What Should i Charge for Cleaning Services?
Have you recently started a cleaning business?
With all your supplies, services, and strategy in place, you're now wondering: how much should I charge for cleaning houses?
Deciding how to quote a cleaning job can be tricky because you're quoting for something you probably haven't seen. But, luckily, there are easy ways to go about it.
Why is the right pricing crucial? Well, if you charge too high, you lose your clients. And if you don't charge enough, you lose your money.
Thus, there is a striking balance you should find to keep your business stable.
Below you’ll find 4 simple to follow steps that ‘walk’ you through the How Much to Charge for Cleaning Services?
7 Factors Influencing the House Cleaning Rates
Some people make the trivial error of quoting their prices by merely looking at how much other similar cleaning services are charging.
This is problematic because it doesn't equate your charges precisely with the services you are providing. This blurriness can result in an unexplained loss. You don't want that, do you?
Despite that, you should know about the national average rate. Having this knowledge enables you to find your perfect pricing point.
In Australia, the national average for house cleaning rates per hour varies from $30 to $50.
These rates are based on a few factors. Make sure to consider them before deciding how much to charge for house cleaning services:
Size of the House
Of course, the larger the house's size, the more the required cleaning, and the more you will charge. The size of the house is determined by either estimating the total square-foot of the area or by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the place.
Type of Cleaning Required
By large, you've got two types of cleaning; deep and basic. Basic cleaning would include our usual mopping and sweeping, whereas deep cleaning is more thorough.
How much to charge for deep cleaning a house? As it’s evident, deep cleaning costs you more supplies and time, and maybe employees too. So, you will be charging more for it than basic cleaning.
Location of the Client
The farther your client is located, the more it will cost you to reach their home or office. Thus, when deciding how to quote for cleaning services, keep this important factor in mind.
You can also schedule clients living close by on the same day to save fuel. Plan your days according to areas.
Moreover, never reject clients simply because they are far away. Use this as an opportunity to leave your impression. Clients are willing to pay more if they get the promised quality.
State of the House
Even within basic and deep cleaning, the state of the house can vary. The dirtier the place, the more you will be charging.
Although it’s a bit difficult to know that beforehand, you can take a good hit at reducing any possible losses by asking the right questions.
If you're familiar with economics, you will know that greater demand causes greater supply leading to an increase in prices. And your cleaning service is no different than regular commodities.
People in different areas are willing to pay differently for cleaning services. Thus, when you're thinking about how to estimate house cleaning jobs, remember this pointer.
To make sure you don't undercharge or overcharge, figure out the current average pricing for cleaning services in different areas.
Frequency of Cleaning
Once you build long-term or regular clients, you will find it's best to charge them a little less than one-time clients. This is because houses that are cleaned regularly require much less subsequent cleaning.
This is also an excellent way to pay back your client's loyalty and have them stay longer.
When it comes to cleaning services, your experience amounts to branding. The more experience you have, the more reliable your knowledge and reputation get. And if you've played the game right, you’ll have a greater number of satisfied clients.
This experience gives you the leisure of charging more just for your name. However, keep a close eye on not lowering quality at all.
How Much Should I Charge for Cleaning a House?
Now let's see how much to charge for cleaning services.
Follow this three-step guide to develop your pricing list:
Step 1: Record Your Average Cleaning Times
Paying by the hour is most preferred now. People realize time is money, and so should you.
What you're trying to find here is how much time it takes you to clean a room.
Now there are various rooms in a house. These include bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, lounge/living area, stairs, foyer, hallways, etc.
So clean every room and record the time it takes using a stopwatch. Do it at your own home, or ask your friends or family if you can do theirs. It sounds a bit itchy, but who would refuse their home to be cleaned for free? Hardly anyone.
Once you're done recording a rough cleaning time for each room, calculate your baseline average. How does this help?
When your client calls, you can give them an estimate of how long it will take you to clean their place. Furthermore, reasonable time estimates will help you price your services better. Read on to find out how.
So, let's say a client calls you for your services to clean their house. You have all your baselines in place. This is how your time estimation goes:
Bedrooms: 20 minutes x 3
Bathrooms: 25 minutes x 4
Kitchen: 35 minutes
Living area: 25 minutes
Stairs: 20 minutes
Total: 4 hours of basic cleaning
A crucial factor to remember here is to try and hit your baseline average as best as you can. Few slips here and there are alright. But, large deviations can be problematic as well as unprofessional.
Step 2: Choose Your Pricing Model
There are four different pricing models, all of which effectively resolve the problem of how to estimate a house cleaning job. However, each has its way. So, choose your pricing model accordingly.
