

Are there specific areas that should be cleaned more frequently than others? Consider including building descriptions such as square footage, floor finishes and the number of restrooms your building has so the cleaning service will better know how to assist you.

3. List the Details Around Your Scope of Work Requirements

In this section of the commercial cleaning services contract proposal, provide more details about the cleaning service project. When listing the details around your scope of work requirements, include information about the following:

Work Schedule

Share details regarding what work schedule you'd prefer. For example, you may want to have the cleaning service come in Monday through Friday during the day or after your company’s business hours. Or, you might ask that they clean your facility every other day. On the other hand, some companies like healthcare facilities may require more than one professional cleaning every day to keep the environment healthy for employees and patients. Request a work schedule that fits with your company’s needs to help ensure that your facility’s environment stays safe, clean, healthy and organized.


Clearly state what supplies the cleaning service should provide and which supplies you'll offer. Think about items like cleaning carts, vacuums, maintenance products and equipment such as floor waxing machines. This should also include a request that cleaning services respond with a list of proposed products, brands and chemicals they are trained to use as part of their routine. Also, let the cleaning service know if you'll need them to provide consumable products such as paper goods or sanitary napkins.

Contract Term

Include term details in this section of the cleaning bid proposal. Specify the precise length of the proposed contract and any renewal options you'll provide to the cleaning service if you're satisfied with their work.

this section, you can also include information about contract termination. For example, you can specify that the contract may be terminated at a 90-day mark if you feel that the cleaning service isn't fulfilling your agreed-upon requirements.

4. Include Industry Standards

Certain businesses may require specialized cleaning services to adhere to strict industry standards that janitorial services are trained to accommodate. In this section of your janitorial bid proposal, discuss if your business must meet regulatory standards that are set forth by organizations such as the following:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

5. Detail Payment Preferences and Schedule

Include details about how payments will be sent to the cleaning service and in what timeframe. Set specific guidelines so your business and the cleaning service will be on the same page in the future.

6. List Additional Service Requests

At times, your business may require additional services such as air duct cleaning, upholstery services, window washing and more. Discuss the circumstances around project-based services you may require. Include the name of the person who will authorize additional service requests and his or her contact information.

You can also specify what information the cleaning company should include on a separate invoice for additional services, including supplies used, the time required for the job and the cost of labor.

7. Establish Evaluation Criteria

Since a variety of cleaning services will most likely be competing for your janitorial RFP, let prospective cleaning services know about any specific criteria they need in order to be considered. This section of your janitorial RFP will be an opportunity to ask each cleaning service to provide you with information on the following:

  • Years of experience and qualifications

  • Janitorial service plans they offer

  • Any unique credentials

  • Proposed fees for additional services

  • References

This section is also an opportunity for you to let companies know how they might be evaluated during the scope of the contract if they are chosen. For example, you can include a comment that lets the cleaning company know that someone in your business will conduct monthly inspections to determine that everything is cleaned, sanitized and/or disinfected to your standards.

8. Add Points of Contact for Future Correspondence

In most instances, the person who writes the janitorial RFP will be the primary point of contact for cleaning companies that respond to the proposal. However, if there are other team members involved, provide the contact information for each person. Include each contact person's title, email address and phone number so the prospective cleaning companies can easily identify whom to contact with questions or submissions.

In this section, you may also want to ask the cleaning company for a main point of contact. This person should be the one to contact if you need emergency cleaning services, you notice that something wasn’t cleaned properly or other potential circumstances. Ask if you’ll be able to communicate with them outside of the proposed work hours to help ensure the relationship between your business and theirs goes smoothly.

Why Details Are Important Your commercial cleaning services contract proposal should be a solution that addresses your business's needs for comprehensive cleaning services. By discussing your company’s current cleaning problems in as many details as possible, you'll get the chance to hear from multiple cleaning companies about their ideas to solve each one. That way, you’ll be in a better position to find and build a partnership with the best cleaning company for you.

What to Do After You Create Your RFP After you’ve developed your company’s janitorial RFP, send it to cleaning companies in your area. It may take time to get responses back, depending on the deadline you’ve requested. From there, you can compare all the responses you’ve received to find the best cleaning company for your facility.

If you're a business owner or facility manager looking for comprehensive commercial janitorial cleaning services, ServiceMaster Clean has 65 years of industry experience. We offer janitorial and project-based commercial cleaning, and we base our services on the highest standards of excellence. We understand that your facility is a statement about your professional reputation, and we're committed to embracing your needs by offering flexible and convenient service. Contact us today to learn how we can create a fully customizable, comprehensive cleaning regimen that exceeds your company’s needs.

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