Starting a cleaning business on your own is one of the most lucrative business opportunities of 2020. But as with any business you’ll have to generate cash flow, and understanding how to charge for your cleaning services is a must. Pricing ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ can fail your venture before you even start. That’s why we’ve put our thinking hats and we’ve laid out ten years of experience in the field to help you figure out what is the best way to form the price for your cleaning services.

Table of Content
Table of Contents:
  1. How to charge for cleaning services
  2. How to form the price for your house cleaning services
  3. Pricing of additional cleaning services

The art and science of charging for cleaning services

Okay, so, you’ve started your cleaning business, maybe even you’re still on the fence about it. But there comes a moment when you have to bill, and it is very important to consider all the different methods you can charge for your cleaning service.

There are many specific cleaning services, such as end of tenancy, after builders, carpet cleaning and oven cleaning. However, in this post, we’ll focus on charging for standard (regular) cleaning and how to formulate the fee.

Factors that will influence your price:

  • Types of cleaning services
    There are numerous cleaning services you as a business owner can provide, however, the main ones that confuse many new entrepreneurs are one-off and regular cleaning. What’s the difference? One-off cleaning is usually more expensive because it involves in-depth cleaning, hence more cleaning supplies, labour and time. In contrast, the price for a regular cleaning service is lower because at the end of the day you have a returning client.
  • Number of cleaners needed to complete the job
    One of the main factors, when formulating your price, is whether the customer needs one cleaner or a team of professionals. This also depends on the property type and its condition (see more in the next bullet).
  • Size and condition of the property
    The bigger and the dirtier the property is the more expensive the service will be. It will require more people or (and) more time, as well as more supplies.
    Note: You can also base your price on factors such as pets, living in the house.
  • Location of the property
    The further you travel the more you have to charge your customers. Travelling between jobs costs you time and money. That’s why it is very important to schedule your jobs properly . Namely, optimise your route and the order of your bookings during the working day. Like, what we did is we optimized our scheduling software to assign jobs based on proximity of the pro to the job.
  • Cleaning frequency
    Professional cleaning companies usually charge less for returning clients.

Now, let’s get straight to the point and learn how to charge for house cleaning.

How much to charge for house cleaning per hour

Hourly rates for domestic cleaning in the UK range between £13 and £25 per hour per worker. Usually, each cleaning session lasts more than two hours. Depending on how many cleaners are required the price may vary.

As we already mentioned, another very important factor when charging per hour is the frequency of cleaning. Basically, the customer can choose between daily, weekly, one-time visit, twice a month. You get it. Don’t forget that one-off cleaning always costs more.

At Fantastic Services, we charge for domestic cleaning per hour. We consider this the best option because Reporting and record-keeping is a breeze. It’s easy and not time-consuming to explain to new employees. Also, it’s the most convenient option when it comes to legal regulations and minimum wage.

Charging by square footage

Some professional cleaners set their rates based on the square footage of the property/room/area that needs to be cleaned. The larger it is, the more expensive the cleaning session will be.

You need to know that if you choose to use this method, you will need to charge for cleaning specific surfaces. Also, bear in mind the condition of the property and how cluttered it is. It may be hard to give a quote before you inspect the property first.

How to charge for house cleaning per room

Charging per room means that you calculate the price based on the type of room and how many rooms you’ll have to clean.

For instance:

Kitchen cleaning (£150) + bedroom cleaning (£100) = £125 per room

Charging a flat fee

Charging a flat fee is mainly used in end of tenancy cleaning or window cleaning. However, it can also be implemented in domestic cleaning services.

For example:

  • For a 2-bedroom flat, the cost will be £48
  • For a 4-bedroom flat, the cost will be £96 (here you may need a team because after the third or fourth hour, you’ll need a rest)

This form of charging is more recommended for those with wealth of experience and have a very clear idea of how long it takes to complete a certain job.

The problem here is that each house is different, as well as the number of bathrooms and common areas. It’s risky because you can end up losing money and that’s why we aren’t big fans of this method.

How to form the price for your house cleaning services

A very common mistake made by many inexperienced newcomers in the cleaning business is to base their prices on the market average. In other words, they charge less than all other companies.

Why is this wrong?

Well, you don’t want to work yourself to death for pennies but at the same time, you don’t have the reputation to charge a premium.

What should you do?

The perfect way out is to join a cleaning franchise. That way you’ll get the brand that will allow you to charge higher prices.

You already know what are the pros and cons of each method. Once you choose one of the above, you need to estimate your profitable hourly cleaning fee.

