For all the night owl cleaners

#1
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Have a busy two weeks ahead. A bunch of cafes and retail stores to clean after 11pm for the next ten days and a bunch of quotes and jobs during the day. Day two and already feeling burned out. For all the owner operators, are u charging a premium for this kind of work to make it worth your while?
 
#7
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For all the owner operators, are u charging a premium for this kind of work to make it worth your while?

Really depends on how busy you are. If very busy and you don't want to do night work(me), than heck yea charge A LOT more.

If you are just starting out, than yea go do it. I would simply have a higher minimum for nights. Ohh, and throw on an extra nickle per sqft for yourself!:rockon:
 
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#8
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I'm pretty busy during the day. I try to stay away from working nights as much as I can. If say I do a doctor's office, thet are usually closed or open half day at least one day a week so try to book then. Restaurants are more troublesome. This week I've got a bunch of cafes and supplement stores that close late. The cafes close at 11. So by the time custys leave it's usually 1130. I'm out by 3 am. Then start work at 8 the next day. Im thinking bout charging 15-20% more to do nights. Would like to know how other cleaners handle these.
 
#11
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My local Applebees just offered me their area of restaurants. Each one would pay $175 every 3months.
Using Matt's job as an example-
I would tell the Manager that the $175 would be a very low "monthly" price if chairs are all moved off floor. Job ready for you. Quarterly price is $350. Twice monthly price...if you want this kind of work. For some reason I never minded it...once or twice a week. What's good about this kind of work is you can count on it. Have to pay the bills.
 
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#12
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For me: commercial work is priced at $0.15 a square foot. When it is at night I charge an extra $0.05 a square foot. When it comes to restaurants I also charge $25 per area to move tables and chairs, Nothing if they do it themselves, everyone wants me to do it for them.
 
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#14
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Using Matt's job as an example-
I would tell the Manager that the $175 would be a very low "monthly" price if chairs are all moved off floor. Job ready for you. Quarterly price is $350. Twice monthly price...if you want this kind of work. For some reason I never minded it...once or twice a week. What's good about this kind of work is you can count on it. Have to pay the bills.
What kind of square footage u looking at at those Appleby's?
 
#15
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What kind of square footage u looking at at those Appleby's?
Need to ask @Matt Wood - I just used his post price number as an example. My point was Restaurants should be cleaned monthly. If they want quarterly cleaning then what ever you would normally have charged should be doubled because it will take longer to do.
 
#16
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Need to ask @Matt Wood - I just used his post price number as an example. My point was Restaurants should be cleaned monthly. If they want quarterly cleaning then what ever you would normally have charged should be doubled because it will take longer to do.
True. I've got a couple really bad ones and owners want them done only twice a year cause it's not in their budget to do more often. I tell them it's gonna cost u more in the long run: more wear in the carpet, more effort to clean and most importantly lost clientele cause it carpets are filthy.
 
#17
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What time of day would you prefer to work?

You'll get burned out in no time if you're wrapping up at 3am and back at it by 8. At least I would.

I like bankers hours so we have structured our biz around this fact. We are probably 80% residential because of it.

I cant tell you the last restaurant I cleaned. I can't get anywhere near the $ I'd want to be out at night with work in the morning. I don't even try...I know I'm leaving $ on the table.

What do YOU want?
 
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#18
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What time of day would you prefer to work?

You'll get burned out in no time if you're wrapping up at 3am and back at it by 8. At least I would.

I like bankers hours so we have structured our biz around this fact. We are probably 80% residential because of it.

I cant tell you the last restaurant I cleaned. I can't get anywhere near the $ I'd want to be out at night with work in the morning. I don't even try...I know I'm leaving $ on the table.

What do YOU want?
I too try to work 8am to the latest 6pm as I've got three boys and a wife I'd like to spend time with. I've got 5 Jani contracts that I accumulated when I first started in the biz and have now hired cleaners for the last few months to take care of them in the evenings so I can keep to my regular business hours and focus on my core services . But I've got three big chains that I take care of at least one week out of the month that I do not want to let go of but require me being there at 11 pm. I've started looking around for a couple of people to either sub out to or hire part time to do these as I'm busy during the day. Hopefully it works out.
 
