going to teach you what is most important about setting your home
cleaning prices as a professional cleaner, it is not the pricing
formula you choose, you can read about that in my cleaning service
prices article. Learn about pricing methodologies.
Pricing is a psychology and a process, a process you must master if you want to make over $50 per hour cleaning for a living.
According to HomeAdvisor the average cost for a house cleaning was $166. It ranged from $63 to $350!
This wide range should tell you something about setting house cleaning prices, the average price does not tell the cleaning entrepreneur much. As a cleaning professional would you rather be paid $63 or $350? I would guess that all of you would prefer to make closer to $350 than $63. Should you be aiming at $166 per job? It is not a bad mark. Let's say it takes you three hours to clean for $166, that works out to $55 per hour. That is good! Of course, the trick is always finding enough clients at a steady rate that will pay for that long-term. This is the trick. It is not your pricing that makes you vulnerable it is the challenge of finding enough clients at a rate that makes your business sustainable as quickly as possible.
Many times when people do not have enough work volume, the first thing they do is lower the price, wrong!
Find more clients! How? It takes a lot of work and time to improve the situation, lowering your price does not, it is an instantaneous fix, but it is the wrong fix. You race your business to the bottom of the pay scale and it will be difficult to recover. Lower your business to the bottom of the pay scale and you are stuck with those clients. It is very hard to replace all of your long-term clients with better-paying ones. The word is out, you are cheap!
are many downsides to playing the low ball price game and I have
written about them in this article entitled Cleaning Service prices.
The question you need to ask yourself is how much do you need to make? Don't ask yourself what is likely? What is the average pay? Because that is not a smart business approach, you can not design a business around averages of popular perception.
When I started out I started charging $15 per hour because that is what everyone (who knew nothing about professional cleaning) thought made sense. It seemed like quite the improvement over my $10 per hour I was making with my job, but I was running a business, not working a job, there are other expenses! When I quit professional cleaning in 2006 I was making anywhere from $40 – 60 per hour.
Yes, there will be quite a range ($40 - $60), if you are doing your business correctly, more on that in another article.
Some tactics to consider
Set a minimum.
I had a minimum of $75 and in hindsight, it should have been a minimum of $100. It can be hard to stick to your guns on price and people can talk you into it, especially if you are the agreeable type.
Are you agreeable in nature? Agreeableness is a psychological trait, it is not necessarily good or bad, but you may have issues with getting the price you want if you are too agreeable. You will know if you are, you are painfully acute to this phenomenon if you have the trait.
I have this trait and for the first year or so, I was paid way too little. It can be hard to walk away from a job when you need the money and maybe you should not walk away, under those circumstances, it just depends on the context, but if you are doing fine, you want to stick to your cleaning price and even raise it over time. There are plenty of clients out there that will pay you $55 per hour, but you have to become an expert at finding them, getting the job and keeping that client long term. You need to establish that reputation and the referrals will come.
Use multiple pricing methodologies
You want to tackle the job from multiple perspectives, this will result in less risk because there is more of a chance of getting the price correct for the job.
I would use three pricing techniques when I was bidding on cleaning jobs. I teach what these three are and how to combine them with my pro cleaning service clients.
The trick to keeping your price up is having enough leads in the pipeline.
Facebook will not magically bring you clients!
So many of my new clients want believe that the trick to being busy is having a social media presence. Do not think a Facebook page and a post once per week is going to bring you a steady stream of clients, it will not! It will help to establish your reputation over a period of many years with a traceable work history and that will result in higher conversions of your leads, especially down the road. But just starting out, it will be all crickets. You need to get out there and use several different systems to find clients. You need to go direct and local in the first six months.
Again, getting the price you want is more a factor of having too many leads than it is based on competitive pricing. Competitive pricing is a tactic when you are trying to get every potential sale, that does not make sense with house cleaning. You are not selling phones! You can only do so many cleaning jobs in a day, even large-scale cleaning businesses will max out at around 100 clients. The typical solo cleaning service business has about 20-25 clients.
It is not about getting everyone, it about getting the ones that value service, quality, and professionalism. That believe you get what you pay for. They are out there, in large numbers and you can craft a message and plan to get in front of them and then you will get the house cleaning price you want.
There are many other factors to making $55 per hour cleaning for a living, please read our blog for more ideas and check out the Clean Up Now System for the total solution.
Cleaning business academy
Bureau of Labor Statistics
House cleaning rate statistics - Government research. Statistics are detailing per cleaning technician per job, not per business owner.