Should employees know what you charge house cleaning clients? It’s a house cleaning FAQ that all cleaning employees have. Should employees know how you get paid, and the cost to run a cleaning business? And should employees know how the company makes money?
Communication with your cleaning techs is key. You want to market your cleaning business and they are an extension of you. At some point, you have to explain how your company works.
Listen: Should Employees Know What You Charge House Cleaning Clients?
Watch: Should Employees Know What You Charge House Cleaning Clients?
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Should Your Employees Know What You Charge Customers?
Should cleaning employees know what you charge for house cleaning? This question comes from a house cleaner who has a question. They ask, “One of the things I’m wondering, is on your worksheets, you say that you use them as an invoice or a receipt.
If you have cleaning associates working on your behalf, do you have a policy where they know exactly what’s being charged for the service? And does that cause any problems based on the rate that you’re paying them?
As a cleaner, you don’t understand what’s involved with running a business. The costs for marketing, advertising, insurance, bookkeepers. So they might be angry about their pay.
Set it Up Like a Walkthrough with Your Employees
You can set this up as you do on a walk-through with a customer when you’re setting the ground rules and boundaries. You can set this up with your employee on the day that you hire them. On the day that you hire them, they don’t know a lot about running the business itself.
During the job interview, you can say, “Hey listen, I’m the boss, and here’s a list of my duties,” and then you have a list of all the stuff that you do as a boss. Then you can have a breakdown of all the stuff that you pay for.
Now you don’t have to break it down like month by month. But you can have a list of all the expenses, vehicle expenses, gas for the vehicle, insurance for the vehicle. You have registration and licensing for the vehicle. So, just for the vehicle that gets you to the job, here’s all the stuff we have to pay to make this business happen.
Explain What You Have to Pay for Employees
Then when you get to the customer’s house, you’re the employee, and so here’s what we have to pay for an employee. Then you have a breakdown of uniforms, and you have a breakdown of workman’s comp, and insurance.
Then, once you get to the customer’s house, you have a new series of expenses. Your cleaning supplies, chemicals, and even uniforms.
Tell Your Employees Why You Charge the Client That Much
You have all these different things that you provide. This costs so much money. Then you go on to explain that there are other costs.
In order for me to pay you every week I have to hire a bookkeeping company, and that requires software. It includes internet access. It includes booking software for our customers. It requires follow up with appointment reminders, and all these other things. We have to have software that provides some of the basics for our company.
Then we hire a payroll service, and you have this big list of all the things that it costs to run a company. You say, “Now, you came to me for a job. Did you come to me because you want to pay for all these things? And you’re actually here to train so you can go start your own business and pay for all these things on your own?”
Get on the Same Page with Your Employees
They might say, “No, I’m here to clean houses.”
“Oh, I want to make sure right up front that we’re on the same page.” Okay, so do you know that as an employee, part of this expense is employee expense, so out of all the money the business makes. This is how much goes to employees, and then what’s left pays for all these other things.
Then they go, “Oh, well that’s a lot of things.” Until you let an employee know, they don’t know how much it costs to run a business. They don’t know about marketing and advertising costs. They don’t know about internet costs. They don’t know about running Facebook ads. You have to let them know those expenses so they understand your price
Some Cleaners Think They Deserve Everything You Charge a Client
There are a lot of house cleaners that think, well, I’m going to go clean, and because I’m doing all the work, I should make all the money. Okay, that’s simple thinking, and that’s some entrepreneurial spirit, but they’re not looking at the big picture.
If on day one when you’re setting the ground rules. You say, “Please help me understand where you see yourself fitting in the business,” there are people that will say, “Wow, that overwhelming to me. That is so much stuff. All I will do is come to clean houses. I want to show up, collect a paycheck, and go home.”
Some Employees Want to Learn and Start Their Own Company
I’ve been in interviews where people are like, “No, I’m here to learn from you. Then I’m going to go out and start my own house cleaning business.”
Then I can say right up front, “Hey, if this is your goal, I can help you. Would you like to train as a manager? Would you like extra responsibilities upfront so that you can learn all these different facets of the business?“
If that is their goal, you can position them so that they can learn all these other things. So that they can provide service to you in a different area that will give them some of your responsibilities. Have the conversation upfront.
There’s No Shame in Telling Why You Charge a Client That Much
There’s no shame in having a conversation and explaining that it costs a lot of money to run a business, and there are a lot of hidden costs. When the cleaning is done for the day, your job is not done.
When you go home, you still have to do inventory. You still have to replace cleaning supplies. You have to follow up with customers. You have to do customer surveys. You have to do ratings and reviews. You have your online marketing.
I mean, there are nights as a house cleaner you don’t go to bed till 11:00 at night, and you’ve been working solidly since 6:00 a.m.
Paint a Realistic Picture of What it Takes to Run a Business
You have to paint a realistic picture of what it is to run a business. Because there are a lot of house cleaners that think, “I’m going to work for myself. And I’m going to go work six hours a day, and I’m going to go clean a couple of houses and then I’m done.”
That will work for a couple of minutes, and when they run out of clients, they’re going to be twiddling their thumbs saying, “Oh dear, I’ve missed a few steps. How do I market my business so I can get more clients? And how do I make money if I’m paying for employees?”
Not Everybody can Own a House Cleaning Business
Not everybody is meant to be a house cleaning business owner, and so right up front find out where people are. Explain what the costs are and what is involved in running a business.
Because there are a lot of people that after you explain it they’re like, “Oh my goodness, that’s a lot of work. I don’t think I’m cut out for either one.” A lot of cleaners think, “oh, I can make $45 an hour and do nothing.” That is so far from the truth.
Yeah, have these conversations right upfront. There’s no shame. There’s no harm in doing it, and if people want to come along for the ride, great. If they don’t, there are no surprises and nobody’s time is wasted.
*** RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE ***
Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss – https://amzn.to/2odNn6T
Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For: A Guide for New Leaders – https://amzn.to/2PILDPK
The Coaching Habit: Say, Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever – https://amzn.to/2BTayxg
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t – https://amzn.to/2BRCy4l
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity – https://amzn.to/2odPJCU
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Permissions To Share
Savvy Cleaner Training – House Cleaner Training and Certification
My Cleaning Connection – Your hub for all things cleaning.
HouseCleaning360 – A hub connecting homeowners with house cleaners
Savvy Perks – Employee benefits for your employees.
Turnover Cleaning Tips – for Vacation Rental and Airbnb Hosts