1. Not having a client agreement form
Transparency is key to building and keeping trust with your client. Ensure you have laid out what is expected as far as type of payments accepted, time of payment due, and any additional policies regarding fees (late fees, bounced check fees, rejected credit card fees etc.).
2. Not having a client’s credit card on file for backup
It is important to have a credit card on file for those times a client does not pay on time and is not able to be reached. This is especially true for move in/move out cleanings; you can use the card on file to charge a non-refundable deposit and after a move out cleaning, you are able to charge the card in case your client forgets to pay due to the chaos of moving out of their home and possibly out of state.
3. Not pausing cleanings until clients pay their account balance
Until a client has paid for their last cleaning their recurring cleaning schedule should be put on a pause. We don’t expect the barber or hairdresser to not get paid after their service, why should it be an exception for cleaning services?
4. Not being clear why a service price would increase
Explain why a price will increase: more time, more team members, overhead costs of cleaning supplies or numerous other business expenses, or yearly percentage increase, etc. Give your client a potential option to keep the same price by eliminating and/or rotating a floor (2nd floor or basement, for instance) if that will help. But at the end of the day, the business owner decides the price, and sometimes you will lose clients; however, you can always find another client to fill that space on your schedule.
5. Not making sure you make a profit on every service provided
Use a formula (if you don’t have one, check out this Free resource), to make sure each cleaning covers the labor of a cleaning service. You want to have the price be three times more than the bare minimum of the cost of the labor so that the other expenses are also accounted for (i.e. taxes, supplies, YOUR pay!). Nothing is more discouraging than cleaning with excellence to find out you lost money or didn’t break even.
6. Not including the cost of your labor in your profit/loss calculations
Early on, it is easy to forget that you will not always be on jobs because you will be working on your business more than in your business as growth continues. Make sure you are paying yourself for hours you’re cleaning so that when you have an employee take those payable hours you are not cutting into your profits.