Creating your cleaning service proposal

Post image for Creating your cleaning service proposal

by Tom Watson on September 21, 2011

A well made cleaning service proposal is a key component of the hiring process for your cleaning business.

Get it right and you’ll give yourself a decent shot at getting hired, get it wrong and your going home empty handed.

So the choice is clear…GET IT RIGHT. In order to drive home how that is done, I created a sample cleaning service proposal. As you can see from the picture in the upper right, it is not all that hard to create a proposal that looks good.

In fact the folder that I used can be purchased for less than $5.00 each. If you need one yourself, here is a similar folder I found on Amazon – BAZIC Swing-Lock Report Cover, 3156-48P. I highly recommend this style not only because it’s so affordable, but because it makes for a professional appearance. I always keep a half dozen around to make sure I have them when I need them.

Now if you follow my teaching here at Cleaning 4 Profit to any extent, you’ll know that at least half the battle you need to fight in order to get hired revolves around “perception“. In short perception deals with how others “view your company”, and it is INCREDIBLY important.

At the end of the day, your cleaning proposal needs to look sharp. Now that doesn’t mean a sharp looking proposal will get you hired in and of itself, but when you have one it scores you bonus points, and these points ADD UP.

Now that you have the information on what folder type works best, lets discuss the contents of the cleaning service proposal. Let me start off by saying there is no one way to put together a cleaning proposal, as the options are only limited by your imagination. With that said, here are a few ideas worth considering.

Cover Sheet

This is generally the first page so to speak. As you can see from the first picture (upper right) all you need to do is have your name and logo printed on this page. Don’t panic if you don’t have a logo just yet. Though it’s a nice touch, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have one. Just make sure your name is properly centered. On a side note, don’t forget to make sure the text is easily readable, you don’t want the customer fighting hard just to read it.

Cover Letter

This is usually a brief one page introduction. It normally involves thanking the customer for the privilege of being able to submit the cleaning proposal, then a few words about why you would make a good choice if chosen. Keep it brief and on topic for best results.

The Proposal 

This is the guts of the whole proposal. This generally runs about one or two pages for most smaller accounts but can be much larger depending on the complexity of the customers requirements. The goal is to lay out what you are going to provide in detail along with the pricing information. I usually also include all the terms and conditions that apply as well to make sure we’ll all on the same page.


If you have collected any testimonials you really need to include them on their own sheet. Testimonials provide what’s called “Social Proof”, and they are VERY IMPORTANT. When you beat your chest telling everyone who will listen why you should be hired, folks take it with a grain of salt. This is because you have something to gain by all the chest thumping. BUT when your clients tell others why you should be hired it SPEAKS VOLUMES because they have nothing to gain whatsoever.

Certifications Or Industry Memberships

When you first start out, you probably won’t have any so you can skip this part of the equation. However if you have some type designation make sure you include it. This is nothing more than another chance to collect bonus points. Perhaps you were certified in carpet cleaning or you are a member some national cleaning organization. If so make mention of it here, as it shows you take your craft seriously.

Sign-Up Form

Perhaps the most important piece of paper in the whole cleaning proposal! This is where you collect the information from them that says you are hired. I always included one in my cleaning proposals because I thought it gave them a “little shove” in my direction if you know what I mean.

To further drive this home I have included some additional pictures of the sample cleaning proposal I created for this post. For the record, I didn’t take a picture of each page of the proposal. I just wanted to take a couple to give you an idea of how to put it together for yourself.

Picture 1 shows the cover by itself.

 Picture 2 shows it with the open “lever” that makes this cover unique.

Picture 3 shows the see through cover pulled back.

Picture 4 shows part of the proposal itself.

Picture 5 shows the testimonial part of the proposal.

As you can see the proposal looks rather good to the eyes of the customer, which is EXACTLY the effect we are looking for. On a side note, you’ll want to print on the best quality paper you can find as this makes a difference. This is normally measured by the weight of the paper in “pounds”.

I would also recommend you also pay attention to the “brightness” of the paper you use when printing. The higher the number the brighter the paper. This is another “little touch” that makes a big difference when submitting your proposal.

You may also have noticed that I used some different color paper throughout this document. That was no accident, as I prefer to break up the bland look that an all white proposal provides. You of course can do whatever suits your personal tastes.

Well there you have it! I hope this post helps you in your attempt to land customers for your own cleaning business. If you have any additional ideas or suggestions feel free to post them in the comment section below.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to our RSS feed and get loads more by clicking here. If you need detailed instructions on how to start your own cleaning business, then check out my value packed course by clicking here. If you are badly in need of a first class website to take your cleaning business to the next level then click here.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ryan Madsen September 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Hey, I thought your proposal looks really professional how you put it together and the idea of using thicker, more quality paper for bidding on a potential account. I noticed you talked about addressing the customer concerns, past issues, and important details on a seperate page. Would it be okay to include that information in the cover letter instead? Thanks Tom.

