Time for a raise!~But....how much? - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 03-24-2019, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Time for a raise!~But....how much?

I have 10 accounts that I've had for 10+ years and have not asked for, (nor have I ever been offered obviously,) a raise. These accounts range from $100-$150 per cleaning. Because there are only 2 of us, my thought of asking for $20.00 seems more than fair but I'm not sure how well that would sit with the customers. Asking for $10.00 seems too low but probably would make the customers happy. Then I thought, maybe ask for $15.00 and explain what I just said. (?)

Or?? Is this a field of work that raises aren't asked for? Especially when they can argue that their houses have not gotten any bigger or dirtier. In fact, some have even been downsized as kids have left the nest for college, even though we still clean the rooms they no longer occupy. At the same time, my bills have most certainly gone up a lot in those 10 years.

I'm very interested in knowing how any other cleaners handle asking for a raise.

Thank you for any input!!!

Last edited by gayelynn; 03-27-2019 at 02:18 PM.
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post #2 of Old 03-26-2019, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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So I assume either no one ever asks for a raise or, no one has had accounts for 10+ years. (?)
Very disheartening if the 1st is true. :/
BTW-I am asking for $20.00 and I'll update the results.
That's a raise of 1 dollar per year.
(There's 2 of us.)
Very fair IMO!?
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post #3 of Old 03-28-2019, 06:38 PM
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I have been cleaning (residential only) for only 5 years. I charge by the hour and it has worked out well. About 2 years ago I raised my rate by $5. None of my clients batted an eyelash.
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post #4 of Old 03-28-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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I charge by the hour for only the 1st two cleanings and I did the same.
I waited 5 years and went up $5.00 and then 10 years later, did the same.
I just raised it another $5.00 now that 15 years have gone by but, I'm having trouble coming up with a way to ask the people I have had 10+ years as they all have had set prices for all those years.
Their houses haven't gotten any bigger nor have they gotten dirtier is what I'm afraid they'll say.
My issue is that my living expenses have gone up significantly in those 10 years.....

On the flip side, if I were to ask and they were to say no, I would think that would be incredibly embarrassing on their part.
That's why I'm thinking of asking for $20.00 per cleaning.
There's 2 of us and that would be a $1.00 a year raise.
Makes sense to me anyway.

Thank you for replying Jagski300.
I thought being a cleaning forum, I'd get a bit more input on this subject! LOL
Maybe there are other cleaning forums I could check into.
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post #5 of Old 03-30-2019, 10:12 AM
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Hi Gayelynn,
I have not been here much as so many of the posts are nonsense. I work by the hour. No employees. I started out charging $15 an hour but last year raised that to $20. That, unfortunately, is pretty much the going rate in my part of Florida.
I am confused by your question. You charge between $1090 to 150 per cleaning, but only charge $15-20 per hour??? I probably misunderstood you.
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post #6 of Old 04-01-2019, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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I understand what you mean by nonsense! This site has a very low traffic flow which is probably why we keep answering questions we've already answered. Lol

No, I only charge per hour for the 1st 2 cleanings and then it's a set price after that. There are days we're faster so it seems like we make more. Other times, (more often than not lately,) they leave 2 weeks worth of food on their stove for me to clean up so it takes me longer. That's when I lose by working at a set rate. It pretty much equals out at the end of the day tho, if that makes sense to you.

Now, if I have an account that pays a set price of say, $90, that should, on a good day, take the 2 of us, a total of 1.5 hours. (That's an account I charge by the hour @$30.00 the 1st 2 times prior to setting the price and 1.5 hours x 2 of us @$30=$90.) After the 2nd cleaning, we set the price at whatever totals at the hourly rate. Then we stay at the price.....forever. OR....Until, I either ask for a raise or they offer it. (I have only been offered a raise by 1 person in 25 years.) I'm quite sure that the people I work for, get a raise every year. I find it frustrating that this line of work should not also get one! (?) Be OFFERED one because asking sucks! I know I'm worth it but I still feel like I need to apologize for asking, you know?!

That's why I am raising the SET price for anyone that I've had for 10 years. (I've raised my hourly rates twice so why shouldn't set prices be raised? is how I feel anyway!)

It would be crazy if I cleaned for a person, say, another 20 years and stayed at a set price the entire 30 years. Crazy great for them! Crazy bad for me!

Last edited by gayelynn; 04-01-2019 at 05:14 PM.
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post #7 of Old 04-06-2019, 02:47 PM
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Asking for a raise is always a tricky matter in both house cleaning and office cleaning services. However, as you said, your cost have gone up over the years and from time to time you are justified in asking for a raise. One way of doing it is to simply discuss the situation with the customer and explain your position. Tell them that after all this time, an increase of such and such amount would be fair. Then get their feedback. Get them involved in helping you with this problem and come to an agreement with them on the actual amount. Another way you could handle it is to not discuss it at all. Mail them a letter pointing out that your cost have gone up
for supplies, labor and insurance and that on such and such a date the new price will be whatever it is. This would be a brief one paragraph letter you can mail to them. If you do it this way, there will not be a discussion about it. Your not asking permission but simply doing it. I have found that this way is the best way. Especially since you are totally justified to increase your price. All services and supplies that your customer does business with has price increases from time to time and they don't ask permission to do it.
You don't have to either. It is a normal business practice. If the customer thinks it is unreasonable and simply will not cooperate with you on this matter, you will hear from them about it. If that happens you can discuss it at that time. Sure you may run a risk of losing the customer due to a price increase but probably not. You have already been with them a long time and you do good work. They are in no hurry to get rid of you for simply doing the right thing and having a reasonable price increase.

