If you're interested in starting your own cleaning service, you will need to be able to set rates so you will know how much to charge. When you set rates, there are several factors to consider, such as the amount of time it takes you to clean, your desired hourly wage and the current market rate for cleaning services in your area.
Determine how long it takes you to clean a given area of space. For example, how long will it take you to clean a bathroom? A kitchen? A bedroom? Most cleaning services will price the cost of a visit based on the size of the house–after all, it is much more time consuming to clean an eight-bedroom mansion than a one-bedroom apartment. To decide what you will charge for different size areas, you need to think about how long it takes you to clean a given room, on average.
Determine how much you need to make per hour. This will impact your rates as well. For example, if you plan on working 40 hours per week and you need to make $600 per week to pay your bills and expenses, then you will generally need to charge at least $15 per hour to meet your monetary goals. Don't forget to factor in the fact that you are being paid in pretax dollars in most cases – that means you need to keep track of your income and send the appropriate amount of money to the IRS for taxes. You should factor this in when determining your hourly wage.
Compare your hourly wage to the going market rate. For example, if you decide it would take you two hours to clean a 3,000 square-foot house and that you need to make $20 per hour, then you would arrive at a rate of $40 to clean a house of that size. See how much other cleaning services would charge for a similar job by calling local cleaning services or looking at classified ads for local cleaners. If your price seems too high or too low, you will need to adjust it. You want to be competitive, while still earning the money you deserve.
Don't forget to consider your overhead. Factor in the cost of your travel to and from cleaning engagements, and the cost of cleaning supplies if your clients do not provide them.
Alexis Writing has many years of freelance writing experience. She has written for a variety of online destinations, including Peternity.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Rochester.