2 Tom Watson September 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Hi Ryan!

Sure, I see no reason why you couldn’t do that. As long as you find a way to fit in the customers concerns somewhere in the proposal, you should be just fine.

3 marie perez September 29, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Hello, Can you please tell me what it is to be licensed and bonded, and how important it is to have this.

4 Tom Watson September 30, 2011 at 6:32 am

Hi Marie!

The word ” licensed ” can have different meanings for different type businesses. Generally for the cleaning business it usually means you are registered as a legitimate company. In other words it means you went through the proper channels to start your business by filling out paperwork where you reside (you are not an unregistered company that may rip consumers off).

“Bonded” on the other hand generally means your company has “insurance” in case an employee steals something from the premises. I did a podcast on that topic a while back that may interest you. You can find it here (podcast 022).

On a side note, making mention that your company is both bonded and insured (aka registered) is worth including in your cleaning service proposal. One of the main goals of your cleaning proposal is to make the customer “at ease” with the prospect of doing business with you. By mentioning these details in the proposal you solidify your standing in the customers mind.

5 Lucy October 20, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I like your ideas!

6 Tom Watson October 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Thanks Lucy!

7 larry November 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm

is a proposal necessary?i’m thinking of starting a cleaning business and i was just thinking the proposal has has everything i would tell the potential customer is it necessary?


8 Tom Watson November 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Hi Larry!

Yes you do need to create a cleaning proposal. Everything needs to be on paper as this will form the binding contract between you and the customer if they decide to go with your company. Not to mention when it gets documented, it ensures both parties are on the “same page” so to speak.

9 osho joseph June 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

i am about to start cleaning business but did i need to put the big machines in place before starting ?

10 Tom Watson June 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm


Not sure what you are speaking to, but if you are talking about buying equipment BEFORE having any customers then that would be a mistake. Only buy what you need WHEN YOU NEED IT.

11 Cristina July 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I was ask to give a verbal proposal of my services. What should I say and how do I start? I’m so nervous. This will be my first job and proposal. Any ideas or suggestions?

12 Tom Watson July 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Hey Cristina!

First off, don’t panic about presenting a cleaning proposal verbally. Remember this…at the end of the day ALL YOU ARE DOING is trying to convince someone that you are capable enough to take out their trash, clean their bathrooms etc… You can do that!

Secondly, this approach by your potential customers is partially just an attempt to see if “they can play ball” with you in a sense. In other words…will you seem easy to work with if they hire you. So just be likeable, smile and that should take care of itself.

Lastly they do want to know HOW you will approach the cleaning of the facility. Layout a basic plan of how you will make their facility shine. Spell this out in the proposal (along with the cost) and make a handful of copies in case there are more than one person involved.

What I always like to do is just STICK TO THE FACTS. Don’t talk endlessly, just cut to the chase about how you operate. I like to say that I’ll be on site for the first week or so to properly train my employee(s) on the correct way of doing things, then I’ll check back with you so see how well we are doing and make corrections from there.

I’ll spot check to make sure everyone is doing what they should from there on out and I’ll check back with you to make sure you are pleased as well. Keep it real simple and you will be fine!

13 Sam July 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Chief you are a champ.. A winner any day..God bless you.

14 Tom Watson July 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Thanks Sam!

15 Cristina July 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Thank you Tom your great!! God Bless You.

16 francis August 23, 2012 at 2:46 am

how can i be your member

17 Tom Watson August 23, 2012 at 8:48 am

Hi Francis!

We don’t really have a membership per say, so in a sense you are already part of the group just by commenting on this post about cleaning proposals. On the other hand, if you were to purchase one of my courses (, you would have a little more access because you would get support via email or phone. Either way, it’s nice to have you Francis!

18 Cristina August 23, 2012 at 11:19 am

I got the job…. Thanks for your help! Your great. You were right they just wanted to get to know me.

19 Tom Watson August 23, 2012 at 11:44 am

FANTASTIC! Thanks for letting me know Cristina!

20 dawnella butler September 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

thank you for sharing and appreciate the update email tips of improving service/business.

May God increase you and your business.

21 Tom Watson September 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Thanks Dawnella!

22 Sam November 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm


How could i get a copy of this proposal ??

23 Tom Watson November 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Hi Sam! This one is not available as a download. Just take it step by step and create one yourself.

24 Ezra November 19, 2012 at 1:20 am

Hi Watson,
Am encoureged and motivated by your daily updates,soon I’ll be in the business,watch me out!!!

