My name is Seazen and I am trying to start my own cleaning business. I have absolutely no idea what prices I should quote. Please help.
By Seazen from Pittsburgh, PA
Call all of your local cleaning service companies as if you might be a future client and see what they all charge. (06/10/2010)
Years ago, our oldest daughter started a cleaning service when she was still in high school. The first single family home she cleaned was a real mess, and she had agreed to clean it for $25. (Remember I said it was "years ago").
To clean that house the way she'd been taught to clean a home took her 3 days. She had agreed to clean it for $25 the one time, and had to keep her word, but she did it for the one time only. When the people asked her to come back, she told them that she would want twice that first fee to ever do it again. They gladly paid it.
After she'd cleaned it that first time, she'd done such a good job and that was the way they wanted it cleaned from then on. Even though they'd had other housekeepers work for them, they'd never been as happy with their work as they were with the way Mel cleaned.
If you really don't know how long a job will take or how much to charge, then charge what you think the job is worth and do it for the one time. This does two things. It allows the home or apartment owner to see the quality of your work and allows you to find out how long it takes, etc. You will be much better able to give them a price then for continued service.
When you take any kind of job, you are often on a 90-day trial period which allows the employer to see the quality of your work in relationship to how much you're being paid per hour. At the end of the trial period, the employer knows whether or not to keep you employed.
That is a good way to approach the value of a private cleaning service from both parties' viewpoints except you only need to do a one-time clean for the price you quoted. After that, you can decide what the job is actually worth, and the home or apartment owner can decide if they like your work well enough to pay what you intend to charge on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that the more often you clean their home or apartment, the less you might have to charge since you are doing such a good job each time, consequently, it takes you less time on a regular basis.
After bidding too low on a couple of jobs, you will soon learn if you've bid accurately, and there is no better teacher than your own experience. You might decide that you don't want to work for that person at any price. It happens sometimes.
I love bartering, and feel that both people benefit the most when bartering labor, skills, or material goods. You both get exactly what you want and you didn't have to go anywhere else to get the money first before getting what you want. You so often get a lot more for your "bartering" than you would when having to pay for it in "dollars" anyway.
Good luck with your business. I admire your willingness to work at a job so many men and women just hate. They most likely were never taught when they were growing up or they simply don't have time to do it right.
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