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Well, you should first speak with your friends.  Do they have a service that they use? Are they happy with their cleaning service?  Do they have any problems?  Hopefully, one of your friends uses a reputable, insured and professional service and can give you a recommendation.

    What do you do if none of your friends use a cleaning service?  Now matters get a bit more interesting.  You’ll look for referrals from the local Chamber of Commerce, from the company that does the cleaning at your work and even perhaps from the local newspaper.  You may also do a search on Google or another search engine for local cleaning services.  Notice, I stress local because a local company, I believe, has a vested interest in your satisfaction.  They do business locally and need to maintain a good reputation because as we all know, news travels fast locally.  I always recommend making use of local businesses not only for your benefit but for the community at large.

    Ideally, you now have one or two companies that you believe could take care of your needs but how do you proceed now?  Your first task is to make a detailed list of specifications outlining exactly what you want the company to do.  Yes, it must be detailed as this outlines exactly what you expect from the service, and the service has a clear idea of what it has to provide and to bill for.  The idea that you can be nebulous in your specifications and perhaps get more than you are paying for eventually leads to dissatisfaction in both parties and problems.  Understand that the major expense for your cleaning service is labour, he must be able to assess the amount of time it will take to do your premises in order to bill correctly and enter into a win/win situation with you.  Prioritize your list of specifications so that when you get your quote, if you need to go back to the contractor and say I can’t afford that, you’ll have an idea of what items you may be able to live without .

    Armed with your prioritized list of specifications, arrange to meet your one or two contractors for a site visit at your home/office.  You MUST ask them about their liability insurance coverage, (yes or no), their WSIB coverage, their safety policies, their hiring policies, police background checks, their policies on accidental breakage their payment policy.  You need to address all these items to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable, professional company for your protection. Record the answers you receive and ask for a quote.  After the company representative has left, sit and make notes about your feelings.  Did the representative listen to your concerns?  Did they present a professional image?  Did they forthrightly provide all the information you requested or did you have to push for answers?  Did you feel comfortable dealing with the representative?  Do you believe that there was an ease of communication?  All these items are important as you are dealing with a company that will provide a service to you hopefully for the long term.

    When you receive the quotes, review them carefully and look to see if either company has made provisions, limitations, or changes to your specifications.  Make sure that you are comparing quotes apples to apples and not an apple to a tomato.  Once you have ascertained that both quotes are the same in the work they are quoting, refer to your notes about the site visit and how you felt about each quoting company.  You are now realistically prepared to make your decision.  You may in fact, not choose the least expensive company but if you follow this outline, it will be the company that is best for you.