Need Help on Pricing Please - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 10-17-2006, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Need Help on Pricing Please

Just trying to get my name out there and hopefully grow my new business - residential and commercial post construction interior final cleanup and move in/move out cleaning. Any information on current pricing in the Central Florida area is welcome. I understand it to be on average at approximately $0.12-$0.15/sq. ft. for residential and $0.20-$0.24/sq. ft. for commercial for post construction cleaning. I need suggestions, however, on pricing for move in and/or move out cleaning for both residential and commercial.

I appreciate your help!

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Brite Works Cleaning, LLC
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post #2 of Old 10-17-2006, 09:44 PM
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Nathan you need to make a forum on pricing. That seems to be the hot topic.

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post #3 of Old 10-17-2006, 11:38 PM
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Move in and out work can easily be under estimated by even the most experienced cleaner. For that reason I perfer to charge hourly for those types of cleaning.
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post #4 of Old 10-18-2006, 06:07 AM
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Nathan you need to make a forum on pricing. That seems to be the hot topic.
I think you should write a Cody-like Post on pricing Mr. Fenner.

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post #5 of Old 10-18-2006, 08:34 AM
 
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pricing

Have you read any of Don Aslett's books on cleaning? He has some Production rate tables on how long it takes to do certain types of work and also some pricing guidelines for different types of cleaning.
To get an accurate price seems like it would be a pretty involved procdure . . . measuring sq. ft. of all walls, floors, ceilings, lamp fixtures, windows, . . .tile versus sheet vinyl floor footage etc. etc. etc.
It would seem that the contractor has a certain budget that is in line with the local going rate and no matter what all the production rates and measuring tell you, . . . you need to know and stay in line with what the local market will bare. I'm still not quite sure how to determine this info without just coming right out and asking the contractor 'what's your cleaning budget for this project?' How acceptable is that question?
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post #6 of Old 10-18-2006, 11:47 AM
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I'm still not quite sure how to determine this info without just coming right out and asking the contractor 'what's your cleaning budget for this project?' How acceptable is that question?
This is a very acceptable question to ask. Many Contractors will help you out by telling you what the average is that they are paying for this service. (BTW ISSA produces a wonderful production rate template.)
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post #7 of Old 10-18-2006, 03:39 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate the advice.
What is BTW ISSA?
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post #8 of Old 10-18-2006, 03:56 PM
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ISSA stands for InterSanitary Suppy Association

Here is a link to a suppliers site that has the ISSA Cleaning times listed -

http://www.bockstanz.com/Cleaning_Li...ning_times.htm
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post #9 of Old 10-18-2006, 07:02 PM
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I think you should write a Cody-like Post on pricing Mr. Fenner.
Can I make it as condescending as he likes to? lol

The more I talk to contractors around the country the more I come to agree that there is no definitive standard. Its market based.

My opinion is one shouldn't just start a business without researching FMV for their chosen service. I mean no disrespect to all the people that ask about price but I would think knowing how much money one can make/charge should be the first thing you do before you hang out your shingle.

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post #10 of Old 10-19-2006, 08:48 AM
 
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Like myself, I think most new people do have a good idea of what they can charge and make in their field before they decide to do it and jump in. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty of giving a competitive bid that will land one of those much needed first jobs, we become unsure of 'what bid' will land the job for the most money.
I suppose even 'old timers' deal with this and we're all going to win and lose some, but it is very stressful when you are new and desperate for work and don't have any experience in bidding or competively and profitably pricing jobs.

I am really grateful for all the feedback and being able to air my concerns to other professionals in the business .
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post #11 of Old 10-19-2006, 11:53 AM
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The problem that I find is that most business owners worry too much about what the "other guy" is charging and not enough about what they need to charge in order to cover all of their business related expenses and proposed profit margins.

By following the other guy, often comparisons are not done Apples to Apples therefore the penny pincher (both business owner and consumer) often ends up either cutting corners or allowing for corners to be cut. This often equates to taxes not being paid, poor if not nil insurance coverage and improper equipment being used.

I realize that it is hard to look at the company down the road who appears to be doing so well despite the fact that they are running their business illegally, however longevity is the key factor to consider. Not only will that business not last long, they are also risking losing alot more in the scheme of life when something major happens and they cannot afford to cover it due to their short sided business plans.

Start asking around when you hear of someone having problems with any type of contractor, ask if the person or company was licensed, bonded, insured? Ask did they charge something in the medium to higher range of bids or were they the rock bottom bid? I think that you will see a trend.

Every so often I do a comparison with my competitors actually inviting them to do estimates for a friends/ family members home, then I carefully compare all of the factors. Not to be cruel but I have to say, I have gotten very good at predicting the failure rate of these businesses based on their prices and business structure. Face it, the cleaning business is one of the easiest businesses to open, however that does not necessarily make it one of the easier businesses to keep open.
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post #12 of Old 10-19-2006, 03:11 PM
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t.peterson.. excellent! I knew I liked you for a reason. Experience is the only true teacher. I can tell someone what I charge and they can think I am wickedly high and undercut me or follow my pricing identically and be out of business in a year eithern way.

The bottom line comes down to exactly what t p just wrote. You charge what you need to make. If you are running your business undercapitalized and need to land every single bid from day one, it doesn't matter.. you will most likely be a statistic anyway. You will either go broke or abandon the endeavor in frustration. I know exactly what TP means about being able to predict success rate.

If I want to bid 5 cents per s/f on a job you can guarantee I know my margins on that job. You can also guarantee I have the equipment, labor force, and efficiency to complete the job and make money. Would it be wise for one man operation to try an compete? Initially his expenses may appear lower but I may be able to complete 200 of those jobs per year while the one man show can do 50. In the end, whom do you think is making more money?

The best salesman close 25% of their sales. In a service business 50%-60% is a good close rate. Don't worry about the five that get away. Stand in line at the bank with a smile and 5 checks in your hand.

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post #13 of Old 10-19-2006, 04:15 PM
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Thanks for the compliment Ken. Maybe I should change my signature to Theresa, so as to not be referred to as T P LOL
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post #14 of Old 10-23-2006, 10:30 PM
 
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I agree with Ken, It is about what you need to grow and not to just make it in this buisness!
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post #15 of Old 05-30-2008, 05:47 PM
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Every so often I do a comparison with my competitors actually inviting them to do estimates for a friends/ family members home, then I carefully compare all of the factors.
That's why this year we started charging for estimates our competitors don't want to pay the fee and we retain over 90% of the customers we estimate in person. No more free estimates thats for the birds.
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post #16 of Old 05-30-2008, 08:01 PM
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If you don't mind my asking - how much do you charge for an estimate? With Gas being what it is and the fact that I really don't need new business often I too am considering charging for the initial consultation/ estimate meeting
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post #17 of Old 05-30-2008, 08:59 PM
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If you don't mind my asking - how much do you charge for an estimate? With Gas being what it is and the fact that I really don't need new business often I too am considering charging for the initial consultation/ estimate meeting
It's funny it works - between $85 and $115 depending on location. Why waste our time, gas, tires, brakes and labor on price shoppers.
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post #18 of Old 05-30-2008, 09:14 PM
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Even some of the price shoppers call back they try to apply a HD stain on a 2 year old deck (what a mess) they call the free guy he can't remove the stain with a pressure washer and water so now we get the labor for replacing or sanding some boards plus cleaning and staining. We do refund the trip fee with service.
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