Starting you own residential cleaning service requires a strict pricing schedule, and there are certain kinks in the pricing system that you need to work through before landing your first clients. Will you charge by the hour or by the foot? Depending on the size of the home, both options have the ability to be lucrative. Will you charge extra for intricate cleaning services, such as window washing, carpet washing and garage organisation? It is critical to have every aspect of pricing down to a T before opening your doors for business.
- Skill level:
Decide on your method of pricing. There are two pricing methods that will help you accurately quote a residential cleaning: by the hour and by the foot. Generally, residential cleanings are priced by the hour rather than by the foot. The reason for this is that many clients will ask for a single room cleaning, and if the room is small, there is no profit to be made. For example, let's say a client asks you to clean the guest bedroom, which is 156 sq feet. If your price per square foot is 0, your quote for the bedroom would be £10.10.
Analyse the local competition. What do your competitors charge per hour or per foot? If the going rate in your town is £13 per hour, you wouldn't want to charge £32 per hour. Overpricing your services to such an extreme would simply drive more business to your competitors. On the other hand, if the competition is charging £35 per hour, you wouldn't want to charge £9 per hour. Analyse the prices of successful residential cleaning businesses in your area and imitate their prices.
Take location into consideration. The location of the residence you will be cleaning will greatly affect your quote. If the home is located in a high-end gated community, you would charge reasonably more than you would to clean a college student's dorm room. Take the commute into consideration when delivering your quote. If the client's home is 30 minutes away from your base location, you need to factor in travel expenses and the fact that the commute time could have been spent cleaning another client's home.
Examine the home itself. If the home is 3,000 sq feet with a lake view and a heated pool, you can quote a higher price. Your client can obviously afford a higher going rate. Instead of charging £13 per hour, consider charging £16 per hour. However, don't raise your rates to such an extreme that your clients will walk away. Most people are intuitive and can tell when they are being taken for a ride. Raise your price a bit for luxury homes but not to the extent that you are overcharging.
Work out a payment schedule. Residential cleaning services often make it mandatory for the client to make payment on the same day the service is performed. However, there is an exception. If you will be cleaning the client's home on a weekly basis, you can make the exception and allow the client to pay in full at the end of the month because of customer loyalty. Regardless of how you would like to receive payment, tell your clients beforehand in order to avoid misunderstandings and possible loss of profit.
What type of cleaning service is the client requesting? Does your client want a full house cleaning, including a thorough carpet wash, window wash and garage organisation? If carpet washing, window washing and garage organisation are not included in your "full house cleaning" package, charge an additional rate for these services. Explain to your client that these services are not included in your "full house cleaning" package, and if she would like these services performed, an additional charge will be applied. A reasonable client will understand and pay the additional fee.
Tips and warnings
- Don't price your services low just to undercut your competition. You are a business owner and deserve to make a profit.