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How Much Should I Charge for Cleaning?

How Much Should I Charge for Cleaning?

One of the greatest things about cleaning businesses is that anyone can start them. However, setting the right prices for your services can be a challenge. If you find out the answer to the golden question, “How much should I charge for cleaning?” before officially launching your business, you will be a star. You neither want to charge more than your existing competitors, nor do you want to go into loss. There’s a magical number which, if determined, could do wonders for your business!

Fortunately, by following just a few steps, you can easily find out that number (or at least, come close to it, which is good enough)!

Step 1: Do Market Research & Determine an Hourly Rate
Start off by conducting a thorough research on the big players in the market. Find out how much your competition is charging per hour. This will help you in setting your own hourly rate. If you must know, the average hourly rate for cleaning services (house cleaning, to be precise) in US ranges between $25 and $45; however, we recommend that you determine the exact rates in your locality before setting your own.
Instead of sharing the hourly rate, some businesses prefer giving a lump-sum estimate for the whole service. To overcome that challenge, pose as a potential client and call them to ask for their estimate. It is crucial to ask specifically how LONG it would take to clean your place. Once you get the time to clean and an overall estimate, you can easily calculate the hourly rate by dividing the quote by the number of hours. For example, $240/4 Hours = $60/Hour. From there, you can work it out for yourself.

Step 2: Find Out Your “Cleaning Time”
The next important thing to do is to determine your own cleaning time. For that purpose, you can clean your own house or office, or offer your service to a friend for free. See how long it takes you to clean a specific number of square feet and get the job done completely. Don’t forget to keep the following two factors in mind:
1. Size of the rooms (in square feet)
2. Frequency of cleaning (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
By doing this, you will get a rough idea of how many hours it will take you to clean X square feet and you can determine a rate based on that.

Step 3: Start Giving Estimates.
The only thing left to do now is to start giving estimates. For that, take the area to be cleaned and multiply it by the frequency. You’d get the total area to be cleaned. Then, determine how much time (in hours) it would take you to clean that area. Finally, multiply that answer with the hourly rate that you have already determined. For example, a client wants Y sq. ft. of area to be cleaned twice a week. You estimate that you can clean it in 2 hours. Here’s how you would estimate the price: 2 (Hours) X Your Hourly Rate = $Total Price.

So, without wasting any time, try it for yourself, set the perfect rates, and watch your cleaning business excel in no time at all.

How much should I charge for cleaning

How much should I charge for cleaning

This is a question that almost every new cleaning business owner asks and it is not an easy one to answer.

The true answer is it depends. It depends on many different factors but mainly your geographic location. A cleaning company in San Francisco will be charging much more than a cleaning company in Memphis, TN, due to cost of living differences.

But besides the geographical location there are some other factors that have an effect on pricing. If you’re trying to own a business with employees, then you’ve gotta think about how much would a cleaning employee cost you? (don’t forget to include taxes, insurance, etc and of course your profit margin too). Then estimate how much time it will take to clean a home.  Break it down by areas, such as bathroom 1, bathroom 2, living room, kittchen, etc.

My suggestion would be if you’re just starting out and don’t have any employees and are new to the cleaning business, start of by charging hourly until you’re more confident estimating time it takes to clean homes.

Heck I’ve owned BA House Cleaning for many years but till this day I still use hourly blocks of times in situations I don’t feel comfortable giving flat rates to. You can read more about flat rates vs hourly rates for cleaning here.

Besides the information I’ve given above, here are a few things a new cleaning business should always do prior to giving out prices; especially flat rate prices!

Call your competitors

At BA House Cleaning we get competitor calls all the time. I can tell that its a competitor price shopping because I do the same thing. When I ask for details such as address, they pause and have to think for a bit. But we all do it.
When you call, ask if they offer hourly rates, ask them what those rates are.
I recommend calling at least 4-5 of your competitors, find out about both their flat rates and hourly rates.

Cleaning Time Study

No home is the same so a cleaning time can range greatly. Thats exactly why I recommended starting off with hourly above. You just can’t go wrong with going by the hour. Plus you’ll be able to learn a lot and be able to give flat rates comfortably and more confidently.

Start giving estimates

When you are comfortable with giving flat prices, you may do so but keep an eye out on your hourly rates. Continue to monitor how much time you spend on each job, how much would it cost you if you didn’t do the work your self and if you had an employee working for you. If your plan is to grow your cleaning business, you can’t do it solo and in order for it to be profitable, you must charge enough to cover all employee expenses AND make money too.

Eventually you may decide that charging by square footage is the way to go or maybe by number of bedrooms and bathrooms. At BA, we charge by the sqft but also don’t disregard the quantity of those bathrooms. Wet rooms (bathrooms specifically) are usually the most time consuming and if a home is only 1500 sqft but has 3.5 baths, we typically bump up the price a bit because we know that those bathrooms take time to clean.

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