I get a lot of questions about how to price cleanings from maid services. Below are a few that came up recently that I thought you might be interested in.
What if a client needs a deluxe cleaning but doesn’t want to pay for it?
This happens a lot with potential clients, especially people who have never hired a maid service before. When you’re at their home, you can see that they really need a deep clean to set things straight, but they balk at the price tag and ask for just a few hours instead of the six hours that they really need. I recommend that you tell the client that you are committed to getting their house clean and that if they sign up for weekly or bi-weekly cleaning, you will give them a rebate on the price after they’ve had two consecutive cleanings. This way, you give them thorough, high quality service that they’re happy with from the get go, and they’re pleased to get a bit of a discount when they sign up for recurring cleaning.
Do you include tax in your rate?
No, we do not include sales tax in our hourly rate and I suggest that you do the same. This is money that’s going straight to the government, not into your pocket, so layer it on top of your rate. We tell clients that we’re such-and-such a price, plus tax. For example, $40/hour plus tax, or $120 per cleaning plus tax. The tax that you pass along to the state or municipality should not come out of your pocket.
What if I’m losing business because clients have increased price sensitivity?
One of my clients mentioned that competition has become fierce in his area of service and wondered if he was losing prospective customers due to his pricing. He doesn’t want to be the “low price provider” but he feels like something is going on. The best way to handle this situation is to meticulously track your inbound leads and your conversions. You need to track every single inbound call, email, or Facebook message, and then track whether or not they converted to become a customer. Most of us convert 50-60% of inbound inquiries IF (and this is a big two-part ‘if’) we take the call when it comes in and respond immediately and IF you can service them on the day they requested. If you meet these criteria and you’re converted below the 50-60% range, then you might want to adjust prices.
Just tell me what I should charge!
To figure out what your rate should be, find out exactly what your competition is charging per hour in your area. Ask a “secret shopper” to price all the local professional services to get an idea of what the market rate is. Remember that solo-preneurs who own the business and do the cleaning have almost no overhead and can charge very low hourly rates. If you run a more complex business with overhead costs, employee wages, business insurance, and other expenses, then your prices need to be higher than those of sole practitioners who do their own cleaning.
This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my Cleaning Business Fundamentals course.