How much should you pay your cleaners? It’s a question that every cleaning business owner struggles with until they figure out a system that works best for them. You want to pay a wage that will motivate your cleaning staff, prevent turnover, and still make money from your business.
The best way is to pay your cleaners well by giving them a commission, or a percentage of each house that they clean. That said, one thing you want to keep in mind is that your direct labor cost should not exceed 45% of your revenue.
Your goal should be to pay your staff at least $15 an hour on average, and if that makes your eyes pop out, you aren’t charging your clients enough. The going hourly rate for cleaning service across the U.S. and Canada is between $40 and up, per labor hour. Your staff needs to be able to average between $15-18 an hour and you need to still bring in a profit.
Another tactic to increasing your profits without raising rates significantly is to implement Speed Cleaning practices. Let’s say you charged $30/hr for a house that used to take your cleaner 4 hours ($120 total), but then your staff got trained on maximizing their efficiency with Speed Cleaning and now it only takes her 3 hours to clean the house. Now you’re technically charging $40/hr for that house without having to ask the client for a big increase. You don’t always have to raise your rates, especially if you improve the speed of your team. You want to incentivize your staff to hustle.
This system has worked extremely well for my maid service. My staff is well-paid and they don’t turnover like crazy unlike most maid services. I love the result.
Keep your overhead low so you have decent profit margins and so you can pay your employees well. High employee turnover results in higher overhead costs, so in the long run you are saving money by keeping your employees happy. If you think there’s no way you can pay your staff well and still turn a profit, then your margins are off. Need help with margins, profitability, and path to paying your staff better? Check out my Cleaning Business Fundamentals Course.
Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely business, and very few people can guess their way to success in this business—in fact most people don’t. I highly recommend that you join my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course to get training, strategy, and weekly answers to your burning questions. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.