If I skip a cleaning due to it falling on a holiday, should I change the price for that month’s invoice?

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by Tom Watson on June 25, 2017

An awesome question came in this past week and I wanted to go over it real quickly with everyone out there.

It dealt with cleaning on holidays, specifically if you should charge for a cleaning even though it fell on a holiday and you skipped the clean.

While I can’t say what’s best for others, I can share with you WHAT I DID when I ran my cleaning business. And my approach was to “keep the price the same” (with one minor exception). I can say that VERY FEW EVER COMPLAINED. I remember one guy in particular, and there may have been another, but that’s it.

My general philosophy on cleaning on holidays

If I cleaned a place 2,3,4,5,6 or 7 days per week I charged the same monthly price (this is partly why I always charged a FLAT FEE per month). I did not discount for any holidays (in fact, I added as many “holidays” as possible into all contracts in the fine print indicating no cleanings would occur on those days).

Special note: If I only cleaned a place once per week, then I would make it up on another day (that is only fair). If someone did complain (once or twice in all my years), I would credit them (no use fighting over small beans, as you must keep the bigger picture in mind).

This is how I structured my deals with clients

All my monthly prices (for all new accounts) were started as a FLAT FEE per month. So on my pricing page of any bid it would show like this…

$1,200.25 Flat Fee Per Month (keep in mind, this is for “cleaning”, and not supplies and stuff like that, which were added separately as they were used)

On my ‘Terms & Conditions” page on my contract I would list all the major holidays as days we do not provide service. I also stated: If service was required on a holiday a 20% premium (or whatever % you choose) would be added to cover added holiday payroll costs.

Keep in mind I never invoked that clause about a 20% premeium, I just wanted to DISCOURAGE people wanting me to clean on a holiday! I really just wanted the day off for me and my staff. That was it. I didn’t want to come out and say “WE DO NOT CLEAN ON CERTAIN HOLIDAYS… BUT YOU ARE PAYING ME ANYWAY”.

So I went with “softer language” that really says the same exact thing. This approach worked for me. Keep in mind, I did this FLAT FEE PER MONTH approach to billing for two reasons.

1 – To fit in my free holidays, and increase my average clean per visit price in the process.

2 – To “SIMPLIFY BILLING” … Why track how many cleans took place per month and adjust each monthly invoice accordingly? When you have TONS OF ACCOUNTS down the road it becomes an issue! That is just MORE WORK, and I would rather be at the beach (Simplify wherever possible).

Final thoughts on how to handle holiday cleanings

I’ll wrap this up by saying that it’s best to briefly go over any contract when you are submitting a bid to get a new client. I would just go over the price and terms of the deal (and the holidays section is a small part of that) to just make sure we were all on the same page. When addressing that part I would just explain it something like this:

“We do have off on certain holidays, so no cleaning will take place on those days. We do that to give our staff some time with their family because it’s the right thing to do. If you do require cleanings those days, we can make it work, but it will cost you a little more to cover added payroll costs”.

Like I mentioned earlier, I am not saying that you should do things exactly like I did. All I can say is THIS IS HOW I DID IT when running my cleaning business. You as CEO will have to decide how to handle cleaning on holidays. But at least now you have a different perspective on how others have tackled that issue.

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