Getting that hourly up

Jan 20, 2020
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Benji Zimmerman
So I've read "The efficiency thread" and "$100/hr..."

I've got some work to do. The other day I did a house, 5 rooms and a staircase. Took me 7 hours from setup to pack-up. I didn't have my helper (casual labor friend of mine). After my first-time customer discount 15%, I got $312.00. Customer is extremely happy with the work and will review positively and refer new business. Offered him 10% on corporate referrals, as he is an entrepreneur as well. I'm sure going forward houses and customers like these I can charge more in the future once I have more google reviews and referrals. My process was pre-vac, prespray, agitate and dwell in stages so no prespray would dry, then hot water extract using my legend xl and prochem quad jet wand. Lots of dry passes. Then I applied fabric protector - didn't charge for this as it was first time customer.

The house a day before I got $350 (1 basement, hallway, staircase, dog urine treatment 1 area, and 3 bedrooms upstairs). Job took 6.5 hours and I had my helper running hoses. Cost me $120 cash to have a hose runner and a guy prevac and agitate ahead of me. I should probably double my price on pet urine.

Gotta get the efficiency up. Should I have the helper running a battery operated presprayer while I agitate behind them? Or if I'm running the hydroforce have them running the CRB behind me? Gotta cut 2 hours off these bigger jobs and bump prices up a bit to get to $100 per billable. As a solo guy though, since I'm running a used machine and no payment on any of my stuff $50-60 per billable hours is definitely profitable and since I can live off paying myself $25/hour I'd keep the rest in the business to replace my equipment, van and expand when the time comes.

Any thoughts?
 

Jim Davisson

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Sounds like you are doing a thorough job, but your setup, actual cleaning time and break down is likely your main issue. Using quality chems, scrubbing the areas that need it and knowing which areas the chems will easily handle comes with experience.

1) vacuuming- takes what it takes
2) prespray- 10 mins
3) scrubbing- varies but 15 minutes for the above examples
4) cleaning should be 400-600 ft²/hr in occupied homes of actual cleaning higher in areas with no furniture
5) dry stroke- I clean from left to right across the room and dry stroke right back to where I started. 1 minute per row or less. No swamp lines at the end of the stroke, let off the trigger and overlap with a tiny dry pass

Dialing in your system, making notes about what sucks in day to day operations and fixing them will help efficiency. For example, all my frequently used items and chems are within arms length of van doors, I will only run a live reel with 1 continuous solution line, I keep my top 2 spotters on the wand with the duck bill shears magnetically attached. I keep notes daily on my phone about anything that needs service, leaks a drop, sucks or can be improved and spend 30 minutes a day fixing those things after work. I have to have a clean, organized, well stocked van and top performing equipment, I can't work with any janky or subpar that kills my efficiency. < I know that sounds mental and it probably is for most folks, but it’s my time and my money and nobody else is going to look out for either but me.

This saves a lot time and many footsteps everyday

20200125_164533.jpg


Hopefully this helps some.
 

ACP

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Thats a really really long time for 5 areas and a stair case.

It sounds like you must be moving beds, dressers, etc.

If your moving large furniture, like everything in the house the going rate is much higher than what your charging fyi.

That type of job should average over $1000 in almost any market.

We don't move beds, dressers, China hutches. We do move couches but not huge sectionals, we move coffee tables.. stuff like that.

Customers move most everything before we get there, they pile items on their beds and clear what they can to non carpeted areas.

Hope that gives you some insight. We charge about $450 without protector for what you described there and it takes 2 guys approx 2hrs.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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18
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Benji Zimmerman
Thats a really really long time for 5 areas and a stair case.

It sounds like you must be moving beds, dressers, etc.

If your moving large furniture, like everything in the house the going rate is much higher than what your charging fyi.

That type of job should average over $1000 in almost any market.

We don't move beds, dressers, China hutches. We do move couches but not huge sectionals, we move coffee tables.. stuff like that.

Customers move most everything before we get there, they pile items on their beds and clear what they can to non carpeted areas.

Hope that gives you some insight. We charge about $450 without protector for what you described there and it takes 2 guys approx 2hrs.

I did move some furniture, but the customer did most of it in both cases. Put sticky tabs down and cleaned on section - did one section, let it mostly dry - moved things and did a quick pass on the non-traffic areas.
 

