Minimum charge

Early on as I was growing my business I found the need to charge a minimum as there were a few calls to just do a few windows or find spots in my schedule for small jobs. So for me to arrive with my vehicle loaded with ladders and all tools acquired and needed for any job up to 3 stories, I needed to charge a minimum for any job.
Sometimes that may seem a bit pricey to the customer for just a few windows, or slightly more than what a per window charge would be ($75 - $90); $100 is a fair minimum to get anywhere in town and finish the small job then on to the next customer - or if no other scheduled, a good way to help me stay in business to be available next year.
This morning’s call was for a condo customer needing just the sliding glass doors and tracks cleaned (14 foot estimate). $100.

Embrace the minimum.

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Ours is $200 for windows and $249 for any washing.

I’ve cleaned 2 windows for $200 before. We always offer to do more to make up the rest, but some people want what they want.

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Can’t do that in my area. 90% of jobs are well over $100 anyway but once in a blue moon you get a little old lady that needs four windows done…and guess what, she tells her rich son what wonderful people we are and he wants his house done too because we were willing to help gramma out.

:+1:

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Once I implemented a minimum I seemed to book more.
Window cleaning: $199
Power washing: $249
Gutter cleaning: $150

I thought “$199 for a few windows, that’s insane” however, once people were told that I don’t book 3 windows for $45 they have often just chose to do the rest of the house for another $50+… the $199 more often than not becomes $249+ depending on the window count.

Minimums are so important, I feel as if it also brings more of a legitimate business aspect to my services.

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I use a $129 minimum on windows (if it’s in our small town) but it’s not often that we have it. Most are $199+. I will probably raise the minimum to $149.

Pressure washing/house washing minimum will be going up in the spring, probably to $249.

I used to have a hard time justifying minimums but as business took off and our schedule was backed up weeks at a time, I found myself saying “I’d rather go home than make another $50-$100”. 60-70 hour weeks just to keep up with demand will really make you rethink minimums and pricing in general.
My plan for 2020 is to increase pricing, get rid of some of the low paying jobs, and hopefully not work quite as much.

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I’m in the process of that as well…

“Expand the top while you dissolve the bottom”

Currently the background on my telephone as reminder

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3 large sliders with 1 screen and tracks = $100 minimum. If I were doing all of the other windows as a complete in out clean that section would be about $60 both sides clean screen and clean track. The lady even said “Is that all?”

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Gary, We implemented this a couple of years ago, absolutely no issue. It saves us on wasting time!
$100 Minimum no matter what.

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Hey dcbrock-- you are 100 percent right on that last part. People would be AMAZED at what helping granny out will do for you. Next thing you know , “granny” has referred you to 10 people.

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When you guys are talking about minimums-- are these for new areas and new communities? Are these in the same neighborhoods you are already servicing? I work for and have worked for a few cleaners who pretty much have 100-200 (One is about 300) accounts in just 1 community that they built up. There is no driving time as you are already out there 3-6 days a week-- I wonder if you guys are doing the same with minimums if you are already there? The phone blows up, people see you out there and you are greeted by 5-10 people as you get into the gate from previous customers and whatnot

A lot of these Youtube videos I see on here are people who seem to be driving from 1 part of town to the next, 30-50 minutes between jobs and sometimes hours. If you have the volume in the area are you using the same mentality?

Everyone gets the same minimum and the same policies apply across the board in my business model.

For me my minimum is about were you are located the further you are the higher the minimum , but for residential
window cleaning 175.00
Power washing 225.00

I make exceptions once in awhile . It’s all about location thought.
I won’t drive an hour out out of my way for 175.00 or 225.00. Must of the time they have more work you just have to get it out of them.

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If I lived in an area where that was possible, I think it would impact my pricing to a degree. And I would probably be more flexible with my minimums.
But we’re talking minor differences here. Currently, my pw min is $250, and my wc min is $225 in the busy season, and $175 if it’s a slower time of year. And like Mike above, these are starting points. I won’t drive 45 minutes for just a $250 pw or a $225 wc.

Hypothetically, if I was in a metro area where I only travelled out 15-20 minutes and I could consistently group neighbors for the same days, I could see dropping my pw min to $150-$200 and wc to $100 or maybe $150. I would also probably waive my minimum more often for the old lady next door and just charge my per-window price.

The end goal would be to make the same amount each day as I do now. And realistically, working in an area like you’ve described would still probably net me more than working with higher pricing and minimums in the very rural area I’m in now.

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I figured that, I wasn’t sure what everyone had set up and was just wondering.

Thanks for the replies guys!

So I always try to practice what I preach but I waived a minimum the other day. Old couple had 30-40 LF of gutters to be cleaned, single story. House was a mile down the road from another house we were doing. Typical gutter minimum is $99 but did his for $49. 15 minutes of work, hated to charge any more. I did tell them that I was giving them a break on our minimum and not to tell anyone that they were getting the deal. Don’t want all their neighbors friends thinking they can have gutters cleaned for $50!

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I never put a customer in that position if they are discussing hired services with their neighbor. I do a gutter job just down the road twice a year. It is about 30 feet and some accumulation of leaves in a corner of the roof, $100, 15-20 minutes total time.

$100 minimum for any residential cleaning, anywhere. Even next door to a house we’re already cleaning.

And we don’t do any “partial cleanings.” If they ask for their 4 high windows, I quote the whole house. If we’re going to clean anything, we’re going to make the whole house look great. No point having 4 clean high windows and 20 smeared lower ones from their paper towels.

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I get that about requesting only a few windows cleaned. You put your name on the work, someone comes along and knows you were hired to clean “windows”, do they also know you were only hired to clean a few while several others look grungy?

Never had an issue with that. It’s not uncommon for someone to call about one or two palladium windows so their ‘dinner party’ will be impressed.

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That’s that fine line when we go from transactional to relational in our business. Anytime you do some windows for Grandma it’s good karma!