The economy is stinky, gas is creeping closer and closer to $4 a gallon and you have not changed your window cleaning rates since 1987. Oh, alright, maybe you were still in high school back then, but it has been awhile. Here are a few pointers:
1. Get over it. People change their rates all the time. McDonald’s does not charge the .50 cents for a hamburger like they did when we were kids. Candy bars are no longer a quarter. In fact, they say the price of everything doubles every 10 years.
2. Analyze what it costs you to clean those windows. It is not a guessing game or a figure you pull out of the air. Think about window cleaning supplies, gas, wages, taxes, insurance … write it all out. You should know
the cost of doing business each day and your rates should definitely cover those costs and then some.
3. How much are your competitors charging? I am not suggesting that you spy on other window cleaners, but you should have a general knowledge of what they charge. And, honestly, everyone should be in the same ballpark. If you are way out in left field, you need to change that.
4. What’s the worst that could happen if you raise your rates .25 or .50 cents a side? A few customers leave? Its ok. You now have fewer customers, but the ones who stayed actually make you more money. Let’s do the math:
100 customers @ $100 = $10,000
If you raised your rates 10% but lost 10% of your customers …
90 customers @ $110 = $9,900
So, overall you are only down $100 but you are cleaning 10 less houses for that money, which is alot of time.
5. Its all in how you phrase it. In reality, most clients do not leave, especially when you tell them its just a quarter. If you come out and say that it will cost them $10 or $20 more, they may balk but they do not even bat an eyelash for a quarter.
6. Be firm. If you waffle in your decision or make some people pay more and not others, it won’t work. The only person who doesn’t have to pay extra is grandma. YOUR grandma. Its nothing personal; its just business.
In fact, some clients may surprise you by telling you that they felt they were underpaying in the past. Shocker!