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Going too cheap on pricing

Spit & polish

Active member
Messages
166
Location
Essex
Sorry long one

When i canvass i seem to get alot of the houses i canvass what % of knockbacks are you happy with when customers ask for a price.

I have looked at rival firms prices about 8 firms (firms that have been about at least 2-3 years minimum, so should be full now and picking selectively)

And on say a 5 bed house i see £14 difference between firms.

Currently i find myself about £4 more than the cheaper ones of these on a 5 bed and about £10 less than the most expensive.

On small jobs like fronts only (door,2-3 windows) would most now start at say £10 in se /london. As i dont want to be too cheap yet i see some do a 3 bed from £13 f&b.

So was thinking maybe £10 minimum and from £15 front and back.

As most of my jobs are first cleans currently hard to tell if i am underpricing on time taken.

Currently got approx 8o ish customers since starting in march (other business is construction so not in a massive rush to grow as i have income from that).

 

Part Timer

Premium Member
Messages
9,697
Location
Sunderland Tyne and Wear
Currently got approx 8o ish customers since starting in march (other business is construction so not in a massive rush to grow as i have income from that).
I have another business but found that the windows business was growing very slowly. When I decided to do this full time the company doubled it's turnover in the first year, in other words the 5th years turnover was double year 4.

Personally I don't think it's something you can do "part time" However my area is saturated by cheap trad guys so might be possible in an area that isn't. 

 

Spit & polish

Active member
Messages
166
Location
Essex
@Part Timer i originally planned to grow it so i can put someone on the round (planned to buy batches of leads from green pro but as i couldnt i went canvassing).

Plan still to put someone full time on the windows but doing the cleaning myself currently on weekends (having a day off today) and allocated a week a month to windows so doesn't clash with building work.

So dont want to have a cheap round but dont want grow to slow and be too spread out.

 

ched999uk

Well-known member
Messages
2,966
Location
Lancashire
As you are not relying on the income from windows then if your prices are between the cheapest and highest then I would guess they are about right. That said if you are quoting for a building job what % do you expect to get? While windows are repeat work it's also something that is only a few quid a week to most people so probably not as considered a decision.

I would say win 80% of your quotes then you are in the ball park, if you get 100% then too cheap, if 10% then too expensive for that area! It's all about what the customer is happy with vs what you want as an hourly rate. 

Ultimately where do you see yourself with windows? Are you aiming to reduce building work? 

Depending on where you are in SE London I would say your prices might be too cheap. If you are doing a good job and getting near 100% of your quotes then I would up my quotes a bit till I am only getting say 80% of quotes (the 20% being due to price).

Just to add, I haven't actually started window cleaning - that's Monday ? but I have run other customer focused very competitive businesses in the past. I have been reading and researching for the last 18 months (covid stopped me starting sooner).

 

laddergarder

Well-known member
Messages
1,534
Location
Greenock, Scotland
Sorry long one

When i canvass i seem to get alot of the houses i canvass what % of knockbacks are you happy with when customers ask for a price.

I have looked at rival firms prices about 8 firms (firms that have been about at least 2-3 years minimum, so should be full now and picking selectively)

And on say a 5 bed house i see £14 difference between firms.

Currently i find myself about £4 more than the cheaper ones of these on a 5 bed and about £10 less than the most expensive.

On small jobs like fronts only (door,2-3 windows) would most now start at say £10 in se /london. As i dont want to be too cheap yet i see some do a 3 bed from £13 f&b.

So was thinking maybe £10 minimum and from £15 front and back.

As most of my jobs are first cleans currently hard to tell if i am underpricing on time taken.

Currently got approx 8o ish customers since starting in march (other business is construction so not in a massive rush to grow as i have income from that).
Don't be too focused on how much others charge, you'd be surprised at how many experienced wcs have gone out of business because they haven't kept there prices current.

Look at your actual costs, salaries, taxes, profit margins.

Asking pricing on a forum is interesting to gauge an overall idea of the market across the UK, but it really doesn't help you figure out what it cost you to provide your service. 

Once you know your own figures, if you busy busy, charge a little more, if not, and your losing out to the competition, who are charging less, ask yourself how are they cheaper.

Becareful what you wish for here, because the truth may not be the kind of business you want to run. Higher targets, poorer wages, lower standard of work etc.

 

Iron Giant

Staff member
Moderator
Messages
8,990
Location
Durham
allocated a week a month to windows so doesn't clash with building work
In theory that sounds okay whilst the weather is good and everything is running smoothly, but when it isn't your two businesses will clash with each other,

dont want to have a cheap round but dont want grow to slow and be too spread out.
8 jobs since March is slow, it really depends what your long term plan is, if you intend on having a successful window cleaning businesses working 3-4 days a week and dropping the building work as it's heavy work maybe, 

A fella I have spoken to for years, used to have a successful landscaping business two vans and employee's about 10 years ago he wrapped it in and just went solo cherry picking the jobs he was happy to manage on his own, I remember him telling me he wanted to take it easy but he is always busy, not sure if he has the winters off though as I know a fella in his 60's who works Spring into late Autumn doing brickwork pointing and plastering but won't work through the winter as no need to with a decent pension. 

 

Spit & polish

Active member
Messages
166
Location
Essex
@Iron Giant its over 80 last count not 8 and picked up 5 new houses in 2 hours canvassing once i finished today. 

if i was full time i would say its slow but still got to do the building work, the cleans are mainly first cleans so take longer also. Basically plan to work long hours for next 12 months to make this a full time round then put someone on it, 

Same with the building work i am looking at get help in so im not on the tools so much just organising work and making some on the labour.

Long term i want both services to run without me. Well thats the aim!

 

HWCS

Premium Member
Messages
1,130
Location
North Norfolk
I dont tend to worry what anybody else charges for the simple reason i know if its in an area where i have alot if work but another cleaner has little to no work that ill be cheaper, but ive realised that doesnt mean im too cheap it just means ive got a more compact round.

I was told last week by a local cleaner that a house i charge £17 for he used to charge £22 and i undercut him (i didnt know and didnt actively chase the customer) the reason im £17 is because i have 5 houses in a row @ £17 so £85 in an hour, he had the 1 house @ £22 and i know he would take 25mins and only had that 1 house so his hourly rate in 70-80% lower than mine.

 

Spit & polish

Active member
Messages
166
Location
Essex
Currently aiming at approx £40 ph but at the moment its probably be quite a bit less as most i have on 1 road is 5 houses.

@HWCS5 houses in an hour seems good going is that by yourself.

 

Spit & polish

Active member
Messages
166
Location
Essex
At 5 houses an hour i thought i need get my finger out,

one of the cleaners i knew use to be like that but i think it was 4 houses he use to do trad (hyper active), he would just do about 4 hours and stop once he earned what he wanted

(he did most of the council estate where he lived and started it about 20 years back so was compact).

 

Spit & polish

Active member
Messages
166
Location
Essex
.@moto i need to be tougher on prices. Suppose we get tempted to win every " how much is it".

I need to remember their be a house just around the corner that needs cleaning.

 

Dale Harries

New member
Messages
14
Location
Swansea
It's hard in the early months, leads slow down and the temptation is to low ball to get work in. I certainly have done this since I started but I'm slowly learning what a decent price is for most things.

Just keep chugging on is my advice. Eventually the phone will ring enough that you can begin to cherry pick on pricing and the work you want to be doing.

 
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