How to Price Commercial Cleaning Jobs: Get Profit for Value

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Blog summary

Setting the right price for your commercial cleaning services means balancing affordability with sufficient profit. Want to know how to do this? Then follow this pricing guide.

📝Key Takeaways:
  • Understand the unique needs of the client before setting a price for commercial cleaning services.
  • Conduct a site visit to accurately assess the scope and complexity of the cleaning job.
  • Always be transparent with clients about pricing and the services that are included in the price.

The prices you set for your various commercial cleaning services can impact how your target audience perceives you and how much profit you make.

Set it too low and people will think of your business as a cheap service providing low value. And if you do find a client, you will barely make a dime of profit (if any).

Set it too high and people will look for an affordable alternative providing similar value.

This is why it is important to create a sound pricing strategy for your commercial cleaning business. You know, the one that your target audience will be willing to pay while bringing you sufficient profits.

So are you in? Then let us show you how to price commercial cleaning jobs the correct way.

Factors That Influence Commercial Cleaning Pricing

Not every cleaning job you do will be similar. There are various factors that come into play that determines the time and effort you will have to put in. And the higher the time and effort needed, the higher you will have to charge to earn a profit.

So here are the commercial cleaning cost factors that you need to be aware of while deciding on your price:

  • Area size

    Obviously, a large area demands more sweat to clean than a smaller one. Thus, many commercial cleaning companies calculate the price per square foot of the space to be cleaned.

    For example, the cleaning of an area sized 2000 sq. ft will cost more than an area of 1000 sq. ft.
  • Type of cleaning job

    If you provide various cleaning services, your pricing should vary depending on the one your client opts for. For example, deep cleaning costs more than regular cleaning.
  • Labor costs

    How many cleaners has the client asked for (or the job requires)? What is the per-hour cost of your cleaners? All these add to your labor costs.

    For example, a client may call for 2 cleaners instead of one to get the cleaning done twice as fast.
  • Service frequency

    How many recurring jobs you are getting from a client? If a client is willing to subscribe to your service more frequently, you can charge him lesser per job. This will also encourage your clients to give you bigger contracts.

    For example, a customer asking for a weekly service instead of just a one-time service may get per job done at a comparatively lesser cost.
  • Service quality

    You can set the price of your cleaning job higher than other commercial cleaning companies in your area IF you can justify it. We will discuss it later in the blog.

    For example, you can make yourself responsible for your cleaning services (for a limited period) and charge higher for this guarantee.
  • Location

    The price of a commercial cleaning job can vary based on the region of your business service. For example, cleaning prices in New York, LA, or San Francisco will be higher than prices in other smaller cities.

Being aware of factors, now let’s look at various pricing methods a cleaning company usually uses.

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Different Methods of Pricing Commercial Cleaning Jobs

You can choose any of these popular pricing methods for your business:

  • Hourly rate

    This is, by far, the most popular method used to determine commercial cleaning prices. So as the name suggests, you fix a rate for each hour of work you do.

    However, the issue is that it doesn’t matter if you do the job faster. Thus, your client may also be skeptical about you unnecessarily prolonging the job to be charged more.

  • Flat fee

    Your customer tells you the size of the space and the required cleaning service. And based on that, you charge him a flat fee, regardless of how much time you will need to complete the job.

    The good thing about charging a flat fee is that you take time out of the equation, allowing you to do more jobs in a day. Time is limited, remember? However, you do run the risk of underestimating a project.

  • Square foot rate

    This is another good method for pricing. In this, you charge as per the total area of commercial space needed to be cleaned. So just set your per-square-foot rate and multiply it will the size of the area.

Next, let’s get into the steps you need to follow to set your pricing.

How to Price Your Commercial Cleaning Service

Step 1: Research the market

Fortunately or unfortunately, the market has a say while setting your prices. As we said earlier, services in more popular areas will allow you to charge higher.

So, research the market first and see how much your competitors are charging your potential clients. With this, you will get a rough idea of your pricing.

    Pro tip: You can always charge higher than the market average. But going too high will limit your business opportunities.

Step 2: Determine the needs of your client

Ask your clients these questions to find their needs:

  • What is the size of their property to be cleaned?
  • What type of cleaning do they need – regular, deep, or any other?
  • What pricing method do they want to opt for – hourly, flat fee, or per square foot?
  • How frequently do they need the service – one-time, daily, weekly, or monthly?
  • How many commercial cleaning professionals do they want to hire?

Step 3: Calculate your labor costs

Based on the client’s needs, you will then need to calculate your labor costs. How? Find:

  • The hourly rate of your cleaning professionals
  • The number of workers required
  • The estimated number of hours you will need to complete the job

Multiply these 3 and that will be your labor cost.

