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Thursday's Ask the Experts: Bidding Conundrum

December 31, 2009
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Thursday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) Ask the Experts page: For a year now, I''ve cleaned a 2,600-square-foot office space once a week. I charge $250.00 per month. Even though this office is small, it has desks all over the place, carpet, vinyl plank and five bathrooms.
I spend around 2.5 hours cleaning it. I tried to figure out how much I charge per square foot, so here is what I did: $250.00 / 2,600 square feet = The result is $.096 per square foot. $250.00 x 12 month = $3,000 per year 3,000 / 52 weeks = $57.69 per week 57.69 x 5 days a week = $288.00 per week 288.00 x 52 = $14,999 per year 14,999 / 12 month = $1,249 per month 1,249 / 2,600 square feet = $.48 per square foot.
I know it is complicated, but can someone help me? I don''t know what I''m doing wrong. Which one is it? $.09 or $.48? The $0.09 is way too low, the 0.48 is way too high.
I already have this account, and I''m doing fine. I have been in business for over two years, and know I really want to stop guessing prices and start really making them work for me.
The answer:
To make a uniform industrial comparison, normally a building is calculated by the square foot on a five-day a week schedule (monthly price ÷ total cleanable square feet).
However, in your case you are cleaning only once a week. So, you have two options: Extend the price as if you were cleaning five times a week, or calculate the price per time.
Your cleaning price per time ($57.69 ÷ 2600) is .02218 per square foot. But, my observation is that your cleaning rate (2600 ÷ 2.5 hours) is only 1,040 square feet per hour. This rate is about 1/2 of what most contractors would clean at.
I wonder if you are cleaning ... — Gary Clipperton, National Pro Clean Corporation
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