Dec 302015

The government is dirty

When you think of companies that clean up the government, you probably think of the big companies like ABM Industries, CleanNet USA Inc., Jan-Pro Franchising, ServiceMaster, and Stanley Steemer. These companies have sales in the billions while at the lowest end are mom and pop cleaning businesses making as little $20,000 net per year.

The big companies seem to be the only ones who clean up the government buildings and facilities too.

Can your retirement business stand a chance to clean up the government too?

Most small cleaning companies feel that they can’t compete against the giant and medium-sized cleaning company competition for a contract to clean up the government.

And they are right.

It is very difficult to bid on this work – in the normal manner.

The good news is that there is a way to get these cleaning contracts.

There is a little known program of the federal government called

Set-Asides for Small, Minority, Disadvantaged, and Woman owned cleaning companies.

Any Federal government agency that is contracting for cleaning MUST insure that they are giving a percentage of the work to clean up the government for small, minority, or woman owned cleaning services. (This also applied to many state government agencies.)

How do you get this business? Qualify under one of these categories and bid directly with the Federal (or state) agency.

If that is not possible, then you can always work with a large cleaning service who will subcontract to you in order to meet their obligations under the law to clean up the government.

Advantages of cleaning for the government

  • It is steady work as you don’t have to constantly find new work.
  • The number of small, minority, and woman owned competitors is very low.
  • The US federal government is the largest buyer of services in the world.
  • Most cleaning company competitors never think about participating.
  • The federal government actually pays very well.
  • There is a great likelihood that you can get an easy renewal.


  • It can take a long time to get approved and to win a bid.
  • The sales cycle can be long.
  • There is a lot of approval paperwork to fill out.
  • They pay slowly – but they always do pay.
  • You often have to be a subcontractor for a larger company.

How to get on the federal government’s cleaning bidders list

First you must prove that you have a small, minority, disadvantaged, or woman owned business. See Small Business Administration guidelines on Minority Owned Businesses.

  • Small is usually determined by the number of employees that you don’t have.
  • A minority business is one owned by African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans.
  • You can also qualify if you are economically disadvantaged which many low-income retirees are.
  • A woman owned business is one that is majority owned by a woman who could be the wife, single female, or widow.

There are other requirements too.

  • You need to get a Dun and Bradstreet number  and also register with the federal government’s System for Award Management program.
  • Contact your insurance agent to become bonded and insured.
  • You also need to know what the North American Industry Classification Code is for cleaning services. Look no further it is 561720.

How to find out about bid opportunities.

Subscribe to the free federal government publication notice called Federal Business Opportunity    or go online to read about opportunities in the Fed Biz Opps section  and enter what your location and what you are looking for.

And finally get your business listed on the U.S General Services Administration  so that federal government offices can contact you.

Don’t forget that some states also have similar programs. Search the Internet for small business set aside for your state. And contact your local government agencies too.

State & local governments

Don’t forget that many other governmental agencies (and non-profits) like city hall, police, fire departments, Red Cross, etc. have cleaning needs and often give preference to small, minority, disadvantaged, or woman owned cleaning services.

More reading
 how-to-get-government-contracts sba






Check out this link for more ideas.  Hundreds of Retirement Business Ideas.

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How to Earn More Retirement Income: without having to get a job

Where to Find Products to Sell for Your Retirement Business

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