How much to charge
for office cleaning

Ask around, and you'll find many opinions regarding how much to charge for office cleaning. Use this simple framework to help evaluate all the different advice. Setting your fees right is critical to your cleaning business success. You need to understand how it's done, because if you get this wrong, you could be leaving hundreds of dollars on the table each week.

There are two components to pricing, one is subjective (value). The other is objective (facts). Many professional office cleaners believe they can use a simple equation when calculating their cleaning rate. They base it on a simple formula. They tick off items on a factual list, things such as square feet, number of offices, desks, windows, urinals, and so on.

However, something important is missing from that factual, square-foot rate. A calculation for rates based on a formula does not account for real-world variables.

What's missing from a factual, “square-foot” rate?

To charge the right amount, you need answers to these questions:

  • How easy or complicated is access to the property? Will it add time?
  • What physical obstacles exist that are not accounted for in your equation?
  • Will there be employees present as you clean?
  • What is the distance between the job site and the garbage?
  • How easy or difficult is the client to communicate with?
  • How near or far away are the water sources and electrical outlets?

setting your price for office cleaning

These are just a few examples of data that will not be accounted for in a purely objective approach, such as square footage.

What costs do you need to know to calculate your rate?

  • Overhead
  • Profit
  • Labor/ staffing
  • Supplies
  • Equipment costs
  • Wear and tear, and replacement costs

A walk-through prior to quoting a fee is one of the most important Best Practices in residential cleaning. A truckload of information is revealed as result of touring the terrain personally. The necessary adjustments to your calculations are apparent once you have toured the job site. Variables might include, pets, children, amount of clutter, blocked access, scheduling issues, dangerous areas, unlit stairwells, etc. These variables also exist in commercial office cleaning. Many professionals make the lazy mistake of thinking their Square-foot calculations will cover all the variables. Treat a commercial job just like a residential job.

Strategies for setting a fee for carpet cleaning services:

  • By the hour
  • By the Square Foot
  • Time and materials plus
  • Using software with inputs and outputs

A combination of all of the above is the most effective way to determine how much to charge for office cleaning. By getting many perspectives on the job, you can hone in on a rate that will cover 90% of variables. Once you have actually done the job a few times, you can adjust the fee even further to arrive at the best long-term price, agreeable to both you and the client.

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Subjective Values

Do not get bogged down in data with any job. You also have to ask yourself how you feel about the job. Do like the client? Do you enjoy (employees) at the job? Is the job dangerous or overly risky? Is this client someone with whom you want to develop an association? Will the job be more trouble than it is worth?

It is hard to turn down work, but a professional, experienced office cleaner knows exactly when to walk away from a problem job. You are likely learn through your own experiences. Gain skill in this area by being engaged and attentive to the job and to your client. It is a mistake to reduce everything to data, or to a square-foot rate, based purely on size and room count.

The more perspectives you take, the better prepared you will be. The better prepared you are, the better return you will get for your investment.

Read more articles on starting a cleaning business on our blog. 

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