How to set your prices for carpet cleaning - Do's & Don'ts | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

How to set your prices for carpet cleaning - Do's & Don'ts

leanbiz

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I agree 100%. I asked Jeff a couple weeks ago how to make the change from where I am to where he is. The hard thing is my customer base I have built up....well you see what Jeff said above. If I went into one of my customers and charged what Jeff does I would be shown the door. To be like Jeff I basically need to walk away from all my current customers and start over.

Maybe... but run your numbers! You might be surprised what you could do. For example:

If your cleaning job today is $150, raise your price 25%. It sounds like a lot but that comes out to ~$187 or only ~$37 more.

If you where at $150 before, now at $187 you could lose 20% of your customers ( put another way, do 20%+ less work) and still make the same amount of money. That should free up some time and money to find higher value customers.
 

Mojo Rising

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I did a job for a customer the other day, I'm not going to get in details but I charge them $150 it took me 3.5 hours to complete, next day I had 2 jobs schedule and finished both in 3.5 hours and made $465, then I realized and call my self stuped and delete the $150 customer from my customer list, I am not cleaning for them anymore unless they pay me what I want.


You are right.. there is a certain point where you can start to fire the less profitable jobs.. it is scary at first with a big price increase but you will find that you get better customers and less dirty carpets.
 
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Mojo Rising

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How did you get the knowledge and skills to deliver the quality and develop a clientele with that level of pricing?

The best piece of advice is look at the job from the customers perspective.. what they see and experience when you are there working. If you really understand your customer and what they want to experience then you can charge a higher price for that. This is why I carry that tote of goodies in with me to every job.. the floor covers, wet floor signs, corner guards and so on.. we also start in the area they are going to use first and thrown most of my fans in that room.. the airpath dries the carpet very quick and customers keep raving about it.

So its not so much the technical side that really shines in the customers view.. its the experience they have with your company. If you have the skill of knowing what the consumer wants to experience then that is how you charge higher prices. The cleaning of the carpet is the easy part.. its the everything else you need to worry about.
 
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rob allen

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Great post. A ton of guys here give way to much creedence that customers can't afford to pay more IMO.
So true Mike. Here's a classic example. We are in the process of moving. Wife wants new bed set. Our old one retailed for 3500.00 (we shopped it and got it for 2500.00) for bed frame,headboard and one dresser.

Our niece loves to buy and sell stuff on Facebook and Craigslist. So we told her we wanted to sell our set. She came over for lunch and took pics. Then she says how much? Wife said 1700.00. She said no way someone pay that much for used stuff. We insisted she post it. Sold in 2 days and we gave her 100.00 for her time.

She said she was shocked. I said don't judge what people will pay for something based on what you would pay. There are plenty who will pay top dollar for quality items and service. And that's the market we want to target. It's a small market so just the bottom feeders have the rest.
 

rob allen

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Great post. A ton of guys here give way to much creedence that customers can't afford to pay more IMO.
So true Mike. Here's a classic example. We are in the process of moving. Wife wants new bed set. Our old one retailed for 3500.00 (we shopped it and got it for 2500.00) for bed frame,headboard and one dresser.

Our niece loves to buy and sell stuff on Facebook and Craigslist. So we told her we wanted to sell our set. She came over for lunch and took pics. Then she says how much? Wife said 1700.00. She said no way someone pay that much for used stuff. We insisted she post it. Sold in 2 days and we gave her 100.00 for her time.

She said she was shocked. I said don't judge what people will pay for something based on what you would pay. There are plenty who will pay top dollar for quality items and service. And that's the market we want to target. It's a small market so just the bottom feeders have the rest.
 

