It’s one of the biggest questions that cleaning business owners struggle with and a question I get all the time… What should you charge for your services? If you charge too little, you devalue your own business and shortchange yourself. If you charge too much, you run the risk of pricing yourself out of the market. (To get my full rundown of advice on what to charge, take a look at my pricing for profit kit.)
To figure out what rate you should charge, find out exactly what your professional competition is charging per hour. I recommend using a secret shopping service to figure out exactly what your professional competition is charging per hour. Ask a “secret shopper” to price all the professional services in your area to get a general idea of what the market rate is for your area.
You absolutely do not want to be the lowest priced service in town because you will not make enough to cover your costs and to retain top-quality employees. Don’t make the mistake of devaluing your business. On the flip side, you should be aware of how much your competitors are charging and be sure you don’t price yourself out of the market.
Keep in mind that solo-preneurs who own the business and do the cleaning have almost no overhead and can charge very low hourly rates. Contrast this with franchised businesses that have overhead costs, employee wages, business insurance, and other expenses. If you run a more complex business, then your prices need to be higher than those of sole practitioners who do their own cleaning. Prices vary from state to state, so shop around and see what others are charging.
Charging super low rates is not scalable, because when you are ready to grow your business and hire staff you’ll have a whole batch of underpriced customers that will be unprofitable when your employees clean.. If you run a more complex business with employees and an office, your prices must be higher to cover these costs. Again, I recommend finding out what other services are charging in your area and acting accordingly.
You have to charge enough to pay a good wage, otherwise retaining staff will always be an enormous struggle. Avoid trying to be the “low price provider” in an effort to win market share. Competing on price is the worst place to be in business.
If you found this helpful, you would benefit from checking out my pricing for profit kit. I help you determine how to size up a job and price it for profit every time.