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I am new and will be getting my chalanger next week.
I Kind of Jumped the gun and made 3,500 flyers and put them in envelopes. what i was wondering is since i just want to get into peoples homes to get a Good Referal. I put a spring special for:
$99 3room up to 500sf/stairs extra
$199 for all carpet up to 1500sf/stairs extra
And 15% off mattress,and hard surface cleaning.($1.00sf)
Do you think this is to low?


That figures out to be between .13 and .20 per sq. ft. which is low by most standards for quality residential work. But you could offer it as kind of a "Grand Opening", limited-time price, just to get your ball rolling. Is there room on your fliers to attach a stick-on label, which states: "Offer good until such & such a date" ??


I think it is a good Idea to start with a low price to get business, because of the referals you'll get, When I first started I cleaned for everyone I knew for free, I am still getting referals from it to this day. For example, I cleaned for my sisters friend for free and I got 4 referals from her plus she had me back twice to clean her carpets and was more then happy to pay my standard rate. Good luck with your new Business!


Thank You For the input.I think I will Have to up the
price,after th 3500 flyer are handed out. with spring coming soon I will need to make as much money as I can,to help get me through next winter.

pss. we are getting 8" of snow today.LOL
when will winter end !


8" of snow??!! Dave. Where do you live? Fairbanks Alaska?


I live in Minneapolis,MN


99 for 3 rms is the going rate for me in South New Jersey.

I need to compete with the yellow van.


I couldn't disagree with you more, Joe. Anyone who
goes into this business and uses a business model of trying to compete with the established large franchises is just asking for trouble. I've been trying to make the point on this Forum for YEARS that what you want to do to succeed is to DIFFERENTIATE yourself from the
"pack" - the big-name "steam" cleaners. Let the customer know what you do that is different from franchised operations that run on low-motivated, low-paid help, that leave their carpets all wet, that still use harsh, quite possibly toxic cleaning chemicals in their home. Tell them of your personal service, your rapid-dry process, and your use of natural cleaning products to protect their family's health. You want to be a strategically located, or positioned, NICHE business, not just one of the established herd. Joe, try and find a college-level course in your area in ENTREPRENEURIAL STUDIES, take it, and I bet they tell you the same thing, more or less.


There's a difference between charging .35/sf on the east coast and most other places. If I charged that much I'd be out of business in a week.

Differentiate yourself by the service you provide and the quality of your service.

Figure out what you need to make a profit and go from there. If your customers are happy and you start getting too busy then raise your rates. If you start out at .35/sf you may be out of business before you know it.


A willingness to accept whatever is considered the "going rate" is a passive approach to running a business, and I think one which is doomed to failure, or - at least - underperformance. People who succeed in whatever enterprise they involve themselves in are the ones who invent, or at least adopt, a better mousetrap, and then proceed to tell those in their market what they are all about. It should be "We're better because, because, and because", rather than "we're just as good as everybody else, and just LIKE everybody else." Too many people entering this business think that success is all about finding that elusive "magic bullet" cleaning product than cleans just a teensy-weensy bit better than the last product they used. It isn't. It's about target marketing, positioning, communications, and maximizing your use of low-cost/no-cost marketing techniques.


Whatever you decide to charge, keep up with your numbers from day one! Here is my suggestion:

On each and ever job, keep up with the amount of time you actually spend cleaning. Track this daily, weekly, monthly and then of course yearly.

Keep up with your gross income.

Keep up with your expenses.

Keep up with your net profit.

At the end of the month, determine what your gross hourly rate of imcome is. (Gross Income divided by total hours worked)

Determine you hourly rate of expenses. (Total expenses divided by total hours worked)

Determine your net profit and how much you made per hour worked.

Now you know how much you are making, keeping, and what your hourly rate should actually be.

On every job- keep up with the total amount of sq. footage you have cleaned. Determine how many s.f. per hour you are averaging (this will take a few months to get a workable average.) Keep a running track of this average on residential and commercial work.

Now you will know how much you need to make per hour, and how much square footage you can clean per hour. So, you can intelligently determine your s.f. price.

If you will keep up with these figures from the start, before your first year in business ends, you will know more than many cleaners do about their business who have been in business for 20 years, or more.


Just to elaborate on what the Admiral just said, I would limit the counting of hours involved to what is actually spent doing the work. Possibly you might also want to add a factor for the amount of time required to travel to & from a job, yet you want to keep in mind, if you had a job instead of a business, you would still have commuting time. In running a business, however, there are other time requirements.
This is the amount of time you will be spending in planning your activities, performing marketing tasks, making yourself "visible" in the community, etc.
But unless you were just a low-rung hourly worker in someone else's business, you would need to devote some amount of time time to these "off the job" activities. If you were in sales, you'd need to be reading and studying new techniques in convincing people to buy, and to buy from you, as well as to changes occurring daily in whatever industry you were selling in. A medical doctor has to spend a lot of time reading the technical journals in his or her specialty to stay current. A plumber needs to be studying ways to survive in his field, such as by learning all about solar heating, geothermal heat pumps, and so on. No one gets paid for these activities, but the price of not remaining current is
falling to the back of the pack in your field, or never getting to the forefront in the first place.


Actually that's the way I started my business I had a $99 special introductory offer to high end homes my flyer and mailings had pic's of children and animals.For the $99 it was exposed carpet only and they had to prevac. Only one customer only had the "$99 special" (which BTW took 1 hr from pull up to pull out) all the others had extra stuff that wanted done and LOTS OF URINE Problems which I stated would be more. That is pretty much how i built my customer list that I still service 4 years later.