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better tool = more dollar per hour??
#1
or do you just lower your price so you supposedly get more work?

Pretty soon my trinity will be here & it is the age old question...

If it does the job 35% faster than the old tools... do I lower the price of using it or do I say better tool makes me more money when I do use it?

what would you do?
(I know what our industry does - it lowers the price of cleaning!)

your opinion please
Con
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#2
Naah, just hang around after you're finished with the work and look busy. Tongue

Really, I wouldn't lower my prices because of efficiency.
Although I could see some home owners saying "what the hell" if you finished "too soon".

If someone does say anything, you can always tell them the truth. The better equipment DOES help me to be more efficient. Right tool for the job etc etc.

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#3
I find this to be a strange question from someone that has been in the business as long as you. Why would you lower your price for doing a better job in less time then the competition? And why would you even think about lowering your price for doing work faster and better then you did before?

That dosnt even make sense. People pay for the service you provide. If you can do it faster and better that just means youre service is worth more not less.
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#4
If you lower your price, are you going to be able to pick up another job in a day to make the same amount of money in a day you're making now? If not, then why lower your price, and give your services away? From what I understand Con, you're usually booked with work. And you charge more than most in your area. So, I get the impression that you're not scrambling for money/jobs, you do quality work. People pay for quality.

I run into this with my janitorial accounts. I can use a mop and bucket to clean VCT flooring. Or I can fire up one of my autoscrubbers, do a better job, and be done quicker. I bid all my janitorial accounts with using basic tools. If I'm willing to invest in expensive equipment to do a better/quicker job, why should they get a deal? With the Trinity, you'll do a better job and be done quicker. Impress people more and use the extra money to buy another Trinity. If GM comes out with a new truck, they don't sell it for the same price as one from 10 years ago. It's new technology and (supposedly) a better vehicle.

Just my opinion.
Brent

Keep it Clean, Keep it Longer.
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#5
I have to agree with the guys above. I wouldn't lower my price. Your customers are paying for a good job not how fast you go. IMO they would want you out quickly anyway! Tell me how well does the trinity work?
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#6
If a tool helps you to clean better then I would probably charge a little more when I use that tool. If it cleans the same but helps you be more productive, I'd probably leave my rate alone.

However if the tool allows you to dramatically increase your production on large contracts and you can now be competitive in bids that you normally would not have been, then yes on those specific contracts I would lower my cleaning rate.

Here is where many cleaners get lost with cleaning rates and commercial work.
Lets say you clean residentially for .40 sq/ft and you can clean 300sq/ft and hour. 300 x .40=$120.00...a fair amount right? Sure!

Now with this super duper tool you purchased you can now clean at an amazing rate of 2000sq/ft per hour of commercial glue down carpet.

Lets say you charge .09 a sq/ft, I know NINE CENTS, who can make any money at nine cents?

2000 x .09 =$180.00

Shock, you're making more at .09 sq/ft than you were residentially charging .40sq/ft . Yikes

So while a residential cleaner can puff his chest out and say how much he gets a SQ/FT, a commercial cleaner looks at production and how much is generated per hour, not per sq/ft.


I understand your comment of lowering the price of cleaning (the rate you charge), but the end result should be you are rewarded with more income for having a machine that is more productive. Cool

You never rolled in the hay
Ya never thrown it in four wheel
Climb on up in here, girl
Let me show ya how country feels


"How Country Feels" Randy Houser


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#7
But the perception of the customer is what can be the issue.

If you're going to do a job quicker...you might want to step up your service in other areas as well.

I'm not sure what your level of service is...but there is always something you can do.

If you're making more money in a day, you can maybe a give a little more away. (hey that rhymed Tongue )

Giving away a 32 oz spotter instead of an 8 oz...etc etc etc.

Just something for the value added service that they "see" instead of the value added service they may think is a "hurry up" job.

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#8
(Nick, I wont have my trinity for another week & 1/2)

OK gents, I too agree with your comments... but what happened then to the cimex? we were cleaning com work for .10 - 14 before it existed all the time, now it is down to .05 - 9.

Personally I think our industry has mental block - that we'll charge enough to make that $100/hr magical number - regardless of the toys involved or their proficency.

back in the early 80's, Cleaners all over were charging .25 / ft to clean res... now many are cleaning for a lot less than this. But we have way better toys now than the porty we had back then.

I find it ironic that we ourselves as an industry put the ceiling on our own income in real life.

& yes, I too wonder if my pricing will lower because I buy a faster tool such as the trinity!??? Instead of taking home more $$

Con
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#9
Co I wouldn't lower my prices either.
Just consider yourself ahead of the pack in production and reap the rewards.

But please report back honestly about vibration levels in that new machine.


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#10
Great post Richard,

I'm still fairly new to CC'ing. So that's a cool way to look at it. 95% or my work is res. simply because I'm in a town of about 3500 people, and there just isn't that many commercial carpets to clean. But I love the info, thanks.
Brent

Keep it Clean, Keep it Longer.
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#11
I wouldn't lower price in residential. If I could save 30%-35% of the time needed I would offer to clean the furniture for 20%-30% off. On commercial I'd look for larger jobs if they could be done that much faster and price accordingly.
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#12
The reason prices keep coming down is competition. When it took all day with a porty to do three jobs and you were trashed at the end of the day you felt $600 was a good day.