How to calculate your cleaning rates: A step-by-step guide

  1. Determine your hourly rate

    Knowing your hourly rate will tell you how much you can earn per hour. When estimating this rate you need to consider the following:
    “What are your competitors’ hourly rates?”
    “What are your customers willing to pay for cleaning?”
    “How long does it take you to clean a house (read on, we’ll get to that)?”
    “What are your business expenses?

  2. Estimate your cleaning time

    Knowing how long it takes you to clean a property will help you calculate your price. The faster you are, the higher the rates you charge can be. Don’t forget that this comes with practice, you’ll have to clean quite a few properties to be as speedy as someone who’s been doing it for years.

  3. Calculate your labour hours

    Multiply the number of workers by the number of hours a job takes. For example, if a team of three people are cleaning for two hours, your labour-hours are six (2×3=6).

  4. Total hourly cost

    Multiply the labour-hours by your cleaning time and you’re almost there!

  5. Add percentage

    The last step is to add a percentage to the total hourly cost. This will cover additional expenses, such as website hosting, marketing, phone service, etc. Depending on your business model, you will need to calculate your monthly expenses and divide them by your working hours in a month. The percentages are usually between 20-25% depending on your company size.

Consistency is key! Know your price and do not negotiate to get someone as a customer. Focus on building reputation and trustworthiness.

It can be hard to estimate all the expenses since they often are unpredictable or differ depending on the season. If you are struggling with creating your business model, a cleaning franchise will eliminate the need for that. You’ll still be running the show. But operating under a widely recognised brand will take away the worry about rates and marketing.

Pricing for additional cleaning services

In addition to regular house cleaning, most customers want other types of cleaning services and, of course, you should charge extra for that.

Before we go any further, we need to make it clear what standard cleaning service includes for each room.

The standard fee for regular house cleaning includes:

  • Living room: Dusting, polishing the interior side of windows, vacuuming and mopping the floor, wiping all skirting boards, cleaning furniture, and emptying the bins;
  • Kitchen: Washing the dishes, wiping and polishing all surfaces, cleaning the floor, and polishing the interior of all kitchen appliances;
  • Bathroom: Cleaning the bathroom sink and taps, polishing all tiles, scrubbing the bath and the shower cabin, wiping the bathroom radiator, and disinfecting the toilet bowl;
  • Bedroom: Cleaning all surfaces, changing the bedding, vacuuming the carpet, dusting the bed frame, wiping the window blinds, cleaning all doors and handles and the floor;
  • Hallway: Dusting all pictures and light switches insight, removing dust from furniture, cleaning the floor, wiping the skirting boards and the front door.

At Fantastic Services, we also cover a list of extra tasks such as folding and hanging clothes, polishing silverware, watering plants, doing ironing and laundry or even feeding pets.

You already know what a regular cleaning service involves. Now, let’s reveal what are the options for additional services.

Cleaning service add-ons at extra cost:

  • Professional carpet cleaning (*from £48)
  • Upholstery (from £48)
  • Oven cleaning (from £47)
  • Window cleaning (from £37)
  • Curtains and blinds cleaning (from £48)
  • Home organising (from £13)

*In order to give you the best guidance, we stated the approximate prices that we charge.

It is a good idea to think about deals that combine two or more services. Take for example our special offers. We are giving our customers a discount on the standard fee for booking two services at once.

For example:

  • Regular cleaning + cleaning of 2 carpets
  • Regular cleaning + single oven cleaning

The services above require a professional touch, more time, special machines and additional cleaning supplies.

Low-hanging fruit: Join a franchise

It is not easy being a business owner and there are no ifs ands or buts about it. To avoid the headaches associated with trial and error, you may want to consider joining a cleaning franchise. First of all, it’s inevitable to do your research and determine the factors that will influence your decision making.

At Fantastic Services, we did some digging and we made sure to cover all the bases needed to establish a successful business as a franchisee. Our award-winning company offers an established business model, comprehensive training, hands-on support, and last but not least 10-year expertise and brand recognition.

A very stumbling block for many entrepreneurs who consider franchise as an option is the creative limitation. Hold it right there! There is no reason for concern since our unlimited R&D is directed toward developing new opportunities for our franchisees. We constantly explore the market and make additions to our company’s business model which you can be part of!

Learn more about our franchise opportunities! Join our ranks of Fantastic experts in the UK, Australia, the USA and soon – worldwide.

Explore us further

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    Posted in Starting a Business