Is There Money In This Barnes & Nobles Job?

I got a call from National Janitorial Solutions and they’d like me to provide them with a bid for a Barnes & Nobles. Actually they want me to give them 2 bids. One for 1st story interior/exterior and 2nd story interior. The second bid for 2nd story exterior only.

I went and visited the Barnes & Nobles store yesterday and got a good look at the job. There are a total of 220 panes - 101 panes are on the 2nd story. The 2nd story windows are probably 35-40 ft off the ground.

Overall the windows are simple to clean. No hard water stains. No paint. More than enough room on the inside and out to position ladders.

The only real difficulty would be the 2nd story exterior windows. I don’t have the equipment for getting up that high. Not to mention that there are two metallic looking awnings blocking access to 12 of the 2nd story panes. I don’t have a clue how I’d even get access to those 12 panes in order to clean them while those awnings are blocking them:

If I got the job, I’m thinking of just sub contracting the 2nd story exterior windows to another more experienced window cleaner. I’d just have him invoice me for the work.

Since this would be my first ever commercial account, I have a few questions that I hope you guys might be able to help answer:

  • How much time would a job like this take to finish?
  • How do I deal with timing so that I don’t obstruct customers or employees while I work?
  • Will I need to use any hazard signs or cones while I work?
  • How should I price the job?

At my normal rate, I’d charge $10 per window pane - inside and out. That’s $1690 for the first bid, and $505 for the second bid. That comes out to a total of $2195 for the whole job.

If any of you have cleaned windows for Barnes & Nobles, do they have a decent budget for window cleaning?

Also has anyone here worked with National Janitorial Solutions? If so, are they reasonable with pay? Considering that NJS would be brokering between Barnes & Nobles and myself, they’d take a chunk of the amount that Barnes & Nobles has budgeted for window cleaning. Would any of you know how much of a chunk of the budget they’d take?

Here are a bunch of pictures of the store:

Are you charging $10 for every single pane, big and small? Highly unlikely they’ll pay that. Those management companies are notorious for being cheap. Looks like you’ll need a wfp for that job. I think you’d be lucky to get half that, and probably have to do the job before they open up. Good luck

I am here: Google Maps

I would be shocked if any National Service Company would pay anywhere near that (or anywhere near 1/2 that). Also, I think it’s likely that any contract between you and them would prohibit you sub-contracting any work out to another window cleaning company; which I’ve always found ironic, given that the NSC makes its living as a sub-contractor.


Whereas it is true most national company’s bylaws prohibit sub contracting the work out, with regard to the pricing, NJS is very reasonable when it comes to paying for window cleaning.

I do a barnes and nobles for them. Fairly priced, and they pay in a timely matter.

Are you getting $10/pane?

I am here: Google Maps

Yeah $10 a pane is off the hook for commercial work, let alone residential. that would be $20 per window…

I really dont see you getting more than $2 per pane per side… which would still be good money…

$2 a pane… both sides

throw some plywood up on those awnings and set A frame ladder on top of that :open_mouth:

Take the job and do your best… njs will never see it anyways, and the manager of the store will sign the sheet with no questions asked.

How often does it go? Once every other month?

I really dont see you getting more than $2 per pane [B]per side[/B]… which would still be good money…

Has one found a good NSP to do business with? One has found a good thing!

I haven’t had very good luck with Janitorial company’s. They either want it done for nothing so they can profit too, or I they are just using my price to guage what they are going to bid it for. Good luck to you, let us know how it turns out.

I get this.

my exact same experience

I kinda agree but I’ve really just started out. I’ve done a couple similar jobs (quantity of windows) and I’m getting them for 1.50-1.75/pane(side) not sure if I’m lowballing or not but to me averaging $50-$75/hr is ok for me right now.

$10 is way to much for a pane.

Yikes! Not sure I would go that route.
I would not put a bid in on a job I didn’t think I could clean properly. I would think your price is going to be way to high at $10. Probably go $3. You don’t want to have it become a big waste of your time if you can’t make money on it either. You can get more competitve on your price if you are looking at a monthly or every other month cleaning also.

You need to trim that $2195.00 down a little bit, they will think you lost your mind