Fedri

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Jan 25, 2015
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7 hours for 5 rooms and a staircase is lengthy specially with a TM power. I don't know how new you are but for 5 rooms and a staircase not including the hallway with minimal stains would be $350 and it will take us 2-3 hours. If it's not in good condition with lots of of spots and stains the price doubles and it may take 4-5 hours.
 

Fedri

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I have to charge more for the time + energy involved in the moving furniture time.
Do yourself a favor don't move big heavy furniture, this is not your job. If the customer wants it under the bed tell him to move it some place else and clear the room before you get there and after you have cleaned the rooms ask him to move things back when the carpet dries. If they don't want to move the furniture (mostly won't want to do this) then tell them to clear the things so you can clean around the furniture.
 

Fedri

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7 hours for 5 rooms and a staircase is lengthy specially with a TM power. I don't know how new you are but for 5 rooms and a staircase not including the hallway with minimal stains would be $350 and it will take us 2-3 hours. If it's not in good condition with lots of of spots and stains the price doubles and it may take 4-5 hours.
Some of them will suggest to move the furniture while you are there, this is so annoying for me, I want to spray every where and they're on my way, this takes extra time by spraying section by section and makes my job difficult. I educate them over the phone so we are in the same page.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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Benji Zimmerman
7 hours for 5 rooms and a staircase is lengthy specially with a TM power. I don't know how new you are but for 5 rooms and a staircase not including the hallway with minimal stains would be $350 and it will take us 2-3 hours. If it's not in good condition with lots of of spots and stains the price doubles and it may take 4-5 hours.

I don't move heavy furniture. I added a 75 dollar charge for spot treatment.
 
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Jan 20, 2020
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Benji Zimmerman
Really. I'm trying to get to the 25 five star reviews at this point. I have 3 5 star reviews and no negative feedback. Every single customer has been happy with my work, and one callback but we got it perfect in short order when we went back for an hour and a half (spot treatments).
 
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Fedri

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Jan 25, 2015
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So I've read "The efficiency thread" and "$100/hr..."

I've got some work to do. The other day I did a house, 5 rooms and a staircase. Took me 7 hours from setup to pack-up. I didn't have my helper (casual labor friend of mine). After my first-time customer discount 15%, I got $312.00. Customer is extremely happy with the work and will review positively and refer new business. Offered him 10% on corporate referrals, as he is an entrepreneur as well. I'm sure going forward houses and customers like these I can charge more in the future once I have more google reviews and referrals. My process was pre-vac, prespray, agitate and dwell in stages so no prespray would dry, then hot water extract using my legend xl and prochem quad jet wand. Lots of dry passes. Then I applied fabric protector - didn't charge for this as it was first time customer.

The house a day before I got $350 (1 basement, hallway, staircase, dog urine treatment 1 area, and 3 bedrooms upstairs). Job took 6.5 hours and I had my helper running hoses. Cost me $120 cash to have a hose runner and a guy prevac and agitate ahead of me. I should probably double my price on pet urine.

Gotta get the efficiency up. Should I have the helper running a battery operated presprayer while I agitate behind them? Or if I'm running the hydroforce have them running the CRB behind me? Gotta cut 2 hours off these bigger jobs and bump prices up a bit to get to $100 per billable. As a solo guy though, since I'm running a used machine and no payment on any of my stuff $50-60 per billable hours is definitely profitable and since I can live off paying myself $25/hour I'd keep the rest in the business to replace my equipment, van and expand when the time comes.

Any thoughts?
Another thing to mention that will speed up your work is that you don't have to pre scrub on every job. The last time I have pre scrubbed was a month ago. If you have a good pre spray and let it work for you for 10-15 min you won't need the pre scrubbing. A week ago I cleaned a rat nasty with tons of stains that the customer wanted to re place the carpet, when I saw the condition I was about to bring my tool to agitate it but in a second thought I started to extract the carpet without the pre agitation, came out very well with only few stains. Dwelling time is important.
 

