Starting a cleaning business is exciting. The possibilities are endless when it comes to growth and expansion. Before you can be a successful entrepreneur in the service field, you need to know how to charge for house cleaning.
Developing a house cleaning pricing guide doesn’t have to be daunting. There are factors to consider that can help you develop the best price guide for your business and clients. You will find answers to all your questions in the following house cleaning pricing guide.
The Big Picture
House cleaning rates vary from state to state in the US. After looking at different prices, we see that the national average of house cleaning rates per hour is $25 to $90. Of course, this is just an average, and some businesses charge more per hour based on location.
This information is helpful because you can see what others who are in the same business as you are making. We have taken a look at the big picture and broken it down to help you figure out how to charge for your house cleaning services.
Methods for Calculating House Cleaning Service Rates
There are multiple ways of charging clients for house cleaning services. Choosing the right method for you is what is important.
There are four methods most commonly used by house cleaning businesses. They include square footage of the home, a per-room rate, a per-hour rate, or a flat fee.
The Square Footage Method
Square footage is the measurement used for the size of homes and buildings. This method of pricing requires you to decide on a rate per square foot. For example, you may charge $0.10 per square foot. If the home you are cleaning is 2,000 square feet, then you would multiply 10 cents by 2,000. So a 2,000 square foot home is priced at $200.00.
This method of pricing requires you to price each room individually based on how long it takes to clean that room. A kitchen will take longer to clean than a bathroom. So, if you charge $100.00 for the kitchen and $50.00 for the bathroom, your average comes to $75.00 per room.
As stated earlier, the national average for house cleaning rates per hour ranges from $25 to $50. Your rate should be based upon where you live and what similar businesses are charging.
Do not price your services too low to get more clients. Base your rates on what it will cost you to get the job done, and leave enough room for a profit. While there is some room to wiggle with an hourly rate, you should remember that your profit could decrease as you become more experienced and clean houses faster.
A Flat Fee
Charging a flat fee is when you perform a service for a set price. For instance, you would charge $100 a week to clean a house. Charging a flat fee means you make the same amount of money, no matter how fast you get the job done or how large the house is.
Opting for a flat fee pricing model eliminates the problems associated with charging an hourly rate. The client is paying you not for your time, but for the problem you are solving. It also eliminates any disagreements or price matching between you and the client.
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What Method Should I Use to Charge for House Cleaning Services?
Choosing a method to charge for cleaning services is not decided upon in one afternoon. There are many factors to consider when setting your house cleaning prices.
Where you live is an important detail to consider. The cost of living will affect how high or low your rates are. In areas such as San Francisco, CA, or New York City, the cost of living will be higher. You will find a lower cost of living in more rural areas of the country.
The location also drives demand. Certain areas of the country have a higher percentage of people that are looking for house cleaning services. You should price your services according to demand in your area.
If you are someone new to the cleaning industry, then you should not charge more than experienced cleaners do. You will not have the references to back up your experience. Once you become more experienced, you will have the ability to charge a premium rate. Check out this article for ways to sell yourself as you gain more experience.
Frequency alters prices because of the amount of time required to clean a house. Homes cleaned more often require less time. The first cleaning may take longer, with less time needed for each subsequent visit.
Size of the Home
A larger home means that cleaning will take longer. If you charge a flat rate, consider increasing it for a large home.
State of the Home
Some house cleaning services require a walk-through before setting a rate. A walk-through will allow you to see what the state of a home is. For homes that will need more than a standard cleaning, the rate should be higher.
The type of cleaning you will perform could raise or lower your rate. House cleaning services will offer packages with different cleaning services.
Here are some examples of cleaning service packages:
- Standard cleaning
- Deep cleaning
- Event cleaning
- Move-out cleaning
Clients may want extra services such as window cleaning, changing bed linens, or laundry completed from time to time. You should include any extras in the price.
How Much Should You Charge to Make A Profit?
When you are pricing your services, it is important not to undersell yourself. Paying the bills is not enough. You need to think about earning a profit and growing your business.
Here is an example to give you a better idea of how to calculate your house cleaning rate.
If the size of the house is 1,000 square feet, and it takes 1.5 hours to clean it, how much should I charge to clean a house?
Start with an estimated hourly rate. If you decide to charge $30.00 an hour, multiply the time it takes to clean the house by your rate.
$30.00 x 1.5= $45.00
Next, you need to add FICA and taxes required by your state. We will use 18% for our example.
$45.00 x .18= $8.10
$45.00 + $8.10 = $53.10
Your hourly rate has now become $53.10. At this point, you will need to add the cost of supplies. For our example, let’s say supplies will be an estimated 6% of your business costs.
$53.10 x .06= $3.19
$53.10 + $3.19 = $56.29
It is important to add your overhead costs. Overhead costs are anything that is an employee-related cost but not part of the job itself. These constitute travel expenses, marketing, and website maintenance. Let’s say these expenses correspond to 50% of your hourly rate.
$56.29 x.50= $28.15
$56.29 + $28.15= $84.44
Lastly, add in your markup. Markup is the amount of profit you are looking to make. Say you want to make a 20% profit, then your numbers will look like this. Of course, you can alter your markup depending on the client and job requirements.
$84.44 x .20= $16.89
$84.44 + $16.89= $101.33
You can round this final number up, and you’re at $102 per hour. To sum it up, if you charge $102 per hour, then you can expect to earn a profit of $16.89 per hour.
Price Altering Extras
As with any business, some things can alter your prices. Let’s take a look at a few factors that could affect prices in the cleaning industry.
First of all, cleaning supplies can increase your costs. For clients that prefer an eco-friendly environment in their home, you may need to purchase different supplies. Using products that are labeled organic or eco-friendly can be costly.
Secondly, as mentioned before, extras such as doing dishes or changing bedding can alter prices.
Thirdly, if a client has their own supplies for your use, your rate will need to be adjusted.
The key is to ask questions and complete a walk-through of the home. You will get a better idea of the kind of cleaning services the client is looking for and how long it would take to clean their home.
Our Final Thoughts
Figuring what to charge for a service is a common question among entrepreneurs. Cleaning rates can be hard to decide on because of the different factors we discussed above. Taking the frequency, location, and demand into consideration is just the beginning.
House cleaning business entrepreneurs also need to consider their experience and what size homes they are looking to clean. Don’t under or oversell yourself!
We applaud your bravery in venturing out and starting your own business. You should now have a better idea of how to charge a fair rate for your services and create a profitable business. What do you think you should charge for your next house cleaning job?