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#19
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For me: commercial work is priced at $0.15 a square foot. When it is at night I charge an extra $0.05 a square foot. When it comes to restaurants I also charge $25 per area to move tables and chairs, Nothing if they do it themselves, everyone wants me to do it for them.
$.15 per sqft is a little low unless you have mega sqft. or you're going to cimex it or something. I know a lot of cleaner want to charge less for commercial but think of it this way. The carpet is usually dirtier, you are working at night and the customer wants you to bill them. There is nothing there to discount. I'm at $.25 and am thinking that I'm too cheap. Take that Applebees for example, I bet it is over a 1000 sqft with tables or at least chairs to move. $175 doesn't even to begin to cover it. Even at $250, you are still not making a lot of money.
 
#21
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Are people seriously cleaning Applebee's late at night for $175-$250?

I'm growing more comfortable with my decision to target residential!
That's what the manager told me they were paying the guy. I told him that's not my kind of work. It is over 1000sq. ft and the current carpet cleaner is moving all the furniture as well. I told him if they want me to come and do it, it would be twice as much $$$ as what they're paying, and maybe more if I have to move the furniture
 
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#22
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One large resturaunt we do is 4,000 sq ft. We charge $750 and clean it every 3 months with 1 touch up cleaning every month in between for free on only high traffic areas. The full clean for $750 takes less than 2 hours with 3 guys; and the touch up cleanings I could even do myself in 30 mins. That one is worth it, only down fall is it has to be done at 5am and takes 30 days to get paid at least. It cleans up pretty nicely and easily to..

If a customer doesn't want to do a monthly or quarterly cleaning contact I request payment as soon as the cleaning is done. I let them know we only invoice for contract cleanings.


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#23
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$.15 per sqft is a little low unless you have mega sqft. or you're going to cimex it or something. I know a lot of cleaner want to charge less for commercial but think of it this way. The carpet is usually dirtier, you are working at night and the customer wants you to bill them. There is nothing there to discount. I'm at $.25 and am thinking that I'm too cheap. Take that Applebees for example, I bet it is over a 1000 sqft with tables or at least chairs to move. $175 doesn't even to begin to cover it. Even at $250, you are still not making a lot of money.
it is the going rate for my area. we have a lot of guys doing it for .05-.10 a square. even if I give a deal just to get the job I often get underbid.
 
#26
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One large resturaunt we do is 4,000 sq ft. We charge $750 and clean it every 3 months with 1 touch up cleaning every month in between for free on only high traffic areas. The full clean for $750 takes less than 2 hours with 3 guys; and the touch up cleanings I could even do myself in 30 mins. That one is worth it, only down fall is it has to be done at 5am and takes 30 days to get paid at least. It cleans up pretty nicely and easily to..

If a customer doesn't want to do a monthly or quarterly cleaning contact I request payment as soon as the cleaning is done. I let them know we only invoice for contract cleanings.


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I really don't mind the 30 days. By the time you get the cheque, you've forgotten about the job and it's like a bonus.
 
#27
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it is the going rate for my area. we have a lot of guys doing it for .05-.10 a square. even if I give a deal just to get the job I often get underbid.
So, you are talking $50-100 for a 1000 sqft area. I couldn't get out of bed for that. Not up to any of us to tell you how much to charge but you have to look at your costs and determine what's worthwhile. I used to have a company locally who would always underbid me, no matter how low I bid. They are now out of business.
 
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#28
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So, you are talking $50-100 for a 1000 sqft area. I couldn't get out of bed for that. Not up to any of us to tell you how much to charge but you have to look at your costs and determine what's worthwhile. I used to have a company locally who would always underbid me, no matter how low I bid. They are now out of business.
Isn't that always the case? I always tell potential clients who bring up low priced carpet cleaners that those guys won't be around five years from now. And most realize what they are getting in terms of quality work. The unfortunate thing is a lot of the decision makers are looking at a piece of paper showing them what they have to budget for maintenance and choose their cleaner based on that.
 
#30
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For all the owner operators, are u charging a premium for this kind of work to make it worth your while?
It's "getting" your premium rate for such work that is the challenge when competing with low-ball hacks and dealing with unloyal corporate managers who are only looking at their bottom line and are frequently replaced.

Don't count on such work being anything else than a short-term stepping-stone to stay busy and generate some consistent income as needed.

If you must, what will make such gigs more bearable and profitable is to get the managers on the same page as far as what tasks they should delegate to their lazy employees so that the location is best prepared for you to get in and get out in a timely manner.

Push them to do as much as they can before you arrive while acknowledging that the gig is most likely temporary despite whatever they promised you.
 
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