How to Price a Commercial Cleaning Job? 8 Steps to Follow

There is an obvious difference between residential and commercial cleaning services as the price charged by businesses vary depending on several factors. 

Residential cleaning service is all about cleaning floors, rooms, and ceilings of a particular house. Whereas commercial cleaning service includes cleaning buildings, offices, and stores. 

Hence, commercial cleaning services are more expensive than residential cleaning services. 

As the residential cleaning jobs demand minimal effort, the pricing depends on just a few factors such as replacement needs and manpower expenses. 

But for commercial cleaning jobs, the companies must follow different pricing factors to ensure profitability with the cleaning projects. 

Steps to Price a Commercial Cleaning Job

If you wrongly price commercial cleaning jobs, you will end up paying a high operating cost with low-profit margins. Hence, your company will have to incur the loss.

Here are the steps to educate you on the best ways to avoid losses and choosing ideal commercial cleaning prices to run a profitable business:

Step 1: Determine the commercial cleaning prices (average rates)

Commercial cleaning costs are specified in terms of per square foot and per hour unit. The rates tend to vary from a range of $50 to $100 per hour and $0.07 to $0.15 per square foot. The average commercial cleaning cost is $0.11 per square foot or $75 per hour

If you are offering some commercial cleaning specialties, then there is a different pricing range for the companies to follow for each of the services:

Commercial Cleaning Types Average Range of Rates
Stripping & waxing services $0.30 – $0.50 per square foot
Ceramic tile cleaning services $0.12 – $0.21 per square foot
Window cleaning services $2 – $5 per window pane
Carpet cleaning services $0.08 – $0.25 per square foot
Buffing & barnishing services $0.04 – $0.12 per square foot

You need to take sufficient notes from your client to be able to price the service request realistically. It should be fair for the customers, but you should also make a profit. 

Step 2: Understand the client’s needs

As stated above, it is important to have sufficient information on what the client needs. When you are deciding on the perfect price for your commercial cleaning service contract, you need to do your bit of the research first. 

Even though you know what the market is charging customers on commercial cleaning jobs, you still cannot depend upon it to price all the projects that come your way. 

You need to know what the client’s business is all about and what kind of facility it is to predict the manpower, effort, and overall cost of cleaning operations. 

Therefore, you need to visit the commercial space in person and walk around the property. Share details with the owner about how many workers you will need to clean the requested area of a commercial space. 

Following that, you can take permission from the client to click pictures for better knowledge of what you can expect. 

Depending on the chargeable elements such as the job location, cleaning type, building size, and the required manpower, you can further price your job in the service request. 

Keep in mind the average rates per square foot of different services, which is the base price for your offering. Depending on the above factors, you can decide whether to work with the base price range or at the maximum. 

More consumption of resources and workers at any commercial cleaning project will gradually increase the overhead costs. As a result, the commercial cleaning prices will increase! 

If you don’t charge a percentage of these additional costs from your customers and stay fixed on the market estimates, you will incur a heavy loss. 

Step 3: Calculate the overheads in detail

Overheads are nothing but the overall operational cost that is to be considered while specifying commercial cleaning rates. Apart from resources and manpower, overhead costs also include using cell phones, internet, travel costs, vehicle running costs, office rent, insurance, and marketing. 

Apart from these, some of the other considerations you must make during a site visit to understand overhead expenses and determine the commercial cleaning rates are:

  • Use of special equipment or other essentials beyond the general cleaning practices
  • Frequency of cleaning that the building or office space needs 
  • Usage levels of different cleaning products for the site 
  • Additional requests from clients
  • Determining the spaces that are cleanable or non-cleanable 
  • Estimating the charges of supply vendors

The best way to impose overhead costs on the pricing estimate is by adding a 20-25% overhead markup on the total bill. Hence, the total labor cost, service cost, and overhead cost will be mentioned in the price quotation of your customer. 

Step 4: Ask your client about the experience they had with their previous cleaning contractor

When you meet the client, ask them questions about their likings and dislikings with previous cleaning contractors (if any). It might be possible for the office building or the commercial property to have past experiences with other cleaning companies before you . 

Get insight into the issues that the client faced with the old commercial cleaning company and why they are willing to switch to a new one. 

By understanding the expectations and motives of your client, you will be able to offer them the best commercial cleaning rates with high service proficiency. 

For instance, if service quality was the problem with the previous commercial cleaning professionals, then you can assure them of proficiency by using high-quality equipment that is unique to your commercial cleaning company. But you can also make them aware of the minimal added cost they will have to pay to get high-end cleaning services. 

