Whether you're just starting a cleaning services business or you've been serving clients for years, you can benefit from introducing some basic contracts if you aren't already using them. Why? Because having service agreements in writing can help ensure that you get paid on time and your clients have clear financial records. In other words, cleaning services contracts are a win-win.
Even better? Putting your agreement in writing doesn't have to involve scads of legalese. A plain-English document should do the trick just fine. To make your contract as effective as possible, be sure to include these eight key elements.
- This gives your clients an easy way to get in touch if they need to. Including your license number shows that you're a registered business, which helps build trust.
- Your contact information and license number.This helps you keep track of clients and makes billing more efficient.
- A detailed list of the services you'll provide and on what schedule. This should include jobs you'll do at every visit as well as jobs you'll do once in a while. List the frequency after each service. This helps clear up miscommunications about the scope of work you and your clients agree to.
- Your prices per service. Again, this helps avoid confusion and ensure that you and your clients are on the same page.
- A schedule of when you'll perform your services. Most people prefer maids, janitors, carpet cleaners, and other cleaning professionals to visit their homes at specific times of the day and week. Identify these explicitly in your contract. If anything changes, you can easily update the contract and keep track of your schedule.
- Payment expectations. In addition to a payment schedule, identify payment methods your clients can use (cash, check, credit card, etc.). You should also indicate your preferred method of payment delivery (mail? onsite pickup?).
- Equipment expectations. Will you use your own equipment or your clients's? Does the client have any unusual property they wish you to clean using specialized gear?
- Signatures. Review the contract with your client and make sure you both sign it. This document will serve as the foundation of your professional relationship.
Benefits of Using a Cleaning Services Contract
Obviously, using a contract can help keep your business organized. But it also helps ensure that your business remains profitable. How? Providing your clients with clear expectations about your services and their payment obligations reduces the likelihood of miscommunication and provides you with hard deadlines for payment, which can keep your revenue consistent.
Additionally, contracts are a great risk management tool. They can serve as evidence in case one of your clients decides to initiate a lawsuit against you and may even help keep your insurance premiums down.
Before making a decision about insurance for your cleaning business, though, be sure to check out the article “7 Things to Know before Buying Insurance for Your Janitorial, Housekeeping, or Cleaning Business.