April 27, 2022
The Price is Right… Or is it?
Besides the rapidly increasing costs of living, fuel and equipment, it turns out we are behind the times in terms of our price structure. We think