Carlo Pro

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I do have my prices, last couple of months it's been hard because some people want to pay "Craigslist prices" sometimes, seriously guys, some people still charging $20 or less for room??? whole house for $99 or some $129 up to 2500 sq. ft.???
I know those are the future candidates, to go out the business anytime soon, but meanwhile they keep ruin the market.
Thank God, I can say: "call somebody else" but lately I've been saying that, more frequently, so you can see there is something wrong.
 

awratchford

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I do have my prices, last couple of months it's been hard because some people want to pay "Craigslist prices" sometimes, seriously guys, some people still charging $20 or less for room??? whole house for $99 or some $129 up to 2500 sq. ft.???
I know those are the future candidates, to go out the business anytime soon, but meanwhile they keep ruin the market.
Thank God, I can say: "call somebody else" but lately I've been saying that, more frequently, so you can see there is something wrong.
What's wrong is the morons pricing themselves out of business. Yes they affect those of us who charge real business prices. Usually when i get a price shopper i do my best to educate them on some basics such as on average i spend .03 per sq ft on gas, .03 sq ft on detergents, that's .06 right there per sq ft that no cleaner gets around. Off of a 99 dollar job thats gonna take me 2 hours i make @30 dollars or 15 a hour, i then ask the client, is this the caliber of work you want in your home? Or do you want a professional? Usually i end up with the client

Just for the record i average .28-.30 a sq ft
 

Carlo Pro

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What's wrong is the morons pricing themselves out of business. Yes they affect those of us who charge real business prices. Usually when i get a price shopper i do my best to educate them on some basics such as on average i spend .03 per sq ft on gas, .03 sq ft on detergents, that's .06 right there per sq ft that no cleaner gets around. Off of a 99 dollar job thats gonna take me 2 hours i make @30 dollars or 15 a hour, i then ask the client, is this the caliber of work you want in your home? Or do you want a professional? Usually i end up with the client

Just for the record i average .28-.30 a sq ft
Yes, unfortunately there are some that doesn't even want to hear about it. which we don't even needed as a customers.
 
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Prosteam-sonomacounty

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So true Mike. Here's a classic example. We are in the process of moving. Wife wants new bed set. Our old one retailed for 3500.00 (we shopped it and got it for 2500.00) for bed frame,headboard and one dresser.

Our niece loves to buy and sell stuff on Facebook and Craigslist. So we told her we wanted to sell our set. She came over for lunch and took pics. Then she says how much? Wife said 1700.00. She said no way someone pay that much for used stuff. We insisted she post it. Sold in 2 days and we gave her 100.00 for her time.

She said she was shocked. I said don't judge what people will pay for something based on what you would pay. There are plenty who will pay top dollar for quality items and service. And that's the market we want to target. It's a small market so just the bottom feeders have the rest.
Another good example is hotels. Some things I will look for a cheap price but when it comes to staying in a hotel, I want to be in something that is nice.
Doesn't have to be The Ritz Carlton but I won't stay in an inexpensive hotel.
If we call ahead to book a room in a new location and hear an Indian accent, I just hang up.
If a hotel price is too low, it sends off a red flag.
For most prospects who have nice homes and possessions , they avoid low price services of any kind.
Yes, there are rich people with fuked up purchasing habits but they are the exception, not the rule.
 
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CallBetties

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Throwing in my two cents worth as a business owner and a consumer. We take calls for carpet cleaners so we are on the front lines of getting great feedback from your customers. Here's some insight:

1. KISS - Keep it stupidly simple. Pick a pricing model and make it simple. If you want variables that's what monthly specials are for. Customers get so confused by pricing and most of them don't know the sq ft of their rooms and their furniture which leaves them frustrated because they need a ballpark idea and if they are guessing 1500 Sq ft and it's 2200 Sq ft they will be pissed when the bill arrives.

2. Leave customers with something extra. For my husbands kitchen and bath countertop resurfacing business we leave behind a spray bottle (smells like coconut..mmm) and a cloth with a gift tag attached to the bottle that has after care instructions AND our logo and contact info (so they will have it on hand when ready to refer to friends).

3. Get reviews. Have your techs tell the customers that they receive incentives based on their reviews and ask if they would be so kind as to go online and leave a review. You may even have an ipad with the review site pulled up for their convenience.

4. Answer your phone! An unanswered phone is like a closed sign for a business. 67% of people will hang up and call someone else. If you can't answer hire a service that will so you never lose business.

5. Join a great leads group and show up every week.
 
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smartcarpetcare

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I agree 100%. I asked Jeff a couple weeks ago how to make the change from where I am to where he is. The hard thing is my customer base I have built up....well you see what Jeff said above. If I went into one of my customers and charged what Jeff does I would be shown the door. To be like Jeff I basically need to walk away from all my current customers and start over.