Step 4. Determine your extras

The labor cost is not the only cost you will need to bear. Here are some others:

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Transportation cost
  • Business operation cost

You need to factor them in. Or else they will eat your profit. To do that, just get a combined rough estimate of all 3 and add it to your labor costs. This new amount will be your total cost of the project. But what about profit?

Step 5. Add your profits

Profit is the fuel of any business. Thus, add the profit to your project cost to make the effort worthwhile. But also be sure to not be greedy and charge way too high. Give an estimate that your client will likely accept.

Easy, right? But, to give you an idea of what amount people are habitual to pay, let’s move on to the next section.

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Average Commercial Cleaning Rates

This is how much commercial cleaning businesses charge on average, as per Business Hue. The price is based on the assumption of 3 cleaning jobs per week.

Square feet Price
1,000 – 1,500 $400 – $600
1,500 – 2,500 $600 – $750
2,500 – 5,000 $750 – $1,000
5,000 – 10,000 $1,000 – $1,500
10,000 – 20,000 $1,500 – $2,000
20,000 – 50,000 $2,000 – $2,800

Based on the data from Desert Oasis Commercial Cleaners:

  • Average commercial cleaning rate/sq. ft: $ 0.11
  • Average commercial cleaning rate/hour: $75

All this is great, but how to set your price higher without burning your business? This is how.

Bonus #1: How Can You Charge Higher Than Your Competitors

    Pro tip: Fighting on service/product price is always a losing proposition. So don’t assume that you have to set your prices lower than your competition to be able to make it big.

Earlier, we suggested you research the average commercial cleaning costs to a client in your region. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to go by it.

You can set your prices as per the amount of value you provide. The higher the value you bring, the more you can charge for it.

For example, let’s say that you find other businesses using cheap cleaning supplies. So, as a result, their cleaning doesn’t sustain for long. 

So to set yourself apart, you can sell your services by using quality supplies only and taking responsibility for the job you do.

And then charging a premium for it!

However, there is always a ceiling to the amount your target audience will pay for any service. 

In other words, you will get a hard time finding a person willing to pay you $10,000 just to clean his 3000 sq. ft office once – no matter how much value you give in exchange.

So while setting your prices higher, also be aware of that ceiling.

    Pro tip: It isn’t enough to provide better value. You also need to show your target audience why your offer is one to go with, even if it is expensive.

Bonus #2: How to Give Your Pricing to Your Prospects

There are two ways businesses in the cleaning industry provide their pricing for a project:

1. Upfront

In this, the business has set up a pricing calculator on their website. Thus, when a prospect arrives, all he has to do is give the project details such as:

  • Area in square feet
  • The number of cleaners
  • The number of hours

And bam! The exact cost of the project will be shown on the screen. Here is an example of the booking page of Luxury Cleaning, an NYC cleaning company.

Advantages Disadvantages
1. Your prospect will get a price instantly. 1. You won’t have the contact details of your client. So no follow-ups.
2. It helps in faster decision-making. 2. It requires more technicality to generate such a calculator.
3. It will generate leads actually interested in your services.

2. Restrained

On the other side, some cleaning companies just ask for your contact details to get back to you to know your requirements. And then you the pricing for your project.

To give you an idea, see what Gleem, an NYC commercial cleaning company, does:

Some companies, like Clean2Clean, may even ask for the requirements along with contact details to directly get back to you with a pricing quote.

Advantages Disadvantages
1. You can easily follow up once someone asks for a quote. 1. The decision-making process is quite long compared to upfront pricing.
2. It gives more accurate quotes. 2. It requires human effort to calculate the price.
3. Someone may contact you just to compare your prices with others.

Restrained pricing is what we usually see cleaning companies going with. However, upfront pricing also has advantages you can’t ignore. Measure both of them to see which one works better for you.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What are various cleaning services I can provide to my clients?

    As a commercial cleaning business, these are some of the services you can offer:

    • Office cleaning
    • Window cleaning
    • Carpet cleaning
    • Floor cleaning and waxing
    • Disinfecting and sanitizing services
    • Industrial cleaning
    • Medical facility cleaning
    • Janitorial services
    Refer to our cleaning business ideas blog to know more
  2. What kind of places comes in commercial cleaning?

    These are the places that come under commercial cleaning:

    • Office buildings
    • Schools/Day care centers
    • Fitness centers
    • Churches/Places of worship
    • Restaurants
    • Auto dealerships
    • Medical facilities
    • Retail stores

Conclusion

At last, we would like to wrap up this blog by giving you a heads-up on the 2 most crucial aspects of pricing a commercial cleaning service:

  • Affordability: will your client pay you this amount?
  • Profit: will you actually make enough profit by charging this amount?

It is the balance of these 2 where your ideal pricing lies.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel
Founder

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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