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post #8 of Old 04-06-2019, 02:51 PM
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3% increase is pretty common. You run a business, your insurance costs go up, payroll costs go up, materials, equipment and chemicals go up, fuel goes up, etc. Nothing is really a fixed cost except it seems your services. You're in business to make money, not friends. If you lose a customer over $15 over 10 years then you didn't want them anyway
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post #9 of Old 04-06-2019, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gayelynn View Post
I understand what you mean by nonsense! This site has a very low traffic flow which is probably why we keep answering questions we've already answered. Lol

I remember joining this site a long time ago I think. It was active before, but it seems like someone else took it over and did some rebranding.
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post #10 of Old 04-06-2019, 03:11 PM
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In continuing my previous post. A normal price increase is between 5% and 10%. The mistake is going many years without having any price increase, however I would not go above 5 to 10% at any one time.
This 5 to 10 percent is a common practice across the board for many different types of businesses. It is a reasonable and acceptable amount to have as a price increase.

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post #11 of Old 04-06-2019, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by marketingresults22$ View Post
In continuing my previous post. A normal price increase is between 5% and 10%. The mistake is going many years without having any price increase, however I would not go above 5 to 10% at any one time.
This 5 to 10 percent is a common practice across the board for many different types of businesses. It is a reasonable and acceptable amount to have as a price increase.

I agree that's too long to wait to increase prices because then you're trying to compensate by making a larger increase.


I'd love to know how you could get an extra $20 per cleaning going from $150 to $172 per year. Then $198 the following year, $228 the year after that. At some point you've priced yourself out of work compared to other in the industry. It's better to add value another way by expanding services, no?
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post #12 of Old 04-07-2019, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all of the very constructive input which has helped me greatly in making up my mind!

I did make the mistake by not increasing yearly. Because I've only increased my base price 3 times in 25 years, it always seemed to work well doing this. Now that I am at my capacity of accounts unless I were to hire on, I no longer have new accounts compensating for the ones that I've had for longer.

I have decided to do this by letter and at the same time, explain to them that this is how I do it rather than raising their price 3-5% yearly. That way, I'm explaining the reason rather than apologizing, which is why I haven't done this sooner. The letters that I have been drafting all seem to be leaning towards the latter which I am fully aware of is completely wrong. I am at the point where, if I were to lose a few accounts, I will be ok.
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post #13 of Old 04-08-2019, 07:53 AM
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I want to know what the responses you get are. After re-reading this thread, I see now that you are long due a raise. I have asked for a raise several times, but always word it so that if they truly cannot afford it, they wont be ashamed to say so. Since I only work for people I LIKE, I don't want to lose someone over a couple dollars.
Money issues can be tricky. This past week, one of my longest running customers had to go to another city for her child. She left me a note explaining and asked if I could come the next day after I cleaned her house to check on her three cats. But she did not leave me extra money for cat sitting! I was a bit annoyed, as she lives 25 minutes away. I emailed her later and gently reminded her I charge the same for cat sitting as I do for cleaning. Her response was fine and I am sure she will square up with me. She is also a friend, so that makes it even more tricky. And I have another customer who has money (he is a doctor) and I somehow have not managed to let him know my hourly rate went up. Guess I am not always comfortable bringing money up! It would only end up giving him a $5 up in his cleaning, but....

When I first joined this forum it was sometimes quite interesting. No now. All those silly answers like "Great tip, thank you" just get on my nerves. I would be interested in hearing what others think about this.
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post #14 of Old 04-08-2019, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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I'll update once this happens. I have some of the accounts this week so I will be sending out the letters at the end of the week. I ended up writing a very generic letter because I found trying to be more personal or creative, didn't get me anywhere. I am lucky and in a position also, where I only clean for people I like. I find if I don't like the people, I don't care about my job. Once I don't care, I need to look for a new job!!
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post #15 of Old 04-09-2019, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gayelynn View Post
Thank you for all of the very constructive input which has helped me greatly in making up my mind!

I did make the mistake by not increasing yearly. Because I've only increased my base price 3 times in 25 years, it always seemed to work well doing this. Now that I am at my capacity of accounts unless I were to hire on, I no longer have new accounts compensating for the ones that I've had for longer.

I have decided to do this by letter and at the same time, explain to them that this is how I do it rather than raising their price 3-5% yearly. That way, I'm explaining the reason rather than apologizing, which is why I haven't done this sooner. The letters that I have been drafting all seem to be leaning towards the latter which I am fully aware of is completely wrong. I am at the point where, if I were to lose a few accounts, I will be ok.
Good luck!

I usually just state thanks for being a valuable long time customer. Due to conditions beyond our control with rising prices to minimum wage, chemicals, fuel, workers comp/disability, liability insurance, etc we have to increase our prices to cover these costs.
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post #16 of Old 04-09-2019, 09:16 PM
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As long as you back up your reason for charging more, your customers will understand. Good luck!
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post #17 of Old 04-14-2019, 10:50 AM
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God advice (for once!) LOL!!
This past month I finally told one of my customers I now charge $20 an hour. I had avoided doing that for several reasons, but also felt it was time to get my tiny raise. He had no problem with it but is also considering dropping cleaning because he is no longer working FT as a psychiatrist. He is in his 60s just as I am and is starting to consider semi-retirement. I have a hunch he will get bored quickly, and he loves his work. But I cannot afford to lose him entirely, as new jobs are not happening on the web sites I use. Both have become money hungry and now charge me about $35 if a prospective customer replies to my quote in any way, even if its only to say they hired someone else. I, and all the other Pros on those site feel this is very unfair but that has not changed a things.
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