First off, $16 per hour is low. Very low. If that's all you charge, then all you get is dregs not worthy of being your customers. Personally I will pass on any job that doesn't put at least
$30 an hour in my pocket.
Vacuuming can eat up a lot of time. You need a powerful vacuum that is easy to service. Powr-Flite
sells vacuums made by Sanitaire
. I find it ironic that Sanitaire sells carpet extractors by Mytee
, not Powr-Flite/Tacony, but that's another post.
If you are not using commercial equipment, your productivity lags. Perhaps the ultimate vacuum is the Royal
. Perhaps the all metal M1059Z. This 10 amp, 18" vacuum really sucks
, and I mean that in a good way. Crumbs 6" or more away start to literally shake loose and fly towards the vacuum as it approaches. True one pass cleaning. Think about going over a particular area. Typically you might do it 2-3 times. Not with a Royal. Once is enough. That's a 200-300% increase in productivity right there. 18" is wide. Most units are 12", 14" or maybe 16" wide. Each pass does may 1/3 greater area. Take a $150 12" Hoover and a $600 18" Royal. If it takes 30 minutes to do a room with the Hoover, it will take 10 with the Royal.
If the Royal can save you 1 hour in an 8 hour day, that's an hour you can waste doing more work, but if you really want to do more work, you will not be making much more money. I'd rather spend that 1 hour per day doing more marketing. That makes much more money. You pay a cleaner maybe $12 per hour. A marketing consultant maybe $48 per hour. I pay a worker $12 per hour and do my own marketing, I'm saving $36 per hour right there. If you aren't putting in 5+ hours per week marketing your business, you are heading for big trouble.