Drake's Blog


Janitorial Bidding Software That Works!

Long story short:

After 25 years of hard work, determination, faith and years of trial and error developing a systematic bidding method for my own cleaning business, I ended up building (with an unbelievable team of programmers) the janitorial bidding software that I was searching for.. A proven systematic approach that has generated millions in sales. A system that works!

Long story long:

My name is Drake Thomas, I’ve been in the cleaning business over 24 years. I started out at age 19, supplementing the income from my full time job by cleaning my sister Linda’s house once a week (for $40 cash). It took me about two hours to clean, so I averaged about $20 an hour. I made 4 times the minimum wage rate at the time and she got a clean house for a week! That’s a win/win in my book!

I saw that there was good money in cleaning, but it wasn’t my dream job at the time; I had other life plans to pursue. Linda was already a very successful computer programmer, having graduated Valedictorian in high school and cum laude in college, and she urged me to get a degree as well. So, over the next five years, I worked in sales and went to college part time, receiving an AA degree in CIS, Computer Information Systems. The degree was good, I learned a lot about computers, but I never pursued that career path. But, I did meet my lovely wife Kristin there and we just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary!

Just before I graduated college, an opportunity arose to take over a tiny floor care company (stripping, waxing and polishing floors). The owners, an older couple, were moving out of town in two months and would lose the handful of accounts that they had. I made them an offer of $5,780, (the total value of all their equipment if purchased new). The deal was that I would give them a deposit of $2,500 – (a credit union signature loan) – and work with them at night (for free) during a two month training period. The balance would be paid off in 6 monthly installments from my business profits. They happily agreed. So for a while, I worked a day job, attended college part time, and then stripped floors at night (sometimes until 5am). Then I got up at 7am to do it again. At the end of the two month training period, I quit my day job. I figured if I could sell for “them”, I could sell for myself. Initially, I only offered floor care, but I pretty quickly started bidding – and winning bids – for complete janitorial services.

This calculated risk paid off, but isn’t life full of risks? The fruit is at the end of the branches. During my career, I’ve read literally hundreds of books on business management, motivation, goal setting, systems, sales/marketing techniques, cash flow, customer retention, budgets, planning, cost cutting and the list goes on. But my number one book concerning business is the book of Proverbs. It has taught me more about business than any other by far. Things like “mere talk leads to poverty” (take action!), “all hard work returns a profit” (don’t be lazy!), and “seek wisdom more than choice gold or fine silver” (knowledge is power!).

Over the years, I’ve won hundreds and hundreds of bids for monthly janitorial service, floor waxing, carpet cleaning, pressure washing, specialty work and supply sales for Banks, Car Dealerships, Churches, Corporate Offices, Day Cares, Dentist Offices, Doctor’s offices, Hair Salons, Hospitals, Ice Cream Parlors, Law Firms, Medical Facilities, Pawn Shops, Property Management, Restaurants, Retail Stores, Schools, Veterinarians, and just about everything in between. What’s the secret you ask?… There is no secret! Just a quarter century of hard work, determination, faith and years of trial and error developing a systematic bidding method for my own cleaning business. A proven approach that has generated millions in sales. A system that works!

This bidding system is available to you now! Welcome to CleanGuidePro Janitorial Bidware, cleanlyrun.com! If you’re looking for the right janitorial bidding software to help you win more bids, you’ve found it. You can accurately bid on commercial and residential, monthly cleaning accounts, 13 specialty work tasks like floor stripping, carpet cleaning, pressure washing, tile &and grout cleaning, day porters, etc, commercial and residential construction cleanup, and much more!

Over three years of development has gone into the creation and development of this software. We just released in February of this year and hundreds of janitorial companies have already signed up, given us awesome feedback and most important, are winning bids! Not only is it designed to bid the way that I’ve bid and won hundreds and hundreds of times, but the behind the scenes team of software programmers have integrated the latest business rules technology to capture every nuance of successful bidding. This team is headed up by – you guessed it – none other than my sister Linda. Her thirty years of expertise and experience working on a multitude of Fortune 500 IT projects have made CleanGuidePro come to life. I half kiddingly tell people that I’m a Grand Master Janitor, but Linda is truly a Grand Master Programmer! Call it fate, destiny, or a match made in Heaven, but don’t call it coincidence. My love and gratitude to her.


Sign up today for our no obligation, free 30 day trial and start winning those bids! Check it out for yourself at cleanlyrun.com !


CleanGuidePro Successful Residential Cleaning bidderDrake


Decrease Costs / Increase Your Bottom Line – Top Tips!

When you decrease your costs, you increase your bottom line! The definition of “bottom line” in business is, “The last line of a financial statement, used for showing net profit or loss.” O.K., sounds simple enough to understand what the bottom line is, but how do you increase it? The top two, hopefully, obvious ways are cutting costs and increasing revenues.

The purpose of this blog is to focus on only the cost cutting aspects of increasing your bottom line. I know cutting costs and saving money doesn’t sound as exciting as increasing revenues and hitting sales goals, but let me help you with that by giving you something to think about that should excite you about cutting costs and saving!

