Do you value your cleaner? This blog post is going to be a little bit different. Let’s pull off the sales veneer and tell it like it is.
I’m not a cleaner. I do some admin and accounts work for a cleaning company, including writing their monthly blog. It doesn’t make sense for the cleaner to take time and focus out of what they do best to write up blogs. They are focusing on the cleaning side of things. That means they can get that done well. I, in turn, focus on the backend and admin side of things. It works well for most businesses who understand the importance of not spreading oneself too thin.
Being on the admin side of a cleaning business has opened my eyes to what it’s like for a cleaner trying to make a living through their cleaning business. I’ve worked, and still work, for many different kinds of businesses. This means I get to see a perspective that is bigger than just the view from within one company. It’s interesting to see how differently clients treat and approach different businesses, depending on how much value they place on the service they are recieving. Let’s look at it this way…
The value of quality products & materials
Have you ever tried to paint your own home?
If you did, did you go for the cheapest product you could find, only to discover that it is really is worth putting in a little extra?
That 90c brush that fell apart while you painted was just a waste of 90c. The $15 brush made life easier.
That $2 roller that left bits of lint over the wall wasn’t just a waste, it added hassle, time, and frustration to the job. That $50 roller held more paint, made the job run more efficiently, and took away the headache.
The cheap paint that you thought was such a good deal didn’t turn out so great in the long run did it? You ended up having to do three times as many coats just to get it to look ok on the wall, and you can tell that a repaint is needed already.
Perhaps you just realised it was all too hard and paid the big bucks to get a professional out there and make sure the job was really done right.
When it comes to quality materials for cleaning your home, do you value your cleaner?
The value of a bit of skill and focus
Have you ever paid for a decent hair trim?
A $30 trim takes up a lot of your time and hardly any of the hairdressers. You have to leave your home, figure out what to do with the kids, drive to the store, find a park, wait your turn. It takes them about 10 minutes. That’s $30-$50 for maybe several minutes of their time to snip along your hair, and maybe along the fringe too.
Maybe you only go in for a longer style, colour or full treatment. This, of course, costs you more, maybe even hundreds of dollars more. It would be much cheaper and quicker to just take a pair of scissors and snip your own hair. Though we can’t guarantee that the outcome would be pleasant… At least hair grows back… I guess.
When it comes to needing some skill and focus, do you value your cleaner?
The value of professional training and focus
What about a tax return? Ever paid to get your tax return lodged?
You could lodge yourself you know. It’s free to do that. Those are the sort of returns that end up with people getting fined for claiming ineligible costs such as the costs of parking at their usual place of work (sorry that’s not tax deductible), or missing out on rebates and offsets that you just didn’t know about (you have to include that remote zone offset if you want it applied against your taxable income).
Tax accountants spend years studying and gaining work experience before they qualify. They are required to maintain minimum annual education (since the system is constantly changing) and it’s what they focus on. That’s why you pay them to prepare your return for you. Plus, it’s a tax deductible cost, so win win right?
When it comes to getting a professional clean, do you value your cleaner?
The value of a cleaner
Why are some people so reluctant to pay for cleaners?
Cleaning your home is something everyone does. Yet it’s not something everyone has the skills to do well, nor is it something everyone has the time to do.
Yet we don’t learn from the times we’ve gone for the cheaper options only to realise that actually ends up costing us more, especially in time and hassle.
We’ll happily pay $35 for a ten minute haircut and complain if someone wants to charge us $35 for a physically demanding hour of cleaning.
We recognise the value of getting in a professional to assist with our finances, yet we often don’t see that a decent cleaner, one who really knows what they are doing, can provide value beyond what you can do on your own.
I am not a cleaner. I do admin work for a cleaning company and I’ve gained some insight into the issues that cleaners regularly face with quoting jobs. We regularly see potential clients quickly become angry when they see the rates and make claims such as:
No other cleaning company charges as high as you do, can’t you do it cheaper?
My last cleaner only charged $20 an hour, why can’t you charge $20 an hour? It only takes 2 people 2 and a half hours to clean my home, I was expecting it to only cost under $100.
The cost of employees
Let me put it to you straight.
A good cleaning company knows what they are doing and what products to ensure the job is done well. Behind the scenes they are investing in quality product and cleaning material, as well as focusing themselves on continual improvements through ongoing training and education. They are professionals.
When you hire a cleaning company you are not hiring a young Mum who is just looking to earn a few dollars on the side. There are laws in Australia that require staff to be paid not just for the hours they work. They must also be paid for travel time, training time, downtime, and even holidays. On top of that there is insurance, superannuation, allowances for extra icky or tricky jobs (like cleaning your toilet or working on roofs), bonuses, uniforms, staff amenities, and vehicles.
For the 2020 financial year the legal minimum wage for a fulltime cleaning employee is $20.82-$22.70 per hours for normal hours of work, depending on their skill and authority level (higher for evenings, public holidays, weekends, and overtime). If someone works on a Sunday then their minimum wage will be between $41.64 and $45.40 an hour. If they work overtime on a public holiday their base minimum wage will be $56.75. Part time workers have higher minimum hourly rates of pay starting at $23.94. Casual workers are higher again (although this is at least partially offset by not having the requirements to pay them for leave time).
Undervaluing has an onflow effect
If you expect a cleaning company to charge only $20 an hour then you are expecting to be charged rates that are lower than the lowest possible minimum hourly rate before even factoring in superannuation, allowances, leave, training, uniform, travel etc. If a cleaning company is charging you this low they are either not a cleaning company (they’re an individual just looking for some extra cash on the side and willing to work under minimum wage requirements to get it) or they are not paying their staff properly.
As a rough guide it costs a company almost twice as much as the base minimum wage rate for their productive hours of employment. (Although this can vary depending on how much down time, travel time, additional allowances, training, uniforms, additional hours etc are appropriate for the situation). When you realise that you realise that most cleaning companies make a living by working in the business themselves.
Not to mention the actual value of a good clean
That’s just the cost side of things.
The real value of hiring a cleaner is in the value that you get from a proper cleaning job. Do you have a cleaner who doesn’t miss those nooks and crannies? Someone who uses high quality material? A company whose cleaners work efficiently and effectively? If so you are getting genuine professional value. That’s not the same thing as paying someone who basically knows how to tidy up and run a wipe over the most visible surfaces. It’s worth a whole lot more.
It saves you time and energy. Plus your home is in better shape than you could realistically keep it.
If you want a professional service then expect a professional fee to be charged. If you’re lucky enough to get a cheap rate with a quality cleaner then be grateful while you’ve got it. These cleaners are working hard to make a living for themselves. You are reaping the benefits of quality job.
Thank your cleaner today!
Do you value your cleaner? If you’re someone who values the exceptional service that is provided by your cleaning then thank you! I know we’d love your kind over at www.cleaningbest.com.au
Don’t forget to let your cleaner know how much you appreciate them. I wonder if there’s a cleaner appreciation day….