Tips on delivering the work, getting paid, and building a long-term relationship
[Note: This is post #5 of a 6 part series on how to find construction
cleanup leads â€“ to read the whole series click here]
Congratulations, youâ€™ve been awarded a cleaning contract!
So what happens next?
In this post Iâ€™ll share some of my best tips on how to deliver the job to a high standard, and get paid quickly – among other things.
At this point the contractor will usually want to confirm that you are compliant to work on their project (confirm that you have the required insurance – which is basic workers compensation).
To do this, youâ€™ll need to submit a certificate of insurance (COI), with the contractorâ€™s company information in the â€œcertificate holderâ€ space.
Click here to see an example of what I mean. (Right click and select “save link as” to download)
Youâ€™ll also need to submit your W9 form, if you havenâ€™t already, so keep it handy.
The w9 is a tax related form that you sign and enter your EIN or social security number, along with your business name. Download a w9 form for you to fill in and submit here.
At this stage youâ€™ll also need to schedule the cleanup with the site super.
Just like your site visit, you want to perform your actual clean as close to project completion as possible, so your space doesnâ€™t get messed up.
I STRONGLY recommend that, as you perform the work, you get the superintendent to sign off that your scope sections have been completed.
Before/after pictures are a very good idea.
This will prevent any â€œmisunderstandingsâ€ down the line, and will put some responsibility on the superintendent to make sure nobody messes up your clean spaces after you finish.
Unfortunately, this is somewhat common – so taking a few minutes to document what youâ€™ve done will pay off. If you take one thing from this email this is what you should take!
Once the job is finished, and youâ€™ve received sign-off on all scope sections – itâ€™s time for the fun part, getting paid.
Just like a bid, the faster you can submit an invoice after finishing, the better. Prepare your invoice in advance, and have ready to send off as soon as you call it done.
Important note: If the project lasts more than a month, submit a partial invoice at day 30 for the percentage of the work completed.
This is a fairly standard practice, and will help your cashflow. The more detailed you make your initial bid and proposal (ie: not â€œclean buildingâ€ but a fully itemized list like, â€œSweep up debris, wax floors, remove paint spotsâ€ etc.) the easier this will be.
Every contractor has different payment schedules. Some of these companies pay their bills twice a month, some every 30 days. Donâ€™t expect to be paid as soon as you submit an invoice!
Asking the contractor what their payment schedule is in advance is a good idea. If they are slow to make payment, donâ€™t hesitate to follow up, asking â€œis there anything holding up our payment?â€ Any other documents you need from us?â€
Building a long-term relationship with the contractor, to get more work in the future:
In any business, itâ€™s about 10X easier and cheaper to sell to existing customers than to find new ones. Contractors youâ€™ve worked with before are your best source of work in the future, so make sure to follow up with them regularly.
This isnâ€™t difficult if you stay organized. Just email them periodically (anywhere from every month to every 3 months, depending on how busy they are) and ask them if theyâ€™ve got any upcoming projects you can bid on.
This will let them know youâ€™re around, youâ€™re available, and will ensure that they think of you when they need some cleaning work done.
I want to hammer this point home one more time, since weâ€™re at the end of the email course:
How consistent you are in prospecting for new work, and following up with past clients will DIRECTLY correlate with your profits and cashflow.
In the next post, I’ll explain the big picture of how all of this can all work to grow your business over the long term.
I’ll also show you how to remove almost all the effort from this entire process, and get construction cleaning jobs on autopilot.