Most people do not raise their prices to make life easier for themselves, they raise them because they can't pay their bills. Many guys talk themselves down in price on jobs or throw in extra rooms or throw in extra service to get the job.

The real answer is ask for the job and shut up.


If you are standing there ready to work they will have you do the job.
That is how the bait and switchers get 10 times what they quoted out of a job.

Smile real nice, hand her the clipboard and pen with your estimate that you have been talking about and say

"Just Sign here so I can get started"

AND SHUT UP and show her your pearly Whites....

People hate silence. If she takes the pen she cannot give it back to you without signing.
The assumed close works so many times it is sad it is not used more often.

In the Bike shop after they rode three bikes I would ask "which color did you like the best?" She says Maroon and i walk to the cash register with the bike. She follows and buys it.
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking...

Henry Ford
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#13
(04-11-2011, 10:05 AM)Con Schultz Wrote: (Nick, I wont have my trinity for another week & 1/2)

OK gents, I too agree with your comments... but what happened then to the cimex? we were cleaning com work for .10 - 14 before it existed all the time, now it is down to .05 - 9.

Personally I think our industry has mental block - that we'll charge enough to make that $100/hr magical number - regardless of the toys involved or their proficency.

back in the early 80's, Cleaners all over were charging .25 / ft to clean res... now many are cleaning for a lot less than this. But we have way better toys now than the porty we had back then.

I find it ironic that we ourselves as an industry put the ceiling on our own income in real life.

& yes, I too wonder if my pricing will lower because I buy a faster tool such as the trinity!??? Instead of taking home more $$

Con

AAAAAhhhhhhhh I understand your question now. I thought you got ahold of some bad milk or something for a minute there.

Janitorial companies are what happened to the price of commercial cleaning. They have picked up a porty and think every commercial job is worth $.10 a sf ubless it is really big then they start dropping the price like a rock. Alot of the big companies just add it to part of the monthly billing and then go to town with a few porties. They dont really care whether it is done right or even if the customer complains. In alot of cases the customer dosnt even bother complaining cuz they are expecting a crappy job from the janitorial company.

When I first started my business I did alot of subcontracting for janitorial companies. And it was like pulling teeth to get the sales people to understand that cleaning a nasty greasy restraunt was way more expensive then cleaning an office suite.
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#14
(04-12-2011, 10:58 PM)kingjoelking Wrote:
(04-11-2011, 10:05 AM)Con Schultz Wrote: (Nick, I wont have my trinity for another week & 1/2)

OK gents, I too agree with your comments... but what happened then to the cimex? we were cleaning com work for .10 - 14 before it existed all the time, now it is down to .05 - 9.

Personally I think our industry has mental block - that we'll charge enough to make that $100/hr magical number - regardless of the toys involved or their proficency.

back in the early 80's, Cleaners all over were charging .25 / ft to clean res... now many are cleaning for a lot less than this. But we have way better toys now than the porty we had back then.

I find it ironic that we ourselves as an industry put the ceiling on our own income in real life.

& yes, I too wonder if my pricing will lower because I buy a faster tool such as the trinity!??? Instead of taking home more $$

Con

AAAAAhhhhhhhh I understand your question now. I thought you got ahold of some bad milk or something for a minute there.

Janitorial companies are what happened to the price of commercial cleaning. They have picked up a porty and think every commercial job is worth $.10 a sf ubless it is really big then they start dropping the price like a rock. Alot of the big companies just add it to part of the monthly billing and then go to town with a few porties. They dont really care whether it is done right or even if the customer complains. In alot of cases the customer dosnt even bother complaining cuz they are expecting a crappy job from the janitorial company.

When I first started my business I did alot of subcontracting for janitorial companies. And it was like pulling teeth to get the sales people to understand that cleaning a nasty greasy restraunt was way more expensive then cleaning an office suite.

Janitorial companies are NOT what happened to the price of commercial cleaning. Inexperienced PEOPLE/OPERATORS are what happened to the price drop. My main business is commercial cleaning/janitorial, we won't go under .20 cents a foot. (unless it's a massive job, but there's no buildings that big around here) There are a lot of people who don't give a rats arse about the job they do, but it's not just janitorial companies. Ever see a carpet cleaning company say they'll do residential for $9.99 a room? That's about .05 cents a foot.(200ft2 room) Is that what you're charging for resi too? I doubt it.
Brent

Keep it Clean, Keep it Longer.
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#15
(04-13-2011, 10:08 AM)Brent Wrote:
(04-12-2011, 10:58 PM)kingjoelking Wrote:
(04-11-2011, 10:05 AM)Con Schultz Wrote: (Nick, I wont have my trinity for another week & 1/2)

OK gents, I too agree with your comments... but what happened then to the cimex? we were cleaning com work for .10 - 14 before it existed all the time, now it is down to .05 - 9.

