As a cleaning company, making sure you’re pricing your services appropriately and adequately is extremely important.
For one thing, customers frequently shop around, asking for quotes from numerous companies before deciding on one. For another, you need to be paid fairly for all the hard work you do.
That’s why we’ve made this simple guide to pricing any cleaning job, so you can spend less time with a calculator and more time cashing in.
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The economics of cleaning jobs
It’s pretty standard for cleaning tasks to be priced by the hour. This isn’t always true (see the steps below), but for the most part it is.
As a result, it’s vital to your business that you price your jobs accordingly, making sure your workers get paid for their hours worked and you’re still able to make a profit while staying on-par with your competition — who’ll be looking to out-bid you on every job.
Who knew the cleaning business could get so messy?
Thankfully, pricing your cleaning jobs isn’t too tricky. You just need to make some decisions first to set you up for success. Here are some steps you can take to set a price for your cleaning services.
Pick the type of cleaning you’ll be doing
Now, this is probably the most significant and most obvious step: You need to decide what kind of cleaning you’re going to be doing. Pricing is entirely different for an industrial cleaning company than an independent maid service. So, determine what you’re doing first.
Decide on an hourly rate for your employees
This one is straightforward enough. Decide how much you’d like to pay your staff (and yourself of course) for their work by the hour. This will not only help inform how much to charge for your services, but it will also attract employees to your company anytime you need to hire new staff.
According to Payscale, the average a housekeeper or maid makes in the U.S. is about $11.17 an hour. Of course, this entirely depends on your location and the type of work your company does. If you’re a cleaning service for a 43-story building in Manhattan, you’re not going to pay your employees the same as, say, a housekeeping service in Lincoln, Nebraska.
But we’re sure both will look amazing after you’re done with them.
Figure out the extras
Cleaning anything is rather tricky without supplies. Unless you think rubbing water on surfaces counts as cleaning, in which case you may want to reconsider this profession.
When figuring out how much to charge for your business, you need to take into account how much all the little extra things will cost. These can include:
- Employee uniforms
- Disinfectant surface cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Microfiber scrub pads
- Microfiber cloths
- A cleaning bucket
- A vacuum
- A mop
- Floor cleaner
- Soap scum remover
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Knee pads
- Shoe covers
- Disposable cleaning gloves
- Other things you haven’t even thought of yet
Obviously, there are a lot of little things to think about. For cleaning companies, it’s easy to get the necessary supplies in bulk from wholesalers like Costco, Clean It Supply, and Amazon Business.
Do some research and figure out a ballpark number for how much you’ll need to spend on your supplies. Your list may differ from your competitors or other companies, depending on the brands you pick. For example, if you are an all-natural cleaning company, and need to buy supplies that are safe for the environment, you may end up having to spend more than others in your area. Alternatively, though, that feature may attract specific customers and, in theory, you could charge more for your services.
These numbers will change month to month, depending on your number of clients. It goes without saying that the more houses and offices you clean, the more cleaning supplies, employees, and uniforms you’ll need.
Establish an hourly rate for your business
Now that you know how much you need to pay your employees and how much you’ll need to spend on supplies and other things, you can figure out how much you need to be charging your clients.
Again, this should be heavily dictated by your area. According to Cleaning Business Academy, the average hourly rate for a professional house cleaning service in the U.S. is generally between $25-$45 an hour. However, to get a better idea of what your competition is charging, do a little sleuthing. This part isn’t as sneaky as it sounds — call them up and ask what their hourly rate is. Simple as that, and what a rush!
By doing this, you can see what everyone in your area is charging and get a better idea where your rate fits into the local ecosystem of cleaning services. Additionally, if you’re charging too low or too high, you can adjust accordingly.
Figure out the timing and pricing
Great, now that you have the details down, you need to figure out how long, on average, it’ll take you to complete a cleaning job. To give your clients a better estimate, you can ask how many rooms they have in their house or how large their home or office is and better quote their cleaning needs. There are a couple of ways to figure this part out.
First, you can simply just time yourself.
Clean your own home and see how long each room takes individually. If it takes half an hour to clean the dining room, multiply that number by how many rooms you have, and you can get a better idea of how long it may take to clean someone’s house.
This isn’t a perfect system, however. For one thing, no two houses are the same. Your dining room may be a lot larger or smaller than someone else’s, which could throw off your estimate.
Another option is to charge by the square foot, though that is generally reserved for larger commercial jobs. If you choose to go this route, you’ll need to decide on a rate per square foot. This price is entirely up to you, but an excellent place to start is looking between $50 to $90 a square foot for a smaller home.