25 Tom Watson November 19, 2012 at 7:48 am

Hi Erza! Keep us posted as you move along!

26 Ngozi December 19, 2012 at 5:11 am

Well done and thanks for your advice

27 Tom Watson December 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

No problem! Glad to help.

28 SAMUEL ZANGONDE December 20, 2012 at 10:52 am

Please i want to have a health and safety training with bics training how do I go about it i really have passion for d industry.

29 Tom Watson December 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

Hi Samual! I don’t know if this may interest you, but it may be a start…

30 ERASTO ARTERO January 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

hei i would like to these proposal for my company how can i do please let me know!
and i need some help to make some for my company i have a cleaning Company!!

31 Tom Watson January 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm

All you need to do is download the template and make the needed changes (your company name, the company you are billing etc…)

32 Ron March 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Hi Tom, i have a question to make but first and foremost, thanks for the article and comments too; they are really educative. well, do you provide any training tutorials for cleaning staff. How about pricing for domestic and commercial services?

33 Tom Watson March 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Hi Ron! Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it. We don’t have any training materials just yet. MANY have asked for it however, so that topic is on our radar for down the road.

As to pricing services, that is covered in our courses ( Each course has an entire chapter dedicated to the different ways to come up with a price.

34 Manny March 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I got a call for a estimate but I have no bid proposal or contract to show ?! What should I do

35 Tom Watson March 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Hi Manny! You don’t have to show anything just yet. When you go for the estimate, all you are doing is trying to figure out how long it will take to clean so you can go back home and figure up a price. Once you have the price part figured out, you will THEN need the proposal with contract included.

36 catty April 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm

tanks Tom for ur article,i really apreciate. pls i would like2enroll into ur school, i just startd a cleaning outfit and i will like to know the A-Z about cleanning so i could include it as part of my proposal..

37 Tom Watson April 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Hi Catty! I’m happy you enjoyed the post. While I have no school to enroll in, one of my courses would teach you the business. You can check them out here…

38 Joe Jones May 14, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Hi Tom,

You mentioned something about a template for the proposals? Where might that be located?

39 Tom Watson May 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Hi Joe! Your question really made me think, where did I mention a service proposal template? Then I searched and found the comment I made beneath the post. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that comment because there is no cleaning service proposal template for download (other than the templates that come with my courses). So… forgive me on that. I made a slip of the tongue.

40 datrust February 1, 2014 at 12:21 am

hi Tom,I really feel good reading through your work,infact i must comment you are an eye-opener and from today i make you my mentor, i like people like you.

41 Tom Watson February 1, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Hi Datrust! I’m happy you have found us. Touch base if you need anything.

42 Treasure Betty September 21, 2014 at 4:09 am

Thanks a lot Tom! This has been really helpful! planning on starting a cleaning business but how to go about it or should I say how to start is the major problem I have.

43 Tom Watson September 21, 2014 at 11:14 am

Hi Betty! You are very welcome! As to how to start… everything begins with ONE STEP. Then just “keep going”!

44 Mary R Martin November 6, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Hi Tom

I am very delighted by reading all these wonderful comments and feedbacks from various people whom you have assited by giving great ideas.

I am also into starting up a cleaning business and currently I am in the process of completing my company profile and proposal. I have planned to do these first before I go on registerting the company and submitting my proposal to potential customers.

Do you think I am doing the right thing or how should I go about this?


45 Tom Watson November 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Hi Mary! Sorry for the delay, been on the road. Anyway… seems like you are doing everything fine. You want to get all your ducks lined up as much as possible, so that when you start you can just focus on marketing. The very beginning needs to be a real push to get customers. This is key because you want the income from your first few accounts to FEED the marketing effort (so you don’t spend your money, but your customers money so to speak).

46 Rosalind April 17, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Hi Tom, I’m starting my cleaning business. I’ve already registered with the county, received my Employer Identification/Tax ID number and I’m bonded. Do I need other Insurance to start work? It’s pretty expensive for someone just starting their business. I really would prefer to have extra coverage, but that’s an expense that If It’s not necessary, I can work on and get more coverage later.

47 Tom Watson April 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Hi Rosalind! You probably need what’s called “General Liability Insurance”. The bonding is a nice touch, but in most cases you probably don’t technically need it (though if you already have it, it’s good to keep. I would it as a selling point when meeting with people).

Goggle “General Liability Insurance” along with your zip code. You will find many options to choose from locally. Go meet an agent, no… go meet two or three!. Compare what their prices are and go with the one you felt most comfortable with. Generally you should be able to make quarterly payments, so there is not so much out of pocket to start with.

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