If you currently average 25% net profit on your janitorial accounts, let’s say for example that you make $500 net profit on a $2000 per month account. If you cut costs by $500 throughout your company, it adds $500 to your bottom line, just the same as getting a new $2000 per month account. With that in mind, every $1 you save is equal to $4 in revenue and every additional $1 in costs you incur requires $4 of revenue to produce. (Read that last sentence a couple of times to let it sink in!) In other words, that sparkling, bottled water delivered to the water cooler in your office each week might only cost you $65 a month, but you have to do $260 in sales to pay for it. I’m not saying don’t have water in your office, just something to chew on.

Of course, you absolutely need to be continually looking for ways to increase sales revenues, but running your operations smart and efficiently is the #1 way to decrease your costs and increase your bottom line within your existing customer base! There are many more, but let me just touch on some of my Top Free, time tested, Cost Cutting Tips that have served me well in 25 years in this great janitorial industry!

  1. Decrease Facilities : Sure, everyone wants a nice office including me, but make sure it’s a need to have and not just a nice want to have. Your customers rarely, if ever will come to your office and employees only come to your office to fill out applications and get paychecks. Employees can have checks delivered to job sites and can even fill out applications at the job site. Keep in mind a $3000 a month office requires $10-$12,000 in monthly sales to pay for it. When you can’t park your work vans in front of the house anymore and your monthly revenue permits, it’s probably time to look for a small office warehouse. Most cities have industrial parks that offer low cost, low frill spaces for very low rent.
  2. Decrease Labor Costs: You reduce labor costs by increasing production rates, thereby decreasing payroll costs. This is done by workloading the labor in your building correctly from the start, using and fine tuning your cleaning methods, i.e., Team Cleaning, Zone Cleaning or a combination of the two. This will increase your hourly production rates and decrease your payroll labor costs without cutting your employees hourly rates. If you just start cutting hourly rates to save money, you destroy morale and you can bet quality and customer satisfaction will be casualties as well. Remember the workman is worthy of his /her pay!

    By the way, the crux of my CleanGuidePro Janitorial Bidding Software is its popular Workloading and Pricing screen. You can’t decrease your costs unless you can see your costs, and that’s what this innovative screen enables you to do!

  3. Decrease Inventory: Have a “just in time” inventory. Full warehouses look nice, but floor wax, bowl cleaner, toilet paper, multi fold towels, etc., just sitting in the warehouse costs money from day one (or on day 30 if you have vendor terms). I tried to never have more inventory in the warehouse than I could use or sell in 30 days. Don’t run out, but don’t overstock!
  4. Decrease Delivery Costs:Deliveries to job sites are necessary, but costs money. Fuel and labor costs add up quickly! All deliveries should be coordinated to accomplish multiple deliveries and tasks. For example, coordinate multiple supply deliveries to job sites on the same day if possible. You can even have your traveling floor crew drop off supply orders, paychecks, etc., at various sites along their route. $20 of traveling labor costs saved 5 days a week is $430 a month saved!
  5. Decrease Chemical Costs: Buy chemicals in dilutable, concentrate form to keep costs down. Chemical mixing stations are great also. Products like bowl cleaner and stainless steel cleaner are usually sold “ready to use” (RTU), and cost a bit more, so shop around for good pricing.
  6. Decrease Insurance Costs :You need Insurance! General business liability and auto insurance is a must have. As you grow, your insurance needs grow. Business, auto, work comp, etc. Multiple car discounts, discounted work comp rates through payroll companies, discounts for bundling business and auto, etc. You can save lots of money here! A 2% work comp discount on a $50,000 a month payroll is $1000 a month saved! Shop around and ask for better rates.
  7. Decrease Sales People: I had to learn the hard way that salespeople cost money on day one. To pay someone $500 a week / $2165 a month to go cold calling and chasing leads requires them to sell $8-$10,000 a month just to break even. There’s nothing wrong at all being a salesperson and I consider it a top profession. In fact, I consider myself one and pretty good at it, if I don’t say so myself. It’s just that for janitorial sales the most cost effective, hands down, no close second is a targeted, direct mail marketing program. It’s cheap, very effective and will have customers calling your office every month to place bids.
  8. Decrease Cell Phones: I’m not sure why, but In the beginning I thought it was my responsibility to provide every manager with a cell phone. When (for a short time) I had salespeople, they got one too. I guess I figured if they’re talking business on a cell phone, I should pay for it. At some point, a long time ago, a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that just about everyone has and needs a cell phone and the few minutes they used them talking my business wasn’t saving them any money, but it sure was costing me a lot. Seeing personal, international call charges on my cell phone bill might have been the light bulb moment!

Remember, running your operations smart and efficiently is the #1 way to decrease your costs and increase your bottom line within your existing customer base!

CleanGuidePro Successful Residential Cleaning bidderDrake


Janitorial Specialty Work Tips!

