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I have been cleaning a few homes for many many years but am brand new to being a legit company so I still actually have a full time job. It is in retail and i work basically 10-5 so I am able to clean before I go in or after 4/5pm.... I took Monday's off from the full time job to just do cleaning jobs. So I am kind of crunched for time and therefore I charge by the hour. And because it is just me cleaning I feel like charging by the hour is more profitable for me than by house or square footage. It is something that I have been questioning whether or not I should switch.
I am in the process of making a website and Facebook page....
I also know that I need to take off more days at the full time job and become part time but honestly I am kind of nervous that I won't get the clients that I need to stay afloat.... So I have been thinking about working a few half days if there is a house needing cleaned.
Any thoughts or advice for me?
 

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How many hours do you usually work on Monday's cleaning? Are these regular people that you clean for or just a 1 time clean here and there?
 

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@sprintcar93: I have 2 houses that I clean every monday and 1 house that I clean every other week. I am at each house for at least 2 hours. I have gotten some one time cleanings from word of mouth as well as deep cleanings that have had me cleaning 3-4 hours at a time and it took about 4 visits.
Yesterday (being monday) I cleaned for a total of 7 hours and it was only 2 houses. The client of the first house usually texts me the night before with a list of things she wants me to do that she sees needs done. which that ranges from basic cleaning to a few deep cleaning tasks. The client of the second house just wants me to come in and do the same basic cleaning every week and i definitely have that down to a science being that i have been cleaning for her for about 3 1/2 years and 2 hours is enough for what i do there...although there is still plenty more that i could do but she only wants me for 2 hours weekly. All 3 houses are very flexible and understand that I work a full time job as well. And if another house does come my way and i do it on mondays then i am able to move one of the regular houses to either 7:30-9:30AM (before F/T job) or 4:30-6:30PM.
 

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I believe there are several factors that are forming the price and the most important one should be the location. For example, I was paying more money to book a cleaner in London, but now I live in Bristol and over here is a little bit cheaper to hire a Bristol Cleaner. I would suggest to check out your competitors in the area and generate a price based on that.
 

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I clean houses, not offices and I charge by the hour. I always make sure I know exactly what the customer wants, and if it includes stuff NOT a part of normal cleaning, I carefully explain this and remind them that those extras do take time. Making beds, emptying a dishwasher, cleaning the inside of a fridge are not normal cleaning tasks and are considered extras. And I also explain that because I work so efficiently, I usually get more done in less time.
I have been doing this for a long time now, and have no trouble estimating about what it will end up costing. A 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home of maybe 1600 SF usually takes about 4 hours, UNLESS they have a lot of "stuff" and clutter. I don't have employees and don't want any, as I can guarantee the job will be done right. I could not do that if I had employees.
I used to have a customer who had used a local cleaning company for several years. They told her from the start it would take 7-8 hours to clean her house! She paid them about $150 every other week, and the customer only wanted ONE bedroom cleaned and 3 full baths! What a rip off. Plus when I took over cleaning that house I found right away that this company had used a dirty string mop on the floors, and its doubtful they EVER dusted. The first to the fourth time I cleaned that house, it DID take 7 hours, but only because I had to clean up what that cleaning company did NOT do. Eventually it became a 4 hour job. This woman then ran into financial problems so I was let go, and I still miss them!
 

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I agree with April. I used to charge by the job, but I tend to get to chatty and waste time that way. Plus, people are more likely to get their house ready for you if they know it will cost them extra to have you pick up their stuff. I recently switched to having every new customer charge by the hour, but I still let the old ones charge by the job. So far, hourly is working out for me. I let the customer set the cap on the number of hours they are willing to pay far and I can almost always find enough to do to work up to that allowance.

Picking up peoples stuff is one of the most annoying things in cleaning houses. People just don't "get it" that moving their stuff takes a lot more time! I have one customer, a good one, who leaves his stuff everywhere. I should take a photo of that condo as you would be shocked. Plus he is still doing renovations, and now ALL the kitchen stu9ff is strewn about the entire condo. You cannot even get INTO one of the 3 bedrooms! He is now having his bathroom done over, and I know exactly how it will look after this. STUFF covering the entire counter!
Does any one have a good, i.e. polite, way to counter this? For me its a constant problem.
 
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