It was hard for me to figure out my cleaning service rates at the beginning. I had no idea what to charge. So I looked at ads that were placed in the paper, called a couple of other cleaning services and asked. I’ve heard it recommended to ask for an estimate on your own house. Personally I think that is a rude waste of the other person’s time and prefer to be honest about why I am calling.
The two women that I talked to both answered questions. One was a bit short and didn’t really want to spend much time talking to me. The other woman gave me some pointers, told me her rates and exchanged contact information. Twice I gave her referrals for jobs that I couldn’t take.
Other ideas to determine your rates are to figure out what your expenses are, and how much you’d like to make. Then see if your local economy will support that. It is definitely a good idea to see what other cleaning services in your area offer and how much they charge. Craig’s List is another great place to look for this information.
After determining what others charge for the same service, I aimed for near the middle. I also preferred charging by the job based on approximate hours versus directly by the hour. If you have a regular job that you do, you will get faster at it over time. It seemed unfair to me to be paid less for doing the same job. This also allows you to print the customer’s bill before coming to their house. You may disagree and want to charge specifically by the hour.
Another way to look at it is your rate is your desired profit for the year less your costs divided by reasonable working hours that allot for holidays and sick days. Then this number is looked at to see how it matches up with market demand. In high demand areas, you may be able to charge more and vice-verse for low demand areas.
Other factors in determining your rates beside what others are charging are your skill level and your experience. As your experience and skill rise over time, you should be able to charge more. Also charging less at the beginning due to lack of experience may help you get those first few cleaning jobs.
The type of service that you will provide also determines your rates. Will you clean on weekends or nights; do hard cleanings such as move-outs, spring cleanings, and one-time cleanings? All of these cleanings are more specialized and usually require more energy, cleaning supplies and plain hard work so the client should pay more.
Finally your client may determine your rate, do you offer discounts for elderly people. There is a big difference between a three bedroom house with two small children and a dog than a three bedroom house of a retired couple without pets. The first house with take longer to clean and use more stain and hair removal techniques.
Many factors can help you to determine what you should charge your customer including what other people charge, what you’d like to make per hour, what your local demographics support, and how dirty is the client’s house