I am nowhere nearly as big as you are, Todd, but in the same boat. I started dressing in my uniform, even when shopping. People look at my jacket logo, I give them a card and smile. They pay almost double what my 'old' client base does. They don't see me as I was.

I have friends, etc. that try to beat me, but newer clients see me differently, as I have changed, and grown (THANKS TMF GUYS!!!). Kinda weird. Newer, shiny equipment, tie, hospital booties, you know. Old custys say, "Wow, you ARE moving up!!" Still pay poop. UGH.
 

thetruck

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WHEN A CUSTOMER SEES A TECH. PULL OUT A TAPE MEASURE THEY ARE THINKING "HERE WE GO, SALES MAN" And tend not to call back. (A tape measure = used car sales man)
 

Gregory10

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Many are confused when starting a business of how to set their prices. They have a tendency to look in the wrong places. Here are a few valuable tips;

1) Don't shop your competition.
2) Don't think if I'm cheaper everyone will call me instead
3) Don't start off with no business plan.
4) Don't think people can't afford to pay more
5) Don't set your prices according to YOUR living standards

The problem with using the above model can lead a business to failure fast. Or keep you "in a job" rather "in a business". Actually if added up the profit to hour ratio you might as well kept working for someone else. So prices must be set properly to properly succeed. Really if your prices are not designed to generate handsome profits then your designing a business model of failure. Instead you must do the things below.

1) Do set prices to generate good to very good profits.
2) Do pick up a TMF pricing guide
3) Do sit down and make a pricing plan
4) Do realize a lot of people can and will pay more for quality.
5) Do establish a vision for your company

Like I said if your not sure what to charge TMF provides a complete suggested service price list for only 5.00. Less than a good hamburger. Then after you get it meditate on a vision of where you want to be in 1-2-3-4 and even 5 years. I am actually friends with a former IBM CEO. He told me he always plans out 5 years ahead. Most cleaners have no plan. Not good.

Now back to setting prices. Figure up your expenses of doing a job based on;

1) Equipment & Chemical costs
2) Insurance & Taxes
3) Gas & maintenance
4) Time involved in doing a per quality job
5) Marketing

We have made it so simple with the TMF price listing. On average most cleaners are doing about 100.00 an hour. Make sure you elevate your perceived value for your services if they are low. Don't run ads or create marketing material below the consumers perceived value level. Now that being said there is nothing wrong with running a discount for "first time clients" and then charging your set prices from there. But use %'s off rather than set prices. Then if you deliver mind blowing quality and service the client will not care about price. Believe me I know. ;)

Rob

Link for Master Price List. (Yes you can blow it up and write down most of the prices or you could get this hard durable copy & spend 10.00 to support TMF. Oh and get a free carpet cleaning wristband too :D )

http://shop.truckmountforums.com/products/complete-industry-price-list
Just bought the list Rob,thanks !
 
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Vet

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I'm new only completed one job, what do I know. I do know that I clean the way I would want my home to look. People see bull crap coming before they can meet you. If you can't close on anything then you shouldn't get into sales profession. Trust and Creditable is key for me....
 

Keith Kool Shannon

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WHEN A CUSTOMER SEES A TECH. PULL OUT A TAPE MEASURE THEY ARE THINKING "HERE WE GO, SALES MAN" And tend not to call back. (A tape measure = used car sales man)
My customers love the digital tape measure.
 

drift56

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WHEN A CUSTOMER SEES A TECH. PULL OUT A TAPE MEASURE THEY ARE THINKING "HERE WE GO, SALES MAN" And tend not to call back. (A tape measure = used car sales man)
Thats part of the reason I price per Room. Never walk away from your customer or sit in front of them calculating. 7 x $x is easy to do in your head.

Other reasons include; not cleaning sml furnished rooms with breakables for $10, easy of phone quotes for "Standard" Cleaning, not having to manage the logistics of estimates, not wasting time/money on giving estimates that dont pay off, and not seaming like that sleazy sales guy by refusing/delaying to answer the price question...

if I have to ask the price more than twice I hang up on guys trying to sale me crap. Within 5 mins, 10 questions I can give an pretty accurate base price that will satisfy 95% of customers needs (if their honest) and communicate that any special issues will be inspected & addressed prior to the cleaning.