Q. What suggestions do you have for bidding motel carpet cleaning?
A. A few years ago, an average rate of 14 cents a square foot in motel operations would gross around $70 an hour, which is on the low end for truckmounts. In pricing, it helps if the rooms are prepped, (chairs up on bed and carpet vacuumed) and if the carpet is a medium to dark color, and if the soil load is medium (not heavy) and they schedule at least six rooms; then 14 cents should still work. However, many truck mount operations figure they must be over $140 an hour earn an acceptable income.
You will want to take all of your expenses and calculate your break-even point. For example, if your business expenses run $4,000 a month and you can run the machine 6 hours a day 24 days a month; your break-even point would be $28 an hour. Here is the math: 6 hrs X 24 days a month = 144 production hours. Then, $4,000 divided by 144 hours = $28 an hour expense rate.
Now, if you need to earn or net $7,000 a month, you must add $49 an hour ($7,000 divided by 144 hours) to your break-even point to arrive at a total hourly billing rate of $77 an hour. You can do your own math to determine where you need to be on the pricing. Track your actual production rate on various jobs for closer price calculations. Neglected carpet usually requires intensive cleaning.
A demo can earn you the business. Heavy soil may require a pre-scrub. You could demo say a 20 foot hall. I would recommend an air mover for a fast dry-time. The contrast will be so noticeable; they will need to hire you to complete the job. However, some owners are savvy to this and want an entire room or hall cleaned.
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