Bear in mind this method isn’t perfect either. While someone’s home may be 450 square feet, and you quote them as such, you have no idea how many rooms that is, or how long it will take to clean. They could have a bowling alley or movie theatre for all you know, and if you’ve never cleaned one of those, then you’re in for some fun.
This is where a time tracker can come in handy for figuring out your pricing. If you track your employees’ time, you can get more accurate numbers for a variety of different cleaning environments. This means you can give better, more accurate quotes to your clients. We’ll cover this in more detail later on.
Another thing to consider is the kind of cleaning you’ll be doing. Some clients may only want you to clean once a month, while others may ask for it weekly, even daily for office spaces. Consider if you’re going to charge differently for bundles or frequency discounts.
Whatever pricing system you choose, make sure it works for you, your employees, and your company’s business model. Now go get to cleaning!
Your cleaning questions answered
How to price commercial cleaning jobs?
Charging around $70 to $120 an hour is pretty standard for an average small to mid-sized office or commercial building.
How to price house cleaning jobs?
The U.S. average is between $25-$45 an hour.
How much to charge for office cleaning?
This depends on the size of the office. If you’re cleaning a smaller-sized office, it’s standard to charge between $30 to $50 per hour. For larger offices, it’s normal to give a per-square-foot quote, typically starting at $.50 and going up from there.
How much to charge for deep cleaning a house?
The cost of deep cleaning a house usually is much higher, ranging between $200 and $400, depending on how large the house is.
What should house cleaning cost per square foot cost?
Pricing per square foot is typically reserved for substantial businesses or bigger homes. However, according to Home Advisor, homes less than 1,200 square feet costs around $90 per square foot. However, a home that’s a little larger, say 3,000 square feet or more, could run you upwards of $250 per square foot.
Questions to ask a potential cleaning client
Aside from the obvious ones like “Where are you located?” and “How many rooms are in your home?” there are some other questions you can ask your prospective clients that can help you provide better service for your customers. Here are a few examples of useful questions to ask:
- How did you find my business?
- Have you used a cleaning service in the past, or are you looking to switch from another cleaning service to ours?
- Is there something specific you look for in a cleaning company?
What are empty apartment cleaning prices?
For cleaning an apartment before or after a move, the cost can range anywhere from $110 and $173.
How do you bid a commercial cleaning job?
It’s rather uncommon to have to bid for a house cleaning job, and bidding will typically be reserved for larger industrial-sized jobs. If you’re looking to score some new clients, one of the better ways is to bid them. The best way to do that is to visit the perspective space, build an estimate, and write a proposal for the work you’d like to do for them.
How many square feet can one person clean per hour?
This depends on the type of work someone is doing and the individual who’s cleaning. A great way to figure this out is to use a time tracker to gauge accurate numbers.
How Hubstaff can help your cleaning company
Using a time tracking app like Hubstaff can help your cleaning business provide more accurate quotes, better track employee activity, and help with payroll.
GPS tracking and geofences
Using the Hubstaff mobile app, your employees can track their time from anywhere. They can move from one house to the next, tracking their time and location as they go. Plus, you can set up jobs sites using geofences so that when a team member shows up at one of your client’s homes or offices, they’ll automatically clock in. It’s that simple.
Billing and invoicing with numerous clients
Invoicing and billing your clients is a huge part of running any business. Moreover, as a cleaning company, you have several clients all with different pay rates. Using Hubstaff can make that whole complicated process a lot less, you know, complicated. As your team tracks hours using Hubstaff, they can bill their time directly to specific clients.
This means, when it’s time to create an invoice, Hubstaff will automatically populate what that client owes based on the hours tracked towards them. Then, all you have to do is send out that invoice and get paid. No need to go back and forth to check other documents or spreadsheets — it’s all within Hubstaff.
Hubstaff makes paying your employees a breeze. As your team members track time, Hubstaff will add those hours up. At the end of each week, you can see how many hours each team member spent on each job and know how much you owe them based on pre-set pay rates. Then, all you have to do is approve their timesheet and Hubstaff will automatically pay them through a number of our integrations like PayPal or Gusto. Simple as that.
If you’re looking to get started right away, but still need some help with the formalities, here are a few resources that could help jump start the process:
- Template.net has curated a good number of price list templates to help you get started.
- Law Depot has made a very intuitive page that helps create a fee cleaning services agreement based on your location, company size, hourly rate, and client needs.
- Panda Doc has created this sleek cleaning service proposal for pitching clients.