You want the freedom and flexibility that comes from being your own boss. You know there are options out there, but you don’t want to be chained to a desk at home or forced to learn many distinct skills. That’s where parking lot sweeping comes in.
The contract sweeping industry can satisfy those dreams with minimal startup costs. However, before you start, you need to put several items in place to ensure your success in the parking lot cleaning niche.
Who Wants Contract Sweeping Services?
In short, anyone who has a parking lot should want contract sweeping services. Having their parking lots swept regularly helps keep them looking good, lowers maintenance costs, and controls litter, all of which businesses want.
Some places include:
- Shopping Centers
- Parking Garages
- School Districts
- Apartment Complexes
- Golf Courses
- Airport Off-Parking Lots
- Grocery Store Lots
- Plants & Factories
- Regional Malls
Typically, you’ll need to speak to a manager, property manager, groundskeeper, or other people in charge of the building exterior. These people have the authority to offer you jobs as a parking lot contract sweeper.
Another note you should consider is that businesses typically want contract sweeping during non-peak operating hours. This fact often means overnight or early in the morning. You’ll need to schedule clients carefully and be okay working those hours to succeed in parking lot cleaning.
How to Price Contract Sweeping
Contract sweeping is typically priced by the hour, and pricing correctly makes all the difference in your profitability. If you’re too low, your business will struggle. If your price is too high, your bids will not be accepted for parking lot sweeping.
It’s also important to note that being the lowest-priced contract sweeping outfit is not a good idea. You want to make enough on each parking lot cleaning to ensure you can deliver a quality service to every customer. Being in the middle or even high price range is acceptable.
Before you arrive at a price for a specific job, you’ll need the following information:
- The exact area the client wants swept
- The typical debris and litter pattern
- How the parking lot is laid out, such as islands, planters, and other hard to get areas
- Are you expected to pick up leaves and litter from the islands or other areas?
- Whether the client has other expectations
- Trash can emptying
- Who is responsible for the liners?
- If you’re not responsible for trash cans, who should you call with a problem?
- How often is sweeping expected?
- Are you also responsible for sidewalk cleaning?
- What are the expectations around planter boxes?
- Trash can emptying
By having this information as part of your pricing for each parking lot cleaning job, you can better break down your costs for each service aspect. By providing an accurate estimate for each element of the prospective job, your clients can easily add or cut services to fit their budget.
Remember, you should keep the exact service for each client in your contract on file. These records help you maintain consistent pricing and fantastic customer service. After all, a well-satisfied customer is the best advertisement for your parking lot sweeping business.
Pricing for Different Types of Jobs
There is a pricing difference based on the scale of the job, its frequency, and how often it happens. These parking lot sweeping jobs are still priced per hour but account for the differences in your costs as the business owner.
For example, large parking lots can take hours of sweeping. In general, 1,000 parking spots can be cleaned in 1 hour, and business owners may want it 5 to 7 times per week. That could be $75 per hour spent.
In contrast, fast-food parking lots tend to be small, with less than 50 spots. You must get there, unpack equipment, sweep, and pack up again. These parking lot cleaning jobs could run the restaurant anywhere between $45 to $60 per hour.
A Pricing Example
You find an outdoor shopping center with 1,000 spots and want to send them a proposal to sweep every day. You know that each parking lot accounts for roughly 10’ by 20’ (200 square feet) of space. The calculation would look as follows:
1,000 spaces x 200 ft2 = 200,000 ft2 per hour
1 hour per day x $75 x 7 days = $525.00 per week (you can stop here if you bill weekly)
$525.00 x 52 weeks / 12 months = 2,275 per month (if you bill monthly)
Sales Tips for Contract Sweeping
The first thing many companies do is make themselves hard to reach. You can avoid this error by ensuring everything you give a customer has your parking lot sweeping company’s contact phone number and email. It does make an enormous difference.
The second is demonstrating your expertise to parking lot cleaning clients when you meet them. You should be confident when answering most questions from clients during your meetings. If you know everything there is to know about contract sweeping; clients will feel more confident.
Branding is also an essential step in parking lot sweeping. Your logo and tagline should appear on everything from invoice headers to trucks to work crew uniform t-shirts. By putting in this little bit of extra work, you’ll become recognizable in your community and receive more referrals.
Having a professional-looking invoice is also a sales tactic. Your clients will respect put-together companies more, in addition to preferring the look. A professional invoice also lends itself to an easy-to-read pricing structure.
Keeping Records for a Parking Lot Sweeping Company
Understanding your costs is the key to building a profitable business, so you need a records system. What you make minus what you spend is profit, and you want to make a healthy margin. However, many people neglect to figure out their cost of business, even with easy digital tools.
You will have two types of costs each month, fixed and variable. Fixed costs are the same each month, like your liability and vehicle insurance payments. Variable costs change based on how much work as a contract sweeper you do, such as your fuel and oil.
In general, your expenses will fall in the following categories:
- Fuel and oil
- Insurance – liability, equipment, worker’s comp, etc.
- Equipment maintenance
- Equipment payments (if applicable)
- Employee wages (if applicable)
- Licensing and taxes
Each parking lot sweeping company is different, and your expenses may vary significantly. Keeping up with what your parking lot cleaning company spends each month lets you forecast to a certain extent, which in turn helps you stay in business.
The Best Brooms for Contract Sweeping
Bensink Rotary Brooms from Asphalt Kingdom are an outstanding starting point for new contract sweepers. Asphalt Kingdom offers two types of drive, mechanical and hydraulic, depending on your preferences.
Bensink Rotary Brooms are significantly less expensive than ride-on models. This fact makes it possible for new contract sweepers to get one or two without worrying overmuch about financing payments. That’s an excellent way to start a parking lot sweeping business.
Bensink brooms are efficient for the job of parking lot cleaning. The model can easily fit in the bed of a truck or in a small trailer. Plus, it only requires one operator, making it perfect for solo contract sweepers just starting in the business.
Check out the information on the Asphalt Kingdom website or give Asphalt Kingdom a call at 1-866-399-5562 to talk to the friendly, expert customer service team.
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