Fedri

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Really. I'm trying to get to the 25 five star reviews at this point. I have 3 5 star reviews and no negative feedback. Every single customer has been happy with my work, and one callback but we got it perfect in short order when we went back for an hour and a half (spot treatments).
You will get there, in 3 years I got over 150 all positive reviews. The key is pre vacuuming, spray the cleaner thoroughly, work on stains and extract thoroughly with at least one dry pass to every wet pass.
 

keep it clean

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I did move some furniture, but the customer did most of it in both cases. Put sticky tabs down and cleaned on section - did one section, let it mostly dry - moved things and did a quick pass on the non-traffic areas.
Unless they remove them completely from the area. It still slows you down with them moving as you work.

Go the big box store. Get as many sliders as you can. Buy all of them (for carpet). All sizes. Dont worry you'll use them and lose them. Some of my old customers still have them under the back legs of their sofa. Because it was a pain to move. So i said fk it and left them there. No problem why? Because ive been back twice a year to clean. So i just slid the sofa out cleaned then pushed it back. No tabs no help. Just get one of those string back packs that kids use for gym cloths. It keeps all your sliders together. Or they'll end up all over the place lol.
 

ACP

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Spray at least 4 rooms at a time, it won't dry out and even if it does it won't matter much unless the carpet is completely trashed.

We clean a lot of clean homes, many are just acid rinse or a very light alk rinse. If we pre spray in most cases well spray the stairs and the whole upstairs and don't have any issues with it drying out.

I agree with Fedri, scrubbing is only for the dirty ones which a CRB makes really quick work of.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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Unless they remove them completely from the area. It still slows you down with them moving as you work.

Go the big box store. Get as many sliders as you can. Buy all of them (for carpet). All sizes. Dont worry you'll use them and lose them. Some of my old customers still have them under the back legs of their sofa. Because it was a pain to move. So i said fk it and left them there. No problem why? Because ive been back twice a year to clean. So i just slid the sofa out cleaned then pushed it back. No tabs no help. Just get one of those string back packs that kids use for gym cloths. It keeps all your sliders together. Or they'll end up all over the place lol.

I still have some sliders (a box) from the guy I bought my prochem legend xl from.
 
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ACP

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Unless they remove them completely from the area. It still slows you down with them moving as you work.

Go the big box store. Get as many sliders as you can. Buy all of them (for carpet). All sizes. Dont worry you'll use them and lose them. Some of my old customers still have them under the back legs of their sofa. Because it was a pain to move. So i said fk it and left them there. No problem why? Because ive been back twice a year to clean. So i just slid the sofa out cleaned then pushed it back. No tabs no help. Just get one of those string back packs that kids use for gym cloths. It keeps all your sliders together. Or they'll end up all over the place lol.
The harbor freight ones don't slide as well as the name brand ones but they are so cheap some days I just leave them instead of blocks.

When they go on sale the pack of all different sizes is $5
 
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keep it clean

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The harbor freight ones don't slide as well as the name brand ones but they are so cheap some days I just leave them instead of blocks.

When they go on sale the pack of all different sizes is $5
I buy the homer orange ones. For some reason they're cheaper then tan. Get about 16 3 1/2" per pack. Orange ones might be part of the black friday sale though. As i cant find them all the time.

Cheaper ones are made from a different plastic. Good ones are still slick even with gouges and scrapes. While others lose their shine they are no longer slick.
 

keep it clean

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The harbor freight ones don't slide as well as the name brand ones but they are so cheap some days I just leave them instead of blocks.

When they go on sale the pack of all different sizes is $5
For installing we use larger ones. But cost a lot more. They last over 10 years before finally cracking. They were called handi sliders or handi skids. Tools4flooring sells them. They have 4' and looks like 9" sizes. Ive moved old entertainment centers fully loaded with sony trinitron (big aazz tube tv) with ease. Used pry bar and 2x4 to jack it enough to slip a slider under it. Ive moved stuff heavy enough to snap my prybar. That only happened once. But once on those sliders it can be carefully pushed.
 

Jim Davisson

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I wonder if I can maintain wand speed like this with my Legend XL. I typically move a bit slower with more dry passes to maintain heat and shorten dry times. Maybe I'm too meticulous, but maybe needlessly so....

I would go insane cleaning that slow. He has to be jetted at something like 6 flow and at 550 psi with ¼" line is getting about 1.15 gpm to the floor with that rig. That is going to take extra time right off the top.