Tradaditional Window Cleaning Prices Residential Homes?

Discussion in 'Traditional Window Cleaning' started by WWC, Nov 6, 2012.

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  1. WWC

    WWC Well-Known Member
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    Hi,

    I am just setting up as a window cleaner. I thought I would start with residential houses first, and maybe go to shops if I can too. I have been doing a bit of research into prices of window cleaning, and wanted some advice please.

    I am interested in pricing and what you do for normal residential window cleans.


    (1) How do you price your jobs – time or per window / type of window?

    (2) Can you tell me what you charge per hour / per window / type of window? I realise that some of you may not want to publish this online, so could you please send me the info in a message?

    (3) Do you advertise your prices on your website or flyers etc?


    Thank You

    Paul
     
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  2. laddergarder

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    I wouldn't disclose exactly how we price up jobs, thats up to you to come up with a pricing structure that will ensure that you achieve a reasonable hourly rate. This can be very difficult when you are just starting out, because you are not up to speed, and don't know how quick you will become.

    I can tell you that our pricing structure, is based on the number of windows, and larger windows with more panes would be more expensive.

    I think to begin with if you can achieve £10-£12 per hour when just starting, your not too far off it. Once you are up to speed, you should be able to achieve close to £20 per hour. Hourly rates vary so much, even when you do use a pricing structure, so don't be overly concerned with it to begin with. A good starting point would be £1 per window, with a minimum of £5. You can then adjust that once you are a bit more experienced.

    I have seen prices being advertised before by window cleaners, but I think most will agree, its a bad idea. For two points. One your competitors could undercut you easily, and 2 if you haven't seen the job, you dont know whats involved, and IMO you will end up stuck with jobs, that should be allot more expensive.

    I say this all the time to newbies starting out, you have to do an analysis. Kind of like this...

    Hours you hope to work, say 30 per week * 48 weeks to give you 4 weeks off a year = 1440 hours a year.

    Ok so how much will it cost to run you business then

    Accountants fees £250
    Advertising £200
    Clothing £300
    Equipment £500
    Website Hosting £80
    Mobile Phone £420
    MOT £300
    Petrol £480
    Road Tax £180
    Stationary £50
    Van Insurance £500
    Van Repairs £300
    Public liability Insurance £120
    WC Licence(only scotland) £150
    Int 2 national insurance £150
    Bank Charges £150
    Percent of household bills, heating, water etc £100

    Total £4230

    Ok so you will have to pay yourself at least £6.19 per hour, so thats about £750 a month, over the full year, plus expenses, you would be at £13886 as a minimum running cost, which will give you a minimum hourly rate of £9.60.

    So that means, if you take less than £9.60, your making a loss, so aiming at £12 to start, then £20 when you up to speed, would be a good starting point.

    If after a good few months you can make, £20 per hour. You could take as much as 28k, giving you a salary of 24k after expenses. Your weekly sales target, while working on your own, would have to be above £600 per week, to achieve that.

    Hope that helps.

    look at how quick you can clean someones house, a family member or something, then come up with a structure, that will achieve that hourly rate you need to hit.
     
  3. M.K Cleaners.co.uk

    M.K Cleaners.co.uk Grand Master
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    Theres no realy answer that your question, I will recommened buying the book winning at window cleaning though
     
  4. WWC

    WWC Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for your input.

    The Gaffer - I didn't know about that book, I will have a look.
     
  5. mark m

    mark m Hero
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    Great reply
     
  6. Gushysfella

    Gushysfella Active Member
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    Top reply very, very well put! Full marks, that's a prim example of why I joined this forum credit where credits due well put mate. GF
     
  7. Border

    Border Newcomer
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    That's a great example of thinking about your costs and expenses, and what you need to earn to live, then breaking that down into an hourly rate.

    You need to price jobs at your minimum hourly rate as an absolute minimum. If you need to earn £20 per hour, then a job that will take you 30 mins needs to be charged at at least £10 - if you don't at least do that then you're scuppered.

    There's a few other things you might want to think about:

    VAT - at some point you may need to charge VAT. That £20 per hour target now becomes a £24 per hour target - be aware of that and be prepared

    What's better a 6 hour job at £120 or 24x15 minute jobs that earn £120? The one big job is great, but it's a blow if you lose it. You'll never earn £20 per hour with 24 jobs because you need to travel between them so your hourly rate will drop as you won't complete them in 6 hours - unless they are all in the same street.

    Don't forget to take travelling time into account. If your area is small it's maybe not such big deal but in our area travelling is a massive issue - some jobs are 2 hours drive from the starting point. To make £20 per hour you might need to be charging a minimum of at least £30 per hour for what I call "window cleaning hours" opposed to the number of hours you're out each day. You need to maximize window cleaning hours and minimize travelling hours. We have some jobs (not many, so don't get excited) where the hourly rate translates to something like £45 per working man hour - and we were the cheapest. We also have some terrible work where the hourly rate translates to £13.50 (our lowest paying job) and we're not happy with that because it uneconomical for the company to be doing work at that rate.

    Some jobs are just worth charging more for. It might only take you 45 minutes to clean and you think a min of £15 is enough (based on your £20 per hour average) but the job might be worth charging a lot more for.

    Don't get suckered into cutting your prices. You need to earn money. Don't worry about what others are charging, just charge what you think it is worth to you. It's easy when starting out taking lower paid work just to get some income, but at some point it will haunt you. We have a number of jobs I want the company to drop, but we've been doing them for years and it's a hard thing to do.

    Service and reputation (if you can get one or build one) count for more than prices. We regularly pick up work that other were doing for £5 and we might charge £15 or £20. Not saying it happens every time, but we can't do it for £5 so we give them our price. If we don't get it, then that's not nice but there's no point taking on unprofitable work and we know at the prices the other company is charging they will eventually let that customer down.

    Never forget, most people find it hard to find a window cleaner at all, never mind a reliable one they can trust and who does a good job. You might be aware of 30 other window cleaners in your area, but most customers will tell you, if you ask them, that window cleaners are hard to get.
     
  8. WWC

    WWC Well-Known Member
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    Many thanks everyone.

    You may not have given me the answers that I thought you may when I posted this question, but you have given me a lot of information that I need to bear in mind when developing my own pricing structure especially laddergarder and Border.

    The Gaffer - I ordered the book.

    Thanks,

    Paul
     
  9. Belfastcleaning

    Belfastcleaning Grand Master
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    Hey Paul, thing is its hard to give prices without having something to look at as homes come in all shapes and sizes.. I get calls asking how much for a 3 bed semi.. I have 3 bed semis at £6 and others at £20..

    If you want I could give you some examples with photos if that would be any better?
     
  10. M.K Cleaners.co.uk

    M.K Cleaners.co.uk Grand Master
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    Read it, then read it again, then read it again. Then... well you get it lol.

    The book should realy help you out a lot.
     
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