This is the smartest way of altering the price quotation, depending upon what better the client is expecting from you over the previous commercial cleaning companies.

Step 5: Calculate the square footage for the facility that needs cleaning

The first step informs you about the per square foot pricing of a few commercial cleaning services, such as carpet cleaning, buffing, tile cleaning, and waxing services. 

But irrespective of the type of services and the per square foot cleaning cost, you will have to determine the total square footage of the site before giving out the free cost estimate to your client. 

The effort to measure the site before predicting a price will ensure its accuracy. Hence, the commercial cleaning clients turn up to companies that can offer them accurate price predictions, than the tentative pre-specified prices. 

The cleanable square footage is identified by separating the cleanable rooms and non-cleanable spaces in a property. And you must have already determined the same from step three. 

Whether you are working on an office, park, or hospital cleaning project, you need to determine the cleanable square footage. 

If the client doesn’t provide you with the square footage details, then you need to send an expert to the site for an inspection. Ask the expert to measure the square footage of the entire property and subtract the square footage of the non-cleanable areas. 

Step 6: Determine the time needed for cleaning

In the next step, you should count on determining the time needed for the specified count of employees to complete the cleaning job. Talk to your employees about it and pre-determine the time needed for cleaning a site of specific square footage. 

Decide a price for the tentative time window and add the same to other billable entities of the cleaning project. The price quote will be almost ready to be sent to the client. 

Step 7: Add your profit margin

Before finalizing the price quote, you need to add your profit margin. The profit markup or percentage that you decide will be above all of your operating costs. Commercial cleaning businesses often charge a markup of 30%, which will give you a profit margin of around 23%. 

The profit markup is considered as the rise in the cost price of the service or product to reach the selling price. And the profit margin is defined as the selling price minus the cost of a service or product. It is the simple difference between these two terms! 

Step 8: Submit and take feedback

Now that your free cost estimate based on all the billable elements is ready, frame it in an excel file and send it to the client. 

Take follow-ups after a while over a call or through email. And if they do not give you the cleaning project, then seek the reason for denial. It will help you work on preparing more convincing quotes in the future.

Factors That Influence the Pricing of Commercial Cleaning Job

If you want an evident answer on what factors to consider while deciding on commercial cleaning costs for the dedicated services, this section has summed them up for you:

1. Size: The bigger the cleanable space, the higher the price. 

2. Time: The time needed for cleaning the total cleanable square footage. 

3. Manpower: The number of staff needed for cleaning the site within a specified time. If the client wants the cleaning to be done in less time, more workers will be deployed for the job with a higher commercial cleaning cost. 

4. Cleaning type- The commercial cleaning job decides the type of equipment necessary for the cleaning process. Hence, it contributes to the pricing decision.  

5. Location: The location of the cleaning site decides whether the team must travel a long or short distance with the equipment. The price is decided accordingly. 

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Specify a unit cost for every billable element in your commercial cleaning price quote. For instance, the cost per employee, per hour, per square foot, and other considerations should be ready.
Depending upon the requirement and demands, multiply the unit prices with the required amounts. And finally, total all of the costs with overhead fee and profit margin percentage to quote a commercial cleaning job.
Commercial cleaning management applications are also digital job scheduling tools for a business that needs to assign staff to different field jobs. Irrespective of whether you are offering residential or office cleaning services, you will have to schedule the services as per the availability of employees and on time.
Apart from that, the commercial cleaning application will also be able to collect customer details on the cleaning project. And if they fail to provide the same, you can mention it to your inspection team while arranging a visit to their site before sending the price quote.
There are many more features to a digital scheduling software that you can experience once you implement it with your office cleaning services.
No, every bit of discount or incentive that you want to offer to select clients with big commercial cleaning projects can be done only from the profit markup or margin. You need to recover the operational and overhead costs from the client.

FieldCamp is a Modern Scheduling Software to Streamline Your Commercial Cleaning Business

FieldCamp is one of the best cleaning business software that you need right away to streamline the major operations of your commercial cleaning business. 

This tool helps you respond immediately to job requests that come for your brand. When you get the request for a price estimate, you can arrange an inspection visit to the site and get all the measurements and values required for preparing the quote. 

You can then schedule follow-ups with your clients over FieldCamp and proceed further with the service requests. 

Not just that, you can also give necessary instructions to the workers with respect to the clients’ needs. On completion of the job, you can create an invoice for the services in just one click. 

All you are requested to do is add values to the bill per the price quote, and also the extra services carried out on the spot. 

We are promoting the efficacy of FieldCamp and request you to take a to learn more about these features by yourself. For more information, get in touch with our team of consultants.

Author Bio

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs.