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Thought on my pricing.

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Thought on my pricing.

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:17 am

When I first started doing windows, people in the biz talked about how they priced. I listened and tried emulating it.

See, most guys price windows by the pane. A casement window would be two panes (each side) just like a picture window. Double hungs would be 4 panes. You get the point. Most charge by the SURFACE to be cleaned. So, a home with say 50 windows isn't just a home with 50 windows.

To me it seemed silly, and shortly into it, I changed my pricing to something that makes more sense. I only upcharge a window depending on condition or size. A casement window doesn't take me any less time than a double hung, in or out cleaning.

So what I'm getting at, is I charge "factoring" pricing. When I look at a "window" I factor price by size. A standard size window will take me "X" amount of time. If it's bigger or smaller, I count the window accordingly.

When it comes to condition of the glass, I have to decide if just extra strokes will be needed (time factor) or will I need to use a different method, or even introduce something like bronze wooling the glass, or even having to remove hardwater stains or other "gunk".

Going beyond the norm, we shouldn't feel bad about what we need to charge to offer specialty services. After all, every thing anyone offers here for their service business, IS a luxury service. It's not a life necessity to have your carpets cleaned by a pro, or your windows cleaned by a pro.

And it's certainly not our fault what condition folks allow their things to come to.

And no, I'm not starting this thread to pick a fight with anyone. More about telling folks it's ok to charge what you need to make a decent profit. I don't charge as much as others do, yet in my area, I am more expensive than most.

We as business owners bare ALL of our own expenses, and we don't have the luxury of "job security". And the reality is, what we do, people COULD do for themselves, but likely not nearly as good as what WE do it. Most of the time, they have NO desire to do it.

So charge what you feel is right, and never feel guilty about it. I know I don't.

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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by milspec6 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:30 pm

Well, you hit on two key things here with that post.

1. Pricing should be factored according to the time it takes along with any special costs involved. Every cleaner with any experience should know how long it will take for them to complete the task and thus price accordingly.

2. Charging what you feel is right is different per person. One of the earliest hurdles for people starting out is looking at the job as if they were the customer. When I used to ask myself if I would pay that much to clean the carpets in my own house, I would often say no and then feel guilty charging my customers such a price, but the key is that my perception wasn't necessarily their perception. In fact, maybe I am just a cheap bastard, but most of the time they act surprised at the low price and tip me in the end.....a sure sign that our cost perceptions are not the same.

So, you set the price and as long as you were honest about it up front, there is no reason to feel guilty about it in the end.
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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:44 pm

I price like I was doing this full time, even though I am not. I WOULD NOT pay myself what I charge because I too am a cheap ass.

But I can't factor, what I would feel like paying. In fact, I can't let my opinion of what I am willing to pay, even play a part of my pricing.

Instead, I price according to what I can get most of my bids to pay. For some, that may not compute, but it's how a business that wants to be successful and be in business very long, has to do.

In my useless opinion Rob, you have said too many times people comment you are cheap. You should raise your prices. Might makes those times that things are slow, much more bearable. You are after all, the expert in your area. You should be getting a premium price for your expertise.

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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by milspec6 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:08 pm

I have been thinking seriously about that very thing. I manage to get about $125 - $150 per hour right now, yet those that have used other cleaners expected me to charge a lot more.

To me, that sounds crazy, but again, I am cheap bastard. And your are correct, it would make the slow times feel less stressful. I have only booked an office cleaning this week and that is all!! It might be the 100 degrees every day that we are having, but regardless, it is dead.

At least the College World Series is coming to town soon which normally gives me a healthy commercial spike in business, but otherwise, I might as well be unemployed.
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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:29 pm

So if I might be abit sarcasticly funny?
You guys are not cheap, cut that word out. if you don't get it, that's OK.
I top you all.
I have a case of prespray I bought spring, last year; still milking it along. Might have to reorder later this year.

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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:00 am

laughing
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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by Freemind1 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:47 am

Lol Matt. I get where your are coming from.

But seriously though. If we are going to have the same standard of income working for ourselves, whether we are self employed or working for someone else, then what's the point of owning a business?

I know people in business that charge such ridiculous prices, you'd think they would be OUT of business, but they aren't. People just keep hiring them and they have stupid amounts of money in the bank. They certainly don't have a problem sleeping at night in their million dollar homes, then why should we if we choose to charge what we are really worth.

Our worth should be defined as the maximum we can charge for our time and expertise. We will never realize it if we don't ask for it.

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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:58 am

I think we disagree a little there Freemind. I am happy keeping what I used to make working for someone else. Nobody tells me what to do or when to do it and I don't work 55-60 hours per week anymore.

My decision to work for myself wasn't predicated on the money, but on the life-style difference. What you describe is an entrepreneur, what I am is a person who bought himself a job.

Don't get me wrong, I would like to make more, but it isn't my main goal nor reason for having a business.
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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by Freemind1 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:58 am

I don't know anyone who owns a business, that isn't working 60+ hours a week. It all adds up.

You can't just count your time actually doing work on the jobsite, as the time you "worked". What about marketing, your accounting, repairs to equipment, and all that jazz?

When you built your box truck, you invested a lot of your time. Were you still working for your old employer, you would have been paid your hourly rate any time you were doing something for the company. As a business owner, the only time we get paid, is when we can bill the hours.

And while we traded in one boss, we still have many of them. Every customer is our "boss". We can refuse to do something, just like we can at a job. The "boss" can still fire you and hire someone else.

So, I respect your decision how you want to run your business Rob. It's your baby, that's the joy of it. Running it how you want.

I learned something a long time ago though. No one is looking out for you, except you. When something happens that you can't work anymore, you are on your own. All those people that loved your work, aren't going to be supporting you anymore. So if you don't have bank, you will just be miserable. Money doesn't buy happiness, but it does do most everything else for you. Like feed you and pay your bills.

I look at charging my maximum dollar not as a "look at all my money" thing. It's more of the ant and the grasshopper thing. Banking for the future. Because to be honest, I have zero desire to sell this business and build another somewhere down the road like most entrepreneurs do. I also don't really have a desire for fancy vacations, luxury homes - cars - boats, or gold plated toilets. But I do want to secure my future.

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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:09 pm

I value your thoughts and agree with it...always did I guess, but I still sort of see this merely as a life-style decision. Sure, nobody is paying me to fix the equipment or load the van, but that is all just preparation much like suiting up for a game. I just don't have the "money" gene in my body and don't suspect that I ever will. As long as I can pay my bills with a little left over for some toys, I will be happy....which is the one thing that I owe myself these days, being happy.

Now if I was to find a wife with a killer mind-set handling the administration side, then that might all change. I would say both business survival and getting married are both long-shots right now based on current events.

Luckily, tomorrow is another day with new possibilities. Wine
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Re: Thought on my pricing.

Post by Freemind1 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:43 pm

Wine

I hope someday soon, you can find your special lady, Rob.

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Re: Thought on my pricing.

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