Find out how to set your professional cleaning rates to maximize profits without sacrificing service.
It’s a question that everyone running a cleaning business has at some point: how much do you charge your customers? You want your professional cleaning rates to be fair, but you’re also in business to make money. While it’s possible to set an arbitrary price based on your desired profits against your overhead costs, you stand to lose either a lot of money or a lot of customers if you don’t do a little more in-depth research to determine fair, competitive rates.
Before you can figure out how you set your pricing, however, you’ll need to run a cost analysis to find out how much revenue you need to turn a profit, as well as how much profit you want to make. Remember to be realistic when it comes to forecasting profits. There’s a fine line between making as much money as possible, and keeping your prices competitive enough that customers will pay them.
It’s also a good idea to know the standard going rates in your industry. This is different from knowing competitor pricing, which we’ll get to in a moment. Standard market rates are more like averages you can use for benchmarks to help you understand where to begin.
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How your competition will influence your professional cleaning rates
Perhaps the most critical component in setting your professional cleaning rates is knowing what your competitors are up to. After all, even in the most remote regions, it’s likely that more than one cleaning service exists, which means your customers have a choice. Part of your job, then, is to make sure that customers choose you, and that’s difficult to do blindly.
The solution is to run a competitive analysis. A competitive analysis is just a collection of research on your competitors’ offerings and prices. While it sounds like it might be a daunting task, a competitive analysis is easier to put together than it seems. It will take a bit of time and legwork, but in the end, it will be worth the business you’ll earn by being smart about your pricing. And while there are different ways to run a competitive analysis, there are some basics you can follow that will be enough to help you determine what to charge.
Remember, a competitive analysis is about more than simply your competitors’ professional cleaning rates. Through your research, you’ll want to learn about pricing, but also about what your competition is offering. Do they command a niche market that you might be able to tap into? Are they offering discounts or deals that you need to compete with? The more information you can find out, the better.
There are a few ways to gather this information. (This is by no means a comprehensive list, only an overview.) You can start with a simple Google search for professional cleaning rates, or visit your competitors’ websites and see if they list their prices there. If not, there will undoubtedly be instructions on how to get a quote. Follow those as a prospective customer and see what you can find out. You might also want to check their social media content and peruse online review sites like Yelp to see if anyone mentions pricing or deals.
If you have the budget, there are companies you can hire to do an analysis for you, but if you want to do it yourself, there are online resources to help you get started.
How to change your professional cleaning rates
Professional cleaning rates are bound to change with some frequency. That’s why we recommend conducting a new analysis at least once a year. This will help to make sure that you’re offering the best rates to your customers and still turning your desired profit.
When you do increase your professional cleaning rates, it can be challenging to communicate that to current customers. Hopefully, you won’t have to do this often, but when you do, keep a few things in mind. First, give your current customers plenty of notice. If you plan to raise prices, provide at least one month’s notice, and more if possible. Another thing you can do is to offer a one-time additional service as a thank-you for the business they’ve already given you. You might also consider making yourself available to discuss with the customer why you’re raising the rates and why they should continue to use you for their cleaning needs. The bottom line is to maintain your reputation as a preferred cleaning service so that even if you do have to raise your prices, you won’t lose the customer relationships you’ve already formed.
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