So you finally went with your gut and started your journey to janitorial entrepreneurship. That is awesome! But how should you charge for your services. Have no fear, you are on the right blog article. We’ll go through how to quote your clients without over charging them, thus scaring them off or cheating yourself, thus putting you in the poor house.
A friend of the family, God rest his soul, was the closest success story I know of, turning his one man mop, bucket, and squeegee operation into a thriving janitorial company. The product of his trial and error on the road to success will be your guide in this article. Take notes. I know I did.
Before you start marketing your business, you gotta know your market. Find out who your competition is, and what they charge for the areas you plan to service. Don’t worry if the typical quotes are lower than what you would like to charge. Many people and companies are willing to pay a little more for excellent quality and attention to detail.
When our family friend started to expand his business, he called local cleaning companies, requesting them to come out to different sites (friend’s homes and garages) and give him quotes. He would list all the duties each competitor’s cleaning company would perform for each site and their quotes. With the accumulated data, he found the average cost and the limits he would should charge for the size of a site. The idea is to find out what you can get away with charging, as well as the lowest you should go if you want to do promotional pricing.
Decide what duties you are willing to perform at any given site. Estimate how long it takes to complete each task and add 5 to 15 minutes to them. If it takes you 15 minutes to sweep a 252 sq ft (12’x21′) room, you should charge about 20 to 30 minutes. If it takes you 10 minutes to dust and polish all the wood furniture, charge them for 15 to 25 minutes. Collecting and disposing of trash takes you 7 minutes? Charge them for 12 to 22 minutes.
Adding time onto the actually time of completion protects and pads your bottom line from the unknown. In the event you have employees completing the same task, they may finish a few minutes slower than your projections. You may have to clean for a client while fighting a cold or dealing with a headache. Anything that could slow you down somewhat won’t immediately translate to a loss of money.
Calculate the time totaled to complete all tasks (dusting, moping, vacuuming, wood and stainless steel polishing, general cleaning and disinfecting, ect) for the client’s site and multiply it by the wage per hour you plan to pay your employees. Say you have one cleaner handling a three story town home. If it takes him 5 1/2 hours to finish his site, and you pay him $14.50 an hour, $79.75 should be the personnel fees added to your quote.
Some cleaning companies who do residential sites won’t do toilets or appliances. Some charge extra for appliances and toilets. Make sure you squeeze those fees in too.
Now you have to factor in operational costs. Get ready for the most tedious work of your life.
Find out how much each cleaning product you use costs per fluid ounce. Decide how much of your cleaning products are likely to be used for each job, down to the fluid ounce. Then add extra to each fluid ounce used. For example, if a gallon of Mr. Clean has 128 fluid ounces, and costs $8, each fluid ounce would cost around 7 cents. If your employee is likely to use 15 fl oz for an entire job, he used $1.05 worth of Mr. Clean. What you will do is add another 7 cent (or more) to each fl oz, adding up to $2.10. That would be charged to the client. Each trash bag, each Brillo pad, each mop head, and each vacuum bag must be accounted for in the same manner.
Then there’s your transportation fees. My family’s friend decided on a cost per minute that it would take to transport the employee(s) from home base to the client’s site along with supplies and back to base. A dollar a minute? You decide.
You shouldn’t have a ton of overhead running your cleaning company early in, but administrative fees should always be added to the quote. I’ll get to that in a second.
Now it’s time to charge for the cost to do the job. This is where your money comes from. The owner has to profit too. The square footage of the site you are cleaning will determine how much you take home.
Total the square foot using a laser tape measure tool. It’s much easier. Take the total square foot of the working areas within the client’s site, find a reasonable fee per square foot for your company’s time and calculate.
Lastly, compare that to the competition. Too high? Bring down the overall quote to a reasonable level. Are your figures lower than your competition? You may be leaving money on the table.
Develop your quoting strategy before you are requested by a potential clients.