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What to charge on your first cleaning job?

Updated on November 17, 2010

What to charge on your first cleaning job?

What to charge on your first cleaning job?

Now everything is ready for your cleaning business. You have a potential customer who needs a price quote for business office cleaning service (or residential).

These are some steps you need to take to prepare for a quote.

1: Set up an appointment to see your possible customer at the location that you will be cleaning. The purpose of this meeting should be to take a good look at the location (if residential cleaning- Home) and make a good note of everything. So take these items with you:

1) A note pad

2) A pen

3) A roller ruler

Required Information for Quotation/ Proposal

Information you need to get the Quotation Calculation,

Customer's name

Service Location Address, Number




Zip Code #

Contact Name

E-mail Address

Phone Number

Billing Address, if different

Service Starting Date

Service Type Regular One time?

How many times per week?

How many times per month?

What days of the week?

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

What hours of service will be provided?

During Business Hours?

Evening Hours, after closing?

If evening, after closing- Keys will be

provided for contractors?

Contract Period Monthly Yearly

One Time special Service?

If it is special One Time Service, what does customer request?

Other information that you need to get a quotation calculation.

Entrance Glass

How many?

Store Front Glass

Size by

How many?

All Windows, how many?

Any special notes on window sizes and etc?

Restrooms How many restrooms? Check and note the condition of restroom? Clean, dirty. need lots of work?


Floor Type:

How many fixtures- include all towel, tissue, soap, and etc.

Total dispensers

How many toilets? Condition of toilet?

How many urinals? Condition?

How many sinks?

How many dividers?

How many mirrors?

How many soap dispensers?


Floor Type:

How many fixtures- include all towel, tissue, soap, sani naps, and etc.

Total dispensers

How many toilets?

How many sinks?

How many dividers?

How many mirrors?

How many soap dispensers?

Note for restrooms:

Total estimated footage of carpeted area

Type of carpet?

Total estimated footage of hard floor surface

Type of hard floor?

Ceramic tile? VCT? Wood? Other types?

Kitchen area

How many tables?

What kind of appliances?

Microwave Soda Machine

Refer Others

How many trash receptacles?

How many ceiling fans or air ducts?

How many light fixtures?

How many dispensers?

How many sinks?

Floor type?

Lobby area

Floor type?

Carpet? Estimate total sq ft

Hard floor

Type of floor?

Total sq ft of hard surface floor

How many staircases (How many floors)?

What type of floor?

How many elevators?

What type of floor?

How many escalators?

How many furniture (couch, tables, lamps, etc)

Note for lobby areas:


How many offices?

How many types of furniture in one office (average)?

Table, couch, chair, lamps, fax, phone, computer, etc)

Floor type?

Carpet? Hard surface? Type?

Note for offices:


How many floors?

Total square footage of hall way (average per each floor)?

Carpet Total sq ft?

Hard surface? Type of floor?

Total sq ft of hard surface floor

** Any other special requests? Note everything down on your note paper.

Sample copy of "Need Information Sheet" is available here-Click to go.

Special Instructions:

2: At the location, the office manager will show you around the place and tell you what type of cleaning they want done and how often.

Make sure to take lots of notes. Take measurements of different places.

Note: If you are new at doing this, you might consider letting your customer know that you are new, so ask for their understanding. Your customer might sense that you are new at this anyway.

Most customers actually like the new cleaning business contractors, because they usually do a much better job than some experienced ones who sometimes cut corners too much in their cleaning procedures. Usually new contractors take their time and do their jobs more thoroughly.

3: After you’ve got all the information that you need, organize it and start putting the information together to get the 1st quote.

Try this. Since you have worked the area thoroughly and know exactly what your customer wants done, carefully think about the area one area at a time and carefully calculate to see how long it will take you to clean this place by yourself.

For example:

** Important note: Your first cleaning of any locations will take 2-3 times longer than the job that you will eventually get adjusted to doing it on regular bases. So, if the place needs some special cleaning to get it to where you want it to be, then consider charging a higher price for one time start up charge.

Area: Entrance- mats, glass entrance doors, 15 min.

Area: Restrooms- 2 med size, 45 min.

Area: 3 offices- med size, 1 hr.

Area: Kitchen and dining room, med size, 1 hr

Area: Hallways and lobby, 1 hr.

Total: Estimated 4 hrs.

4 hrs x 1 time per week x 4.5(monthly average per year) =

18 hrs per month.

Now, how much do you want to charge per hour?

$20.00, 25.00, 30.00, 35.00, 40.00, 45.00, 50.00?

Let’s say, $20.00 per hour, because you are new and you don’t want to charge too much.

18 hrs x $20.00 = $360.00 per month total charge.

Total charge for month: $360.00

Add: Your other expenses involved with this job: $ 50.00 (Cleaning solutions, tools, equipment, liability insurance, broken down to per monthly- estimated).

Add: Your possible other costs for this job: $ 0.00 (no employees yet…).

Total:…………………………………………………………….. $410.00

Now, you have to decide. Is this the total charge you will propose to your customer or do you want to consider adding more on to this?

That is entirely up to you to decide. At this point, you can go low as this figure, but realize that you are not really making any money on the job.

What you are getting is only paying for yourself may be $10.00 per hour more or less after deducting the wear and tear of your automobile, mobile phone, your office expenses, and maybe other costs.

Roughly, you should charge 50% to 100% of $410.00. This amount will likely make money for this job, which should range from $610.00 to $820.00. This will cover all the possible expenses and you will make some profit from your work and expand your business.

What if you want to go lower your quote to just get the job?

That is up to you. If you want to make less money to just get experience from your first customer, that is ok too, but leave a room to make some price adjustments in few months or about 6 months. You can do that by giving your price contract for only 3 months or 6 months and renew after that.

You will be good at what you are doing within a few months of running your cleaning business and soon after making few more quotes to some new customers to see how much to price and what the going rate is.

Whatever you do, bottom line is, it is up to you to decide what you would like to charge your customer.

You can start with simply analyzing all actual costs of your job, plus how much you want to make ($) and you can start from this point. And as you get more experience, you can adjust your price accordingly.

There is no set amount set for this industry, until you get into commercial building managements and handling some real big accounts.

And still not sure what to charge your customer on your first cleaning job quotation? Call one of the professionals who can help you with your quote. You can search out for them on the internet (Google is best site for this..) or check with your local janitorial supply company that you have chosen to work with and see if someone can help you with this and other matters in cleaning service.

Best wishes,

***** Now you can download free Mini Pack Bidding Calculator for free !!!   Go visit following link and get it free.

Janitorial Contractors offers janitorial software that help contractors with bidding calculators. Please check it out.

Free download Mini Pack Bidding Calculator


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    • profile image

      Jay vander 

      7 years ago

      Wow you definitely went in depth in determining how much you should charge for cleaning services. If you'd ever be willing to guest post on my site, id appreciate it. I could use knowledge like yours. I've placed my site in the url, contact me if you're interested.


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