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Fair Price Policy
My name is Martin, and I will share some of our secrets about our pricing with you.
My wife Erika and I started in 2018 Erika’s House Cleaning LLC - a small local cleaning service. After five years in the industry serving our community in Colorado Springs and around, I decided to share with our clients and anyone who would like to know a little more about small business life something from our own “kitchen.”
With my professional experience in customer service, which started in 2009, I learned there is only a little difference in essential customer expectations, no matter the country or industry.
Generally, customers less question the prices of things that they can hold in their hands. We all know that popcorn in movie theatres is overpriced, but many of us still pay a thousand percent premium for popcorn when we go to a movie. In the service business, it's sometimes tricky for the customer to evaluate the time value of another person and to see the time or money cost behind the scenes. Also, in human nature, we sometimes de-evaluate other people's time when providing basic services like cleaning, usually for two reasons: 1. Anyone can do it., or 2. Why will I pay that much for this service if I can do it for free?
In a short answer: 1. Only some people can learn how to be a good house cleaner. Trust me on that! And 2. Yes, most of us can clean for ourselves for free.
Let me go to the “bone” of what I want to share with you. What is the secret of the Fair Price? I consider our service as essential or luxury service. Some of our clients need our service because they don't have time to do it by themself - they are too busy or cannot do it for one of many other reasons. For them the cleaning service is essential. When other clients call us because they just don't want to spend time doing a cleaning every week, and they value their comfort over the cost of cleaning. It doesn’t matter what the client's situation is. Most of us do not look for the cheapest option; we just want a Fair Price. But how to know what the Fair Price is, if so many unknowns exist? Let me help you to find an answer down below.
How are we paying? Too little or too much?
For an understandable reason, I won't be sharing our employee's paycheck slip with you, but I will do my best to give you an idea.
Cleaning is physically demanding work. Also, clients expect us to be professionals. Cleaning professionals must know many types of surfaces, products, and cleaning techniques. They need to be organized, responsible, and trustworthy individuals. In addition, they have to have good social skills and a great work ethic.
Is paying people with all these requirements around $20/h fair? We are not a good fit for you if you think it is too much. On the other hand, if it should be more, let me know, and I will happily adjust your price accordingly.
All of our employees are W2 employees. Experimenting with subcontractors or an under-table system is not the right way for us. We believe it would be unfair to put our people at risk by leaving them uninsured in case of injury or sickness or cutting off the opportunity to have essential benefits like proof of income, social security, or other employee benefits. On the other hand, we also don't want to be putting our clients at risk when sending people to their homes with no background check or professional cover in case of an accident or damage to their property. We believe that would not be right either. All this mentioned means our cost off payroll is much higher than what we pay to our people. Paying our employees $20/h costs our business approximately $27/h on only payroll expenses.
What “unseen time” is also covered?
In our industry is a lot of unseen time. What does it mean? Clients see us only when we clean their homes, but that is not everything we do.
To be professional cleaners, we must train our people.
To be a professional business, we must provide our employees with regular legal updates and training, service routines, and situation training.
Our employees spend a lot of time on the roads, so there is a lot of driving time.
Also, they regularly come to our office to restock the supplies and maintain the equipment.
You can think it is probably “just” a few dollars per cleaning to cover that cost. To give you a better idea, I will share some numbers from 2022.
The initial training cost for a new employee costs us around $2,500 per employee.
The cost to cover current employees' legal updates and training was almost $4,000.
The cost for the driving time was nearly $20,000. We also reimburse our employees for using their vehicles and gas used. So that was an additional $12,000.
The cost to cover the restocking and maintenance time was almost $16,000.
Not everyone realizes that we provide every employee with up to 48 paid sick hours, and our senior employees also have personal paid time off.
What “unseen” expenses are part of the cleaning business?
Everyone can think of cleaning supplies and equipment like vacuums and mops. But unfortunately, that is not all. We have to pay for accounting and legal services, renting an office and storage space, software, office supplies, etc., which are expenses in the tens of thousands by the end of the year.
What is the Fair Price?
A Fair Price should cover all associated costs. Customers should consider this when seeking cleaning services. For example, if you are paying a certain amount for the time the cleaner spends in your house, ask yourself how much time and energy it will take you to do it and how much time and energy you will save. From that perspective, it will look much cheaper.
Clients are getting a lot of other benefits on top of their cleaning by hiring a professional cleaning company. Unfortunately, by being in this business for more than five years, we saw a lot of damage in the client's houses done by someone who was “helping” our clients before us by not using the right products or procedures. Many people are unaware that as a homeowner, they may be held responsible for injuries or harm caused and the medical bills to a cleaning person they have hired. You can reduce the risk by hiring a good professional cleaning company.
I hope you understand that we do not charge based on the weather or a crystal ball, but we charge in order to cover our expenses and make our living. We want to work only with great people, and in order to hire the best, we need to make sure they are compensated accordingly.
We believe in Fair Price charges and keep our margins around only 20%, which covers hours of work behind the scene performed by Erika and me. If you also believe in Fair Price, we will be a good fit for each other.
If you finished the whole reading over here, I truly appreciate it!
Martin with Erika’s House Cleaning LLC
24/7 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon - Fri: 8:00 - 5:30 PM via phone or text at (719) 510-0323
Principal Address: 4829 Hawks Crest Pt, Colorado Springs, CO 80916
Office Address: 5635 Industrial Place, Colorado Springs, CO 80916