Creating your cleaning service proposal

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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.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tom Watson June 12, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Hi Ralph! Phone calls are wasted time, so stop that. Direct mail works (but can be costly). Flyers with your business cards attached handed out by the hundreds will work. You need the flyer to look good (and so do you when you hand them out). Direct mail was my specialty. Order some names from a list broker. Here is one…

2 HP November 15, 2015 at 9:18 am

Thanks Tom…..Great advice as usual!!!

3 Tom Watson November 16, 2015 at 10:36 am


4 James December 29, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Hi Tom,

I have never written a proposal before. I would like to know if every account size requires a proposal? In the past, I have secured medium accounts without proposals. I assume large accounts will want one. Do small accounts require proposals?

5 Tom Watson December 29, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Hi James! I always provided one, but if you are dong OK without, then keep doing that. I will say larger accounts should get them (it’s another way to make your company STAND OUT from the others).

6 James December 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Thanks Tom! Can service packages, like the one you talked about in another article, be a better alternative option for small and med. accounts?

7 Tom Watson December 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm

No problem. And…service packages are a clever way to offer your services. You allow your customer to CHOOSE what they want to spend. I didn’t use that option often, but when I wasn’t sure what the customer wanted in terms of pricing, then I did that approach.

8 HP February 15, 2016 at 2:53 pm

I would like to know if you recommend including copies of your license, bond & insurance information in bid/proposal?

9 Tom Watson February 18, 2016 at 10:18 am

YES… good idea.

10 Gilbert March 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Hi,Tom I would like to know how can I create a web-site for my cleaning business. Thank you for your attention.

11 Tom Watson March 24, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Are you talking do it yourself or having my company do it?

12 Etheldra Mays January 23, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Hi Tom,
What’s the best way to email a follow up on your proposal if you haven’t received an respond. I’m trying sooooooooooo hard to stay positive and stay focus but I’m getting a little discourage once again. PLEASE HELLLLLP MEEE. I want to do direct mail but I don’t have all the necessary information. I really want to get some accounts under my belt but I’m not sure what I’m doing WRONG….

13 Tom Watson January 24, 2017 at 11:46 am

You can’t force people to get back to you, so you must be patient once a bid gets submitted. Set the tone when you drop off the bid by saying I’ll touch base on Monday (or whenever). But sometimes people don’t respond right away (or all all in some cases). That is just the way it goes. You need to GET MORE BIDS OUT. That is the answer. DO NOT rest all your hopes on one person getting back to you.

14 Bilankulu Listen May 20, 2017 at 7:14 am

Hi Tom Watson.
can i have your email address. I wanna ask something that can help me and my business grow.

15 Tom Watson May 28, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Just go to my contact page (at top of all my website pages).

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