ICAN/ATEX: How can I prudently price commercial cleaning services?

Many cleaning professionals visit the International Custodial Advisers Network (ICAN) Ask the Experts page for insight and, every business day, we deliver advice to better help you perform your job.

Tuesday’s Question:ICANATEX Logo

I need some assistance in pricing commercial cleaning services for a car dealership with 5 buildings

We just started cleaning the smaller 3 buildings which equal almost 6800 square feet. We are currently charging $.25/sq. ft. for cleaning 3x/wk (this takes us about 2 1/2-3 hrs each time).

We are about to bid on the remaining 2 larger buildings, and I need some help for quoting a price! The 2 larger buildings total around 20,000 sq. ft. and will need to be cleaned 6x/wk.

Cleaning includes trash removal (we supply the bags), sweeping, mopping (90% is ceramic tile), cleaning multiple stall restrooms in each building, weekly dusting of desks, cleaning breakrooms including appliances (weekly), reception areas (daily), cleaning windows (weekly), and high/low dust monthly. We supply all cleaning products.

Right now it’s just my daughter and me cleaning the smaller buildings as a part-time job, but I will be cleaning full-time (quitting my current full-time job!) if we get the bigger buildings. I am not sure how to quote a price for the bigger buildings. Should I keep the $.25/sq. ft.even though we will be cleaning 3 more times a week on the larger buildings?

I have seen online that typically more square footage equals a lower per sq. ft. price, but if I am cleaning it more frequently, how does that make sense to lower the sq. footage price? The areas are heavy traffic, with the floors being the worst and most time consuming!

We are not really in competition with anyone (the current cleaning crew is terrible), as my husband works at the dealership (my cleaning company), but I don’t want to insult the management with an outrageous quote. Any help would be great!

Tuesday’s Answer:

You don’t say if the 25 cents a sq. ft. is the weekly price, monthly rate, or the annual. Obviously, that will make a difference.
Let me run with what I think you are saying and we can look the numbers.

If your charge is weekly, you are getting $1700 (.25 x 6800) for the 9 hours a week service. That tallies to $189 an hour!!!.

I can’t believe the dealership would pay that, so let’s use that price as a monthly charge. That gives us a $392 a week payout (1700 x 12 / 52). That figures out to be $44 per hour, unless the phrase “takes us about” means that the two of you spend the 3 hours together for a total man, excuse me, woman hours of 18. (2 x 3 x 3). That would drop the hourly charge to $22 per woman hour.

That is not really high and you have the option … Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor.

To read this response in its entirety, click here.


Posted On December 4, 2012

Lynn Krafft


Topics Tags

Also in Facility Management

commercial stone floors
June 18, 2020 Fred Hueston

9 Steps for Maintaining Commercial Stone Floors

May 11, 2020 Lori Strazdas

3 Steps to Take Before Reopening Your Facility

May 1, 2020 Chris Whiting

5 Best Practices for Reopening Your Facility

April 8, 2020 Laura Haupert

How Do I Get Rid of That Smell?

Sponsored in Facility Management

The Sequel is Never This Good
December 16, 2019 Sponsored by ProTeam

The Sequel is Never This Good

September 16, 2019 Sponsored by GEERPRES 

Perfect Combination for the Fight Against Cross-Contamination and HAIs

September 10, 2019 Sponsored by 3M BUILDING & COMMERCIAL 

Disinfection Tips for a Cleaner, Safer Floor Care Plan

June 6, 2019 Sponsored by ProTeam

Blue Valley Schools Go Cordless for Speed & Safety

Recent News

Tennant Names Top K-12 Custodian
July 1, 2020 CMM Daily News

Tennant Names Top K-12 Custodian

July 1, 2020 CMM Daily News

Kimberly-Clark Seeks Top Environmental Services Professional

July 1, 2020 CMM Daily News

CMI Hosts First Virtual Train the Trainer Workshop

July 1, 2020 CMM Daily News

Three States and Washington D.C. Hike Minimum Wage

ICAN/ATEX: How can I prudently price commercial cleaning services?
Share Article
Subscribe to CMM