How To Quote A Cleaning Job? Things To Consider
Quote A Cleaning Job?
What can make or break a cleaning company is the process they have in place for providing cleaning quotations. One thing I learned very early on is that turnover is for vanity, profit is for sanity. Yes running a cleaning business is a great way to earn an income. While cleaning can be a lucrative business, it is renowned for being an industry that is price sensitive or should be say a race to the bottom. My recommendation is knowing how to quote on a cleaning job is the first key to running success cleaning services company.
Winning office cleaning contracts or any other type of cleaning contract takes more than just quoting the lowest price. Knowing your expenses will help you accurately bid for a cleaning contract that you want.
Cleaning jobs cover a variety of general housekeeping duties in either residential or commercial setting. To run a successful cleaning business you must learn how to bid cleaning jobs accurately. You will need to consider a number of factors before you finalize how much you will charge for a particular job.
What is your hourly rate?
Most cleaners have an hourly rate in mind, lets say for example $27 per hour. From here they take their hourly rate minus the cost of an employee’s hourly rate say $20.00 and come to the conclusion that their profit is $7.00 per hour. This is what sends a lot of cleaners bankrupt, but why?
What is calculated you may think as net profit but reality check its your gross profit. Its business 101 before you decide how much profit you will make, you will need to consider a number of factors or should we say hard expenses.
- The Rent of your premises
- Cost of Cleaning uniforms
- Cost of Cleaning Equipment
- Cost of Petrol
- Marketing Budget
- Office Supplies, etc.
- Office Employees
Failing to consider the factors mentioned above before making a quote for a cleaning job can easily result in loss instead of profit. It will always help to ask your accountant to work out your hard cost and the cost of running your business. Your quote should not only include the hourly rate you pay to your cleaners but also the % operating cost of running your business and then an acceptable percentage for profit.
Supply and Demand Of Cleaning Services
Having an understanding of current market conditions also helps in accurately bidding a cleaning job. Find out if there is a shortage of cleaning services in your area. You could easily price your services at a premium rate if the market is starved of say example Green Window Cleaning.
Compare with your competition
Wondering how to quote a cleaning job? Start by finding out how much your competition is charging do this in an ethical way and use it only as guideline. Other cleaning companies are more than happy to talk and share information this can provide you better insight into cleaning management.
Now if you want to base your company on being a “PRICE FIGHTER ” then you have to reduce your operating costs to remain profitable. Reducing operating costs such as chemicals , office staff can ultimately be a detriment to your business. Staff retention will be hard because your paying lower rates, increase in customer complaints are more likely and the list goes on. At Clean Focus for example our aim is to have a value offering. Were not here to be the cheapest and we are not a Roll Royce service either. If we were a like minded brand we would position and model ourselves as the VIRGIN Airlines Of Cleaning.
Visit Cleaning Supply Stores
Contacting janitorial supply stores to gather information will also assist you in determining costs of a cleaning quotation. There a wealth of knowledge Cleaning Supply stores can offer you a wealth of relevant information that can help save you on time and your bottom line. Because they would like to add you to their customer base as paying customer, they will be more than accommodating in answering questions relating to cleaning.
Charging Clients By the job
Charging your clients aixed fee as per the job will help you know how much you will make each month. It also allows your clients to budget adequately. However, the problem with fixed jobs is that sometimes it might take longer than you expected to finish the job or your client may feel over charged as the job was completed in less time.
Don’t Take Orders Over The Phone
A mistake that many cleaning businesses make and should be avoided is taking orders over the phone. The problem with this approach is that even though the person over the phone might not have lied about the total amount of work that’s available, their perception of how long it will take to get the job done could be seriously flawed. You have to decide how much time it will take for you to finish the job. Committing to a quote without knowing the full extent of the job can easily put you in a position where you could incur loss.
Time of Day
The time of the day when you are allowed to do the job can also make a huge difference. The cost of labour is generally higher for jobs that are done in PM. If you are required to clean after regular working hours, there can be a significant increase in the amount you will need to pay to your cleaners. Before bidding for a cleaning job always check when you will be able to deliver your services. You must always intimate the client of your right to alter the quote in case there is a change in the timing. While this is common knowledge for most, mentioning in advance will avoid any confusion. At the end of the day, you want the job to go as smoothly as possible to ensure more work from the same client.
Award Rates for Cleaners
The average rate for a cleaner in Australia is $19.75 per hour. The award rates for cleaners start from $16.00 per hour. The rate does not change much with experience. Cleaners generally don’t have more than 20 years of experience.
You will also need to consider the amount you pay out in taxes for your employees and superannuation.