The hourly pricing model is best for beginners. Why?
It allows your client to see better why you're charging the way you are. It also allows you to focus on quality and value. And aren't these precisely the things that set your reputation?
When working with the hourly pricing model, you don't want to be cleaning by the clock. Instead, work as efficiently as possible. This is critical for client satisfaction because you don't want them to be assuming you're deliberately taking longer to earn more.
So, be efficient, move quickly, and try to stay as close to your baseline averages as possible.
An example of per-hour rates could be $35/hour for basic cleaning.
This pricing model is adopted by some professionals who prefer to give out average room rates. It comes in handy when clients want some rooms to be cleaned, rather than the entire house.
If you're wondering what to charge for office cleaning, then this model might do the trick.
It also accounts for areas that take you more time to clean, such as attics or hard-to-get stains.
How does this work? You calculate your time per room and price accordingly. The kitchen might take you longer than the bedrooms. Say $80 for the kitchen, $50 for a bedroom, so the average turns out to be $65. That will be your per-room rate.
The flat-rate pricing model is the most common and popular method among professionals. It is also a more advanced way and sells better for clients.
Why? It’s easier for customers to know how much they'll be paying.
This also works well for your regular clients because you know the size of their houses and the general state.
With this pricing model, you give a wholesome amount to your client for your full cleaning service.
Example: $200 for one basic cleaning.
However, remember that this model can prove costly for you if you don’t know the house very well or if the home or office requires deep cleaning. For these reasons, you must ask all the right questions before giving your client a flat-rate.
Square-footage is another pricing method you can use. It’s great if you work on similar size houses, let's say a neighborhood with similar-sized homes.
Using this model, you set a rate per square foot. A rate of $0.25 per square foot would make cleaning a 2000 square foot house priced at $400.
Some experts claim that this model is most profitable and easy-to-sell to houses ranging between 2000-3000 square feet that require weekly services.
Step 3: Make Sure to Add Profit
Now that you've identified how long it takes you to clean and you've chosen your pricing model, it's time to decide on your pricing list.
It's essential that you keep a reasonable profit. But before that, make sure to identify your overheads.
As with every business, you need to see the cost of your 'raw materials' - in other words, the money flowing in, before expecting a reasonable flow-out. These flow-ins are called overheads.
As a cleaning service provider, your general overheads would include:
- Cost of cleaning supplies
- Employee wages
- Drive time and fuel
These are your baseline flow-ins. When pricing your services, make sure to keep your profit.
As for the employees, if you're working for a new business, you might be wondering that this pointer isn't for you.
But here's the smart trick: consider yourself an employee, even if you're running your business single-handedly initially. Always include employee wages, no matter the number of people. This will help you when you grow.
Example: Let's say you have two employees who work at $35/hour. Driving you to the house costs you $5 worth of fuel, and your supply usage is worth $5.
Then, what to charge for cleaning services? A minimum of $90 per hour. Add your profit, and there you are.
Now, I realize all of this can be a bit daunting to do. All the additions and the multiplications can spin anyone's head. Were you secretly wishing you could find some house cleaning cost calculator? I've got the perfect one for you!
I've designed this calculator to ease out the pricing process for you. It saves you time, provides accurate and profitable pricing, and helps you avoid costly mistakes.
With a simple and easy-to-navigate design, users can save the details of all their clients, the state of the house or office, and the frequency of cleaning required.
The calculator also gives you an estimated time required to clean different areas, along with the feature to add your personal average times per room.
Apart from that, it also serves as your window cleaning cost calculator and spring cleaner calculator. The add-on features allow you to make more money.
You can also store all your past estimates and adjust and modify them on the go.
And if all that wasn't enough, the cleaning estimate calculator also includes a profitable pricing guide. Cool, huh?
Here are the following six steps aligned to increase your business income and create winning estimates:
Step 1: Create a cleaning checklist
Step 2: Know exactly how long it takes to clean a house
Step 3: How to calculate a profitable hourly rate
Step 4: How to create a winning estimate
Step 5: Create a professional proposal (in 2 minutes or less!)
Step 6: Pricing and profit hints, tips, tricks, and techniques
All in all, this house cleaning estimate calculator is your ideal gateway to business growth, along with greater client satisfaction.
Pricing appropriately is a significant part of your business. It will give you great returns in no time.
Through this guide, I hope to have covered all aspects of pricing, ranging from the factors influencing price to the steps to establish a pricing list.
And if you've got limited time or resources, the cleaning quote calculator is at your disposal to make your affairs easier. That said, have a great time making this world a cleaner place to live!
For More info on getting started with your Cleaning Business, Check out our Detailed Cleaning Business Guide