How far do you travel and still make a profit

Hi everyone,I just wanted to know what all your thoughts were on traveling long distances.I drive up to 2 hrs away one way ,and work my way back.The only thing is sitting in the van on the way back and not really making what I want for the day because I am in the van 2 hours to the farthest job and 2 hours of 4 hrs on the road.How do you guys feel about driving that you add a travel charge to many of your customers to make up for driving so far or do you just keep the prices higher in general,but then you have to think about being competitive.the guy locally would probably charge less.Lot of ways to look at it I guess. I really would like some feed back ,I would greatly appreciate it! THANKS EVERYONE…

This sounds like the perfect scenario for trip charge for a certain distance from your location. That is a lot of windshield time. Unless you absolutely have to have those jobs, it isn’t worth the loss of time, without tacking on a little extra.

I clean a convenience store chain of about 58 stores.some of them require me to drive 2 hrs one way.It might not be quite 2 hrs one way,but I know of one route they have me go on is 2hrs one way.i do a few stores on the way back,But I feel they are not paying what they should.My prices will be going up on next do you charge for that distance?I go from my farthest store out and do that one and work my way back to do the other 2.would you have a trip charge between every clean one head to the next one and add a trip charge and so forth?

Depends how much work you have, keep it if you are short on work and then up the prices if it gets to the point you would lose other work when doing this one, everyone is at different stages of their business, to me not being full time I’m happy to take on a few lower paying jobs or a little travel otherwise I wouldn’t be paid at all and once I get busier I will raise the price of those ones so it would be worth my time or they find someone else


Would you charge an hourly rate for driving in between jobs or just stay on the clock so to speak and bill them your hourly rate?

Look at your MPG, divide miles driven in 2 hours to find gallons burned. That costs you money.

So assume your traveling 75 mph for 2 hours = 150 miles driven per 2 hour divided by 17 mpg = 8.82 gallons X $2.70 per gallon = $23.81 one way, $47.62 round trip. (Just numbers to figure with, your actual numbers may be different). You could add in travel time of $10 per hour if you wish, and you would at least that much if you sent an employee (just so happens that employee is YOU) - if you were paying someone to drive there and do the work that money has to come from somewhere. You should charge and pay yourself as if you were paying employees for every bit of running a business; because perhaps one day you will and you won’t have a concept in place of how to charge and how to pay.

Add the COST-TO-DO-BUSINESS into your prices.

2 hours one way is a lot of driving for store prices, mansions maybe, but stores pay little.

As a new business you should be focusing on being a profitable business. Order this —>Profit First
There are other books for the solopreneur, but this should be at the top of your list - read it cover to cover.


@Springfield, my answer is along the same lines. As you become more booked up, you need to factor in opportunity cost. Always work at “expanding the top and dissolving the bottom”.

I’ve had no trouble keeping a fully booked schedule for the last 4 years or so. But my income has continued to increase because I’ve focused on opportunity cost as I choose to take on new jobs or whether to continue servicing less profitable ones. Ditching storefront was a huge step in the right direction for my business, despite the small loss in income during the slow months. It was costing me the opportunity to fill the schedule with more profitable work during the rest of the year.

To answer your original question, the furthest I’ve gone in recent years is about 1.5 hours out, to service a small property for a management company that has sent me some very profitable accounts. Keeping them happy was well worth the trade-off of a somewhat less profitable day.

For residential, I stick to an hour or less one way, and it has to be a $400+ job to go further than 45 minutes.

But over time, you’ll figure out what minimums and pricing structure work best for you.


Here’s how I look at those driving distances
I know what I can make in a Day staying in my working area
So the first thing is the job has to be big enough for me to be close to this. I’m not driving an 1 1/2-2 hours for a 30 Window job, so right off the bat I ask them the size , because I have a minimum.
So if the job is size worthy I’ll through my number at it
I always add on for driving time. It’s priced into the job. I wouldn’t say that in the estimate. Just factor it in.
I do 4 jobs yearly with those driving times. 1 1/2 - 2 hours
Funny thing is I have one of them tomorrow , Friday , an then Monday again. All worthy of the drive time, or I wouldn’t even bother.
The drive home sucks , so you want to drive home with a smile on your face. So don’t be a scared Of pricing high


That’s the problem with stuff like this . I know guys look at the overall monthly number, but if you figure in the drive time it’s usually nit worth it unless you have guys, or if you can sub out the out of way stops.
Try an look for a reputable company in the area that’s way out of the way. Pay them well , An check In on the those stores every once in a while. Me … If the store makes 50 a wash that’s what I would give the sub.
I wouldn’t look to make money off the sub.
I don’t sub much , but the couple of things I do they get what I get. I make my money off the stores in my working area.

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I live in a heavily populated area. Most of my service area is within 7-10 miles but it can still take me an hour to drive that far on certain days. I definitely take into account travel time and distance but these are added in the overall cost. I do not itemize travel time on any estimates or invoices.

I use Responsibid and you can add travel time parameters in the back end depending on different neighborhoods or cities you work in.


This right here.

I don’t itemize anything other than listing services provided, window cleaning $X, Screen repair $X, Gutter clean $X. If there is the need for excess travel is is calculated in the entire fee.

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