Superannuation is a mandatory contribution that needs to be paid by all employers for all their eligible employees. It is directly paid into the nominated fund of each employee. The amount is a set percentage of the employee’s income. The Super Guarantee rate is set at 9.5% of the employee’s income for 2014/15 by the Australian Government. These payments must be made at least quarterly. If you have more than 20 employees, you will need to make super payments online through a clearing house.
Cost of Chemicals & Supplies
There are two things that you will need to consider while calculating the cost of chemicals and supplies.
The first one – Does the client expect you to bring in all the cleaning supplies (toilet paper and chemicals). If yes, then you will need to add that to your quote. While this may be something that you will find slightly hard to pre-calculate during initial cleaning contracts, with time it will get easier.
The second one – Does the client want sustainable green chemicals. If yes, consider the additional cost while making a quote.
Operations Of The Work
Understanding in detail the operations of the work you are undertaking is important before bidding for a cleaning job. There are certain work types that may look easy but could be highly time consuming due to the various details you will need to pay attention to. You can ask specific questions, such as – Will you be required to fill toilet rolls and chemicals – to understand the operational complexity of the job. Quoting without knowing the details of operations may very easily decrease your profit.
Is Parking Available
Most job locations will have cheap parking option, but this is not true for all jobs. Knowing whether or not you will need to pay for parking is very important, especially when the job location is in city areas where the parking rate could be as high as $50 per day. While the client may not have thought about this aspect, you will need to consider it to avoid absorbing huge parking rates.
What type of cleaning is required?
Cleaning can be largely classified into Laborious cleaning work and Technical cleaning work. Understanding these types will help you to create a reasonable quote that will be appropriate for both parties.
Laborious Cleaning Work: This type of cleaning will require some hard work that must be considered while making a quote. Cleaning in a Restaurant can be extremely laborious, especially if you have to get it done early in the morning due to the nature of the business. Cleaning at a construction site with 20 storeys is also considered laborious. In this case you will also need to consider laborious safety precautions which will incur additional costs, such as white card approvals. Site inductions are also a prerequisite for construction cleaning.
Technical Cleaning Work: This type of cleaning includes scrubbing floors using expensive floor sweepers and scrubbers, among other things. This type of cleaning generally requires the cleaner to be experienced and skilled. It is time consuming and can certainly be charged higher than regular cleaning charges. Following are the type of questions that will help you determine the amount of work required:
- Do you have to strip and seal the floors?
- Is Carpet Extraction part of the job?
- Is High Rise window cleaning required?
The Size Of Job
Perhaps knowing the size of the job is one of the most important aspects that you need consider before you quote a cleaning job. It will help to find out how many levels you need to clean, if there are elevators, the square footage of each level, if detailed floor plans are available, the walking time to each building, if you can keep cleaning equipment on each level and if cleaning storage is provided.
While many of these questions can be answered over the phone, nothing will be as effective as visiting the job site and checking everything personally. It will help to have a checklist ready during your job estimate appointments. Go through every aspect of cleaning with your potential client to ensure you know exactly what the client needs and to know how much time and money it will cost you. Make notes whenever required.
Try to include everything possible in your checklist, including sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, furniture polishing, doing laundry, making beds, cleaning appliances like refrigerator, collecting or emptying garbage, cleaning rugs or carpet, cleaning mirrors and windows, disinfecting bathrooms, changing pet litter boxes, and any other service the clients may require of you. This will ensure that you have all the information you require to accurately bid for a commercial cleaning job.
- Quoting a cleaning job templates sheets are available online. You can easily print one from your computer.
- Cleaning for the first time for a new client always takes longer than subsequent cleanings as the job site will be unfamiliar to you and you will need to offer a thorough base cleaning. Sometimes the bathrooms and the kitchen may be really dirty and might require lot of scrubbing down. All of which increases the work load and the time taken to finish the job. Don’t forget to compensate for this by increasing your cleaning fee for the first session. It’s a common practice to charge 10% to 20% extra for the first cleaning. Even consider first clean free but remember this can also backfire if the client wants to advantageous
- Including references with your cleaning quote will make a good professional impression. A letter describing your history as a cleaning company, specialities, experiences and other details will help create a positive image of your company.
- It is not mandatory to charge all your customers the same rate. You can always use your business sense to figure out whether you can give some discount to a client or if slight premium is required based on the service of works and volume.
As a cleaning business you will always be tempted to bid lower than your competitors, but doing so could bring in more problems than benefits. For example, you may need to reduce the quality of your service to make up for the extra discount you offered. Always remember that clients don’t really care about price differences as much as they care about quality. As long as the service you deliver is of the highest quality and your cleaning fee is within the acceptable range, your business will gradually expand and your will make a good income out of it.