In many cases across the professional cleaning industry, distributors sell and cleaning contractors buy what can be termed “commodity” products. Commodity products, in this case, are essentially similar products that cost and perform about the same no matter which manufacturer makes them. This can apply to paper products, chemicals, many cleaning tools, and equipment.
According to a 2012 study by the Freedonia Group, a market research group based in Cleveland, Ohio, revenues for commercial and residential contract cleaning companies are expected to rise nearly five percent annually and reach more than $68 billion by 2016. One big reason for this projected growth, specifically in the commercial side of the industry, is an improving economy.
If the walkthrough involves several cleaning contractors, get there early. This may give you an opportunity to get to know the client and for them to get to know you. Be careful asking “personal” questions. For instance, it is really not your business who is currently cleaning the facility now, so don’t ask. Also, unless they volunteer their cleaning budget, most clients would prefer you do not ask them how much they have budgeted for cleaning.
I'm a former Building Service Contractor who worked in Northern California. At one point fairly early in my career, myself and six other BSCs bid on a cleaning contract for a major advertising firm in San Francisco. The facility was located in a historical district that had many old warehouses, which have since been converted into office space.
About six years ago, the professional cleaning industry was introduced to automatic scrubbers that could clean and maintain floors by electrically converting regular tap water into a cleaning agent. While there was certainly some controversy about these systems when they were first introduced—mainly revolving around claims about their cleaning effectiveness— these days chemical-free floor machines appear to be quite popular and are now used around the world.