Find out how to calculate your commercial cleaning rate and make at least 30% or more in profits
It’s an understandable question. When you establish a commercial cleaning rate, you probably wonder if you’re charging enough or too much. If you’re getting a ton of clients, you may think your commercial cleaning rate is too low, and if you’re only getting a few, you might wonder if you need to charge less.
When it comes to getting new business, there are plenty of factors that come into play, from your marketing to your reputation, your website, and how well you return calls. But the price is undoubtedly a factor, especially if you display your commercial cleaning rates on your website.
Obviously, you’re in business to make money. And your clients want the best price. While those two motivations may seem at odds, they’re more compatible than most people realize. Why? Well, there’s a big difference between price and value. And if you can offer a good value (high-quality, reliable, friendly service) at a reasonable price, you have a lot more room to compete. Just like there will always be clients who want the lowest price no matter what, there will be clients willing to pay a little more because they can trust you.
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Find out how to create a commercial cleaning rate that brings in business and profits
Several line items go into your commercial cleaning rate. That total cost is made up of some non-negotiable factors, as you already know:
1. Hourly rate for employees
2. Employee benefits
3. Equipment and supplies
4. Gas and mileage
5, Business insurance
6. 30%-ish for taxes
On top of these baseline expenses, how much more should you charge? If you have a fleet of employees, you’ll be charging more per commercial clean than a single-owner company doing all the work themselves. Still, when you’re talking about more considerable commercial work, you likely don’t need to try and compete with the little guys; your employer will expect a corporate rate.
If you’re looking for a comparison, the national average per square foot is currently listed at $0.07 to $0.15. For an hourly rate, it falls somewhere between $50 and $100.
How to create your commercial cleaning rate
Another significant factor in the price of your invoice is the building itself. That’s why you need to know the following specifications of your building before creating estimates for any job:
7. Size of the building
8. Type of building (i.e., business office, medical offices, daycare, etc.)
9. Type of rooms (i.e., break room, reception area, personal office, etc.)
10. The current state of the building (Has it been neglected or well cared for?)
11. The location of the building (Is it easy to get to from other job sites or will you need to account for extra travel time?)
By knowing these specifications, you can make a more accurate estimate which includes supplies needed, the amount of fuel you need to make it to/from the location, and how much you need to charge over your baseline to be profitable.
In addition to that, many commercial cleaning companies bill specialty services separately as a la carte line items. Get to know the national average for these specialty services that could bring in additional revenue:
12. Stripping and Waxing – $0.30 to $0.50 per sq ft
13. Buffing and Burnishing – $0.04 to $0.12 per sq ft
14. Ceramic Tile Cleaning – $0.12 to $0.21 per sq ft
15. Carpet Cleaning – $0.08 to $0.25 per sq ft
16. Window Cleaning – $2 to $5 per windowpane
Ultimately, however, the best way to ensure that you’re offering a fair rate that’s also profitable is to thoroughly inspect the premises before checking all of these items. While a client might do their best to share details with you, they aren’t professional cleaners. There are things they don’t even know to look for. Again, the only way you can get an entirely accurate view of a potential job is to go there in person. Incidentally, that also gives you a nice chance to upsell other services.
One more add-in that we can’t forget is your profit, which you’ll need to build in, to plan for growing your business, such as making new hires, buying new equipment, or avoiding layoffs. In the cleaning industry, 30% will hold you over in case you lose clients suddenly, need to replace equipment, are billed more in taxes than expected, and in general, will avoid any financial disasters. Running a business with small profit margins won’t be good for you or the security of your employees.
Whether you’re just starting out or taking a look at your rates for the first time in years, don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth. Your customers are out there. You just have to find them.
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