How to “convert” a big cleanup into a regular contract account


My wife and I are looking forward to re-attending SFS soon. We loved our first time with SFS. And we are excited that our business has picked up greatly in the last few weeks. I just walked out of a meeting with our local university. They are finishing up construction on their basketball arena and are having us quote the post construction cleanup! This is a huge opportunity and an enormous job (13,500 seat arena). If you have any thoughts or tips I’m all ears.


Excited in North Carolina

That’s great, Excited. You folks will both learn and implement much more with the second time around at SFS. Maybe the best description was when a student told me, “Steve, attending Strategies for the first time is like trying to drink from a fire hose!”

Now for a few reminders at least some of which you may already be doing!

1.  Big one-time jobs like this university construction cleanup are fine but don’t allow them to affect your service to your bread-and-butter regular clients. So, focus on how you will staff this sort of big job.

2.  Since you are already building a relationship here (and no doubt will over-perform on the actual work) be looking for ongoing regular contract work you can offer this big institutional client. Just bring the possibility up fleetingly during the bidding process and then after you have proved yourself move in for the kill!

NOTE:  The great thing here is government institutions are having to do more with less regular employees. They know “out-sourcing” is hot. But they may not see the outsourcing opportunities. That’s where you come in! If a motivated and efficient entrepreneur with a dedicated and efficient work force can’t save this university money AND still make a handsome profit for himself then you are in the wrong business, sir! 🙂

3.  From a technical standpoint I don’t know what all the job entails. But I will say Big Billy Yeadon would sleep with our new Dristar if he could! He loves it that much. This is a great machine for encapsulation and I assume you’ll be doing a lot of this. Click here for a video on the DriStar. Backpack vacs are also very good for construction clean-up.

4.  Finally, Excited, don’t be afraid to charge a higher price. Blow people away with your presentation, including actual demos if possible.  And if you hit price resistance (The old “let me check with my boss” sort of thing) then use the famous SFS line, “While I’m here let me ask you, Charlie, does the way I have this proposal written meet your projected budget?” Then when they reply, “Well, it is a bit higher than the other bids” I say GREAT!  Now you can get it in play and start negotiating!

And remember, Exciting, when you charge on the higher side you can then discount down your regular contract proposal. Plus making more money is always a good thing!


PS  Oh and by the way here are some tips on writing that contract I’m sure you will get!

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