Lots of cleaning business owners call or email in a note, asking lots of questions.
Most of the time, they're very good questions, having to do with issues like 1) how to develop better marketing, or 2) how to improve their sales presentation when delivering a cleaning proposal.
But, occasionally, a cleaning business owner who is taking on work as a subcontractor asks something like...
'Is there anyway to know how much the middleman, that's right, the person who's hiring them as a sub... how much are THEY getting paid by the actual customer.
I understand WHY they're asking.
They're desperately thinking .. if they can JUST find out how much the guy 'above them' is getting paid...then, they can kind of, sort of, simply 'ballpark' their own price by simply lowering a 'bit'.
I don't know exactly know and I'm not sure they know either, but what I do know, is they are hoping if they can somehow figure it out, they'll stand a chance of landing the job.
Again, it's understandable. It's fear based. It's not wanting to OVER-bid the cleaning job - and, lose out.
What I don't understand is:
1) How they think I or actually nearly anyone other than the actual parties involved could possibly know what the customer has agreed to pay 'the guy above them', the middleman in this...fear driven buying 'train' of 'who-gets-paid-what'. (Sorry, but as you can tell, in most cases, I'm not a huge fan of subcontracting)
2) Why are they mostly, or in many cases - ONLY concerned about THAT, rather than figuring out how long the job will take them to - actually clean.
...And, THEN and only then, what their price needs to be to meet their expense and profit requirements.
The reason always comes back to the same things - lack of knowledge, lack of compelling reasons to do business with their cleaning company - vs. the next guy.... and, of course, the BIG one - fear.
For example, not knowing how to determine the time needed to clean a building or how to price the account - FEAR kicks in, often - to overdrive.
It's unfortunate - and when we get a call like this, we do everything we can to help the person who is in this kind of situation.
We try to explain how workloading can be used to calculate cleaning times, and how expense and profit percentage estimates that reflect the size of the job can help in competitively yet profitably arriving at a price for the job.
We talk about creating MGP, powerful marketing messages based on unique, measurable advantages only found by choosing and using their cleaning company.
Sometimes it helps, it works.
It 'registers' with the person that it's important to know cleaning times, expenses and profit expectations - in determining a price - rather than just what the middleman above them is 'getting'.
Sometimes, they 'get' the importance of creating important reasons - OTHER than low price, of doing business with them rather than their competitors.
Sometimes, they don't.
I hope you're one of those who 'get it'. I hope you're one of those cleaning business owners who are willing to work to make important changes in your company that set your business apart from the competition- so that LOW PRICE doesn't have to be your competitive advantage..
Remember...You Can Do This - You Really Can,