Personally I think our industry has mental block - that we'll charge enough to make that $100/hr magical number - regardless of the toys involved or their proficency.

back in the early 80's, Cleaners all over were charging .25 / ft to clean res... now many are cleaning for a lot less than this. But we have way better toys now than the porty we had back then.

I find it ironic that we ourselves as an industry put the ceiling on our own income in real life.

& yes, I too wonder if my pricing will lower because I buy a faster tool such as the trinity!??? Instead of taking home more $$

Con

AAAAAhhhhhhhh I understand your question now. I thought you got ahold of some bad milk or something for a minute there.

Janitorial companies are what happened to the price of commercial cleaning. They have picked up a porty and think every commercial job is worth $.10 a sf ubless it is really big then they start dropping the price like a rock. Alot of the big companies just add it to part of the monthly billing and then go to town with a few porties. They dont really care whether it is done right or even if the customer complains. In alot of cases the customer dosnt even bother complaining cuz they are expecting a crappy job from the janitorial company.

When I first started my business I did alot of subcontracting for janitorial companies. And it was like pulling teeth to get the sales people to understand that cleaning a nasty greasy restraunt was way more expensive then cleaning an office suite.

Janitorial companies are NOT what happened to the price of commercial cleaning. Inexperienced PEOPLE/OPERATORS are what happened to the price drop. My main business is commercial cleaning/janitorial, we won't go under .20 cents a foot. (unless it's a massive job, but there's no buildings that big around here) There are a lot of people who don't give a rats arse about the job they do, but it's not just janitorial companies. Ever see a carpet cleaning company say they'll do residential for $9.99 a room? That's about .05 cents a foot.(200ft2 room) Is that what you're charging for resi too? I doubt it.

Sorry Brent. I wasnt very specific. Large franchise janitorial companies are what I was specifically talking about. Worked for 3 different companies. All three charged the same for carpet cleaning. And all three would drop that price if someone told them that another competitor was less.
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#16
I think it's budget, most facilities truly cannot afford to pay a lot more than .10 for maintenance cleaning. They need more frequency due to foot traffic and corrective cleaning at .16-.25 (or more) is just a budget breaker.

If they chose corrective cleaning the level of apperance peaks and then valley's over time, while they wait until the following year when they again have money in their budget to afford corrective cleaning.

Maintenance cleaning, allows them more frequency so their carpets maintain an acceptable level of apperance.

Ideally that frequency should also have you cleaning less soiled carpet, thus the lower rates.

With high production equipment, the "rate per square foot charged" should not be the concern as much as "how much am I making per labor hour".

It is a different mind set and one that can be hard to wrap your mind around but you have the potential to make more by charging less. Confused


You never rolled in the hay
Ya never thrown it in four wheel
Climb on up in here, girl
Let me show ya how country feels


"How Country Feels" Randy Houser


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#17
Oh...

so no one really knows why.

Rick... your reply was worth noting.

ask for the job.


Good post.

It is only very recent I learned that. And still I need more learning in that arena. But when I do ask, more often than not, I get the yes I seek.

And I get paid just as good for the no's as I do for the yes'es... only I get to collect on the yes answers.
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#18
Joel,

I kinda' thought you were talking about the large franchises. I do janitorial work (subbed out) for 2 different companies here in my small town of 3500 people. I have no idea what they charge per foot, but I know they "clean" 3000 feet of CGD in 1 1/2 hrs with a porty. You can tell they went over the whole carpet, but the question is how fast was that wand stroke. Needless to say, not done very well, but, once again, you get what you pay for.

I'd like to clean the carpets in these places, but they won't pay what it costs to have it done right. I do the janitorial work in these places for one reason, and one reason only. Advertising. We clean 2 banks and the post office (no home delivery here) 5 days per week. It's not great pay, but I don't supply anything except the labor. So, basically, they're paying me to advertise my company, and show off my work. I've picked up a lot of other contracts because people see us in these "main" places in town.
Brent

Keep it Clean, Keep it Longer.
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#19
There is another aspect to this conversation - competitive advantage.

If you invest in the new, high productivity tool your competition doesn't yet have, you can take advantage of your investment until the competition catches up and starts lowering prices (as they will) to offset your advantage.

Think of what happens in other technology areas. Today's notebook computers are have more capacity and are faster than most computers of five years ago (let alone 20 years ago when I got my first one @ $5000!) yet cost a mere fraction of previous computers and are easily portable.

The answer to this question is not as simple as "what should I charge" but is "what should I charge today" and continue to revisit that question regularly as competition changes and the expectations of your clients and prospects change. Further complicating the calculations are the type of work you are quoting on and your company's reputation for integrity and quality.

Further complicating the issue is a sales presentation that states something like, "we have this superduper new tool that allows us to give you the same quality cleaning for less $" which should increase your competitive advantage, getting you more work, and, as Richard's post above shows, should bring you more money per hour.

Realize part of what you sell is viewed as a commodity by your clients and prospects where price is a large portion of their decision. The other parts of their decision are the many ways you can de-commodicize your service by quality work, on-time service, impeccable business practices, etc.

Larry Galler
Small Business Greatness Coach
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#20
Good post Larry!hatsoff
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Products that make you a HERO in your customer's eyes!Rdance
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