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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I have just joined the boards in the hopes of finding a community where I can both give and get feedback pertaining to our craft---cleaning! I am well versed in residential and have 2 (smallish) commercial accounts. Today I toured a retail store, empty and vacant but needs a good cleaning for a new tenant to move in. I have seen some very varying numbers as to bidding formulas on this and many other websites. The space is comprised of a stckroom (very dirty), 10 fitting rooms and a large sales area. We will focus on floors as they are exremely dirty, but will clean 1 restroom, shelving, sales desk and floor to ceiling glass at the store front. This will be a rather involved cleaning. Can you offer any suggestions or expertise?

Thanks!
 

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Welcome!

The reason for different prices is because it matters what city you are in. So, if you will please fill in your city on your profile we might be able to help you. :thumbsup:
 

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Different areas of the country have different costs of doing business. It is a lot more expensive to run a cleaning company in New York City than in a small town in the midwest. The cleaning charts are based on production rates. It's really all about time. The costs of cleaning chemicals are negligible compared to wages. You really are just selling your (or your employees) time. So what you need to do is two things: 1) figure out how long a job will take you & 2) figure out how much you should charge per hour

The charts help you figure out how long jobs should take. Per hour cleaning rates usually range from $18-$25 an hour for basic cleaning. Usually a higher hourly rate is charge for Carpet cleaning, burnishing, window cleaning etc.

Gig Harbor Window Cleaning
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi April,
Thank you for the information. This is just what I expected...but my hourly will go beyond the $18-25/hr due to my payroll. I pay my girls $10/hr and my supervisor $12. I have determined that I will have 4 cleaners total, including myself. I am projecting that it will take us approx. 4 hours to complete. It is also a one-time cleaning with heavy dirt. The space is just under 4500 sq. ft. Honestly I am thinking of charging possibly $450 for the job so that I can allow for a profit and extra time if needed. What do you think?

I am open to all suggestions and input.

Thanks!
 

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Before I get started, to keep things black & white.... I'm GUESSING your 4 hours isn't actually 4 hours. What you mean is 16 MAN hours. Now I could be wrong... like I said... I was just guessing. That could get you in some hot water down the line if you don't refer to things as man hours. And if you don't know what man hours means, just ask.

You will probably have the same problem as me.... that $18-$25 an hour commercial cleaners charge just doesn't work for me. lol The way I bid is, take a tour of the property, as we are walking I can figure in my head how long it will take to clean. If I think it will take 3 man hours then I x our hourly rate = $total. Go at your own pace a few jobs and compare to the rate charts and if it works out, go by the chart. If not, adjust it to your production rate.

Plus, we take less man hours than most residential cleaners because we only send 1 cleaner in which in turns makes the man hours less which makes the total price less.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sprintcar,
Yes, you are correct. I am guessing 16 man hours to be a safe estimate. I did the same as you said, did a walk-through and made an educated guess as to how much time/cleaners I will need to get the job accomplished in a reasonable amount of time. And, again, you are correct......I cannot possibly cover my hourly in the proposed $18-25/hr I keep seeing. Do you have an opinion of my bid of $450.00? I greatly appreciate any feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
SparklingCleanSpecialist,
I am so confused by the numbers I keep seeing flying around on some of these cleaning forums. The figure I mentioned above ($18-25/hr) I have seen a number of times. I could not pay my help on that amount of money. If I charge on the low end of what you are charging per square foot I would be almost a hundred dollars over the $450 bid I was planning to submit. I expect that you would charge .12/sq.ft. for a job that is not high on the dirt scale. I would certainly like be comfortable charging this amount but I am not so sure the economy on my area can bear that. I did call a few companies in Michigan, I suspect their economy is similar to ours, and only got 2 live people. One gal was as confused as me and a nice gentleman shared his knowledge with me and helped me with the figure I've proposed. He does not charge by square footage, rather basis it upon overhead + profit as I have done in the past. Thank you so much for the help.....I greatly appreciate it. If you have an additional feedback I'd love to hear! : )
 

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I never was any good at commercial, that's why I never wanted many commercial accounts. I charge residential cleaning prices... take it or leave it. And most leave it... but that was more than fine with me. If your hourly rate is about $28 an hour then go with the price you have. I wouldn't go up or down just because someone else is doing it another way. I vote for you to stick by your hourly rate x the 16 hours you have figured. But... that's a decision only you can make.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ranger,
I am fairly certain that I have the job. I got a request for revision today as the owner changed some things on the construction end and they wanted me to be able to refigure for the additional square footage. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
I am sorry that you lost the bid.....BUT I would not be surprised if they call you up down the line. Who can REALLY work for $16/hr? Legitimately anyway. You and I both know the answer to that. Either they struck gold and better hang on for dear life or they just hired a disaster.
 
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