Pricing an office - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 07-10-2012, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Pricing an office

Hey everyone,

I just got a call for offices, and want to give a call back today.
Can anyone give me some tips on what to say?
My experience has been residential and the last few years, property management of rental properties and weekend homes. i have only cleaned two offices in my whole cleaning career and it was a long time a go. How do you price them?
Thanks for any advice.

Jeepgirl
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post #2 of Old 07-11-2012, 12:40 AM
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I don't think I'm much help but here is what I do... I go in and price commercial just like I do residential. If you just REALLY need the work I'd say to guestimate how long it would take and do it for (lowest amount per hour you can work for) an hour x how many hours you think it will take. But if you don't need the work, I'd say do NOT drop your price just to get a commercial job.
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post #3 of Old 07-11-2012, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Well as usual, you're right.

The lady called me back before I got any advice. She first started off about "how the last cleaner was an older gentleman who did a good enough job, but he damaged their carpet quite badly, and now they wanted to get someone new". So red flags are waving and I just quoted her my lowest hourly rate, and I thought that was probably a mistake, I should have just gave her the lowest possible flat rate charge, But seeing how her next words were "how much do you charge?', I thought, oh well. Of course she said that was too much. I don't need the work any way, but I thought it might be a good way to expand my biz with some commercial accounts, but I guess not this one.

-jeepgirl
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post #4 of Old 07-11-2012, 01:16 PM
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Commercial Cleaning

How much did you tell the customer that you would charge and how much were they currently paying out of curiosity? Commercial cleaning isn't as bad as some make it out to be. While residential cleaning definitely pays more per hour, the cleaning has to be much more meticulous. The going rate for 5 x per week commercial cleaning is typically around $18-$19 per hour. My goal is to make around 30% profit after cost of labor. If you put a bunch of accounts together then you can acutally make some good money!
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post #5 of Old 07-11-2012, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Peter, no I didn't ask how much she was paying. My guess is it was probably in the range you were saying. I thought I heard before that office cleaning is generally less.
Thanks for the being more meticulous tip. It might not be a bad idea to get some accounts, if I can find more decent help.

jeepgirl
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post #6 of Old 07-11-2012, 05:29 PM
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In my original post, before I posted it I edited it, I had $19 an hour so I guess I was correct.

By what I've heard, 30% is a lot for commercial Peter. If you remember Ken and all those guys from 'another world' of cleaning, I was thinking they said they only made like 15%-20%. But it's been many years so I might not be correct. Is that gross? Not trying to pry, just making a numbers note in my head. My lowest will be around 43% but I will not have actual employees so I won't have to pay for a lot of the things you probably have to pay for. I'm going with sub contractors this time around. I still have say-so in the end result and that is all that really matters anyway. And if it doesn't work, I'll change it. This time around it's all about fun and making money.
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post #7 of Old 07-12-2012, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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That's how I am paying my two girls as subcontractors. I don't really think it would be worth it to go too much lower.
Sprintcar, did you stop cleaning for a while?

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post #8 of Old 07-12-2012, 01:47 PM
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What would you do?

I use one subcontractor for 90% of my buildings and employees for smaller cleaning accounts needing 1-3 cleanings per week. My goal profit margin only includes supplies and labor at 30% and doesn't include fixed costs for office, utilities, insurance, etc. which doesn't change if I get a new account or not. Finding these days it's harder to keep the 30% margin but just got a new customer yesterday at $2,250.00 per month where I will pay $1,500.00 for the labor. I certainly turn down a lot of work when the profit margin just becomes too small.
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post #9 of Old 07-12-2012, 04:17 PM
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Well... that's a long story. lol I split with my ex-girlfriend and we sold all the businesses up north. Since I've been back to Texas I started a business, then sold it to one of my employees and tried to retire. I got bored and started a marketing business and although I like marketing, lots of business owners are idiots and I didn't have what it takes to deal with them. I have a good friend that has an SEO company and one that owns a marketing business and they warned me about them but I had to learn the hard way. So I tried to retire again but I just can't sit around and do nothing most of the time, so I got a few customers and so far I have been cleaning them myself. Which kinda sucks because this is the most I have actually physically WORKED myself.... EVER!! lol I'm used to having employees. Now I plan to hit it hard in August and build up a big business again. I'm in it for the fun this time so I'd love a partner but no one seems to want to make any money... they just like talking about it... then when it comes time to get started, they aren't interested. So, I'll do it alone, get employees and keep all the money for myself. But if it gets to be no fun I have another kind of business on the back burner.
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post #10 of Old 07-12-2012, 04:20 PM
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By the way... have either of you ever been audited? If not, you better make sure your 'SUB' is a sub in the irs's eyes. Just because your accountant says you can pay them like a sub doesn't mean the irs says the same. If I have you thinking... now would be a good time to visit irs.gov.
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post #11 of Old 07-12-2012, 04:31 PM
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You're right about that. My liability and workers comp. companies audit me every year to ensure that I have insurance cert.'s for any subs that I use. If they don't then I have to pay the cost and that's not happening. When I say subcontractor I mean an actual company that's legal and fully insured, not the kind of sub that you see on Craigslist looking to hire an employee and pay them a 1099 to avoid taxes.
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post #12 of Old 07-12-2012, 07:42 PM
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Right. A lot of people think they can hire someone and just give them a 1099 but that only works until the IRS catches on to what they are doing. Back a long time ago on another message board I think a lady in California was caught doing that and ended up losing her house and all kinds of stuff because of all the money she owed.

So for anyone thinking about hiring a sub contractor please realize the sub contractor MUST be another business. A sub contractor can't be Maria from down the street that wants extra money and files taxes like a regular person.
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post #13 of Old 07-13-2012, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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No, we haven't been audited. My husband has his own HVAC biz and does our taxes.
Thanks for warning me. The girls drive me nuts anyways. Sometimes I think its easier just to do it myself. Every Friday its the same thing, guess who gets stuck working late, because so and so can only work certain hours. i know my fault, but I've had problems getting anyone to clean, oh well that's another thread.

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post #14 of Old 07-28-2012, 07:37 AM
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Hi jeep girl, First of all you should visit their office that how big it is and how much time you will need to clean it. When you assured that how much time you will need to clean it then you can decide price according to your competitor’s price. You must see that what your competitor charging from their costumers according to that you can decide about the price.
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