When starting out, most cleaning companies don’t offer janitorial specialty work. They offer basic, janitorial cleaning only. Things like general cleaning, dusting, sweeping, mopping, restrooms and trash. The problem with this approach is that you leave a lot of extra money on the table. That “extra money” comes from offering additional, specialty work like floor stripping and re-waxing, carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, pressure washing, tile and grout cleaning, etc.

In addition, you severely limit your company’s growth opportunities.  Most, if not all facility managers need and expect these services to be provided by one company. Trust me on this, the more specialty services that your company offers, the more opportunities you have to win bids and increase revenues at new and existing accounts!

The purpose of this blog is not to train you how to perform the following specialty services – (although side note, we are in the process of developing training materials at CleanGuidePro.com) – but rather to simply point out a few of the opportunities that exist to increase your bottom line!

  1. FLOOR STRIPPING AND RE-WAXING: When waxed floors are stripped with a stripper solution, down to the bare floor and new wax (floor finish) is applied. Usually 4-5 coats of new wax (floor finish). Suggested competitive price range (per square foot) for “Floor stripping and waxing” is 0.20 – 0.50 (i.e. 20 cents to 50 cents).
  2. FLOOR SCRUBBING AND REWAXING: When waxed floors are scrubbed with a mild neutral solution, but not removing all layers of wax and new wax (floor finish) is applied. Usually 2-3 coats of new wax (floor finish). Suggested competitive price range (per square foot) for “Floor scrubbing and waxing” is 0.16 – 0.35 (i.e. 16 cents to 35 cents).
  3. FLOOR POLISHING/BUFFING: When waxed floors are polished, in between regular waxing intervals, using a floor machine that spins at 1000-2500 rpm (rotations per minute). Suggested competitive price range (per square foot) for “Floor Polishing/Buffing” is 0.04 – 0.10 (i.e. 4 cents to 10 cents).
  4. CARPET EXTRACTION CLEANING PORTABLE UNIT: This is the process where carpets are chemically pre-treated using a sprayer or mixed in with the cleaning chemical solution inside the machine’s solution tank. An attachment wand is used to spray the carpets at 100-450 psi and simultaneously vacuums up the dirty water solution. Suggested competitive price range (per square foot) for “Carpet steam cleaning portable unit” is 0.12 – 0.25 (i.e. 12 cents to 25 cents).
  5. CARPET BONNETT CLEANING: Sometimes called the “bonnett method”. When carpets are chemically pretreated using a sprayer or mixed in with the cleaning chemical solution tank attached to machine. The carpets are cleaned using a hand held, 175 rpm (rotations per minute) rotary scrubber machine with a damp bonnett pad on the bottom. The machine spins and agitates the pad and the pad absorbs the dirty solution. This method has its place, but does tend to leave chemical residue in the carpets, which leads to re-soiling. Suggested competitive price range (per square foot) for “Carpet bonnet cleaning” is 0.08 – 0.25 (i.e. 8 cents to 25 cents).
  6. TILE AND GROUT CLEANING: When a degreaser solution is applied to the tile and grout, agitated with a nylon grit brush and then using a tile and grout machine that has a spinner tool attachment that spray rinses the floor at 1000-1200 psi and vacuums the residue at the same time. You can rent this machine at your local janitorial supply store until you have enough work to justify a purchase.Suggested competitive price range (per square foot) for “Tile and grout Cleaning” is 0.25 – 0.79 (i.e. 25 cents to 79 cents).
  7. PRESSURE WASHING: This is an outdoor application. Sometimes called power washing. When you use an electric or gas powered “pressure washing machine” to wash down exterior walls, siding, awnings, driveways, sidewalks, etc. Water is sprayed on surfaces at high-pressure, usually 1500-4000 psi. Sometimes you need to pretreat surfaces with a cleaning agent.Suggested competitive price range (per square foot) for “Pressure washing” is 0.5 – 0.20 (i.e. 5 cents to 20 cents).
  8. EXTERIOR WINDOW CLEANING: When windows are scrub/cleaned with a wool, microfiber or cloth shammy, that has been pre-dipped into a bucket of cleaning solution, attached to an extension pole, then wiped clean with a rubber squeegee. If you need to clean exterior windows above the reach of an extension pole (above 2 floors) from ground level we suggest you sub it out to a professional window cleaning company that has the proper equipment, lifts, repelling harnesses and liability insurance to handle it.Suggested competitive price range (per window) for “Exterior Window Cleaning” is 1.89 – 6.00 (i.e. 1.89 dollars to 6 dollars). As an example, you might clean the facility’s 8 exterior, ground level pane glass windows and 2 front entrance glass doors monthly at $5 a panel for $50.00. Then again, you might clean all 200 of the facility’s exterior windows at $2.25 a panel for $450.00 quarterly.

When pricing Specialty Work, keep in mind that one time only jobs are priced at the higher end of the scale. Larger and more frequent jobs, say weekly or monthly in a regular maintenance program, are priced at the lower end.

Remember that one of the best and easiest ways to increase sales and net profits is within your own existing customer base! They need and want you to provide these services!


CleanGuidePro Successful Residential Cleaning bidderDrake