Businesses rely on public perception to keep and improve their business. A run down dirty outward appearance of a business location can mean the difference for a new customer not to stop by or from even going into a business. For this reason businesses are more likely to want regular routinely scheduled cleaning done to their property and that means possible business for you.
Repeat business should be 75-90% of any businesses income. If you do not have good repeat business along with a plan to find new customers you will soon have no work to do and be out of business!
Even if a business owner or manager that you go to speak with already has someone doing work for them, leave a business card with a quote, making sure it has a time limit on it. You never know when something will come up, the other company may not be able to meet their obligation, or may do something to anger the owner enough to try someone else. If you had never stopped by and left them your information you may miss that next opportunity.
Since most jobs come from word of mouth or from prior contacts, not putting in the time to scout out new prospects can mean death to the growth of your business. As I have mentioned before you should spend at least 20% of your effort (time and money) in to finding new business.
The only difference with commercial work vs. home owners is many times they want this work to be done during off hours, meaning when they are closed in the evenings, over night or on the weekends. Since many businesses are now open nearly 24 hours a day you usually can find a time that is slow enough to allow you to work or where you can block off areas to clean so not to restrict your clients own business while you do yours. Of course special care must be taken when working close to the public with proper signage, that all proper safety measures are taken and to be sure you carry enough liability insurance.
It is also good business practice to have prepared information packs for the prospective business customer that includes; copies of your business license for the area you are working in, certifications, insurance binders, bonds, references and any other information that will make the client feel comfortable going into a contract with you and allowing you to do business with them. Many chain locations have corporate restrictions in regards to hiring local companies. If you want to do business in this area it may also be good for you to contact the company at the corporate level first to see if they have their own certification process you must apply to before you can be considered to do work for them at the local level.
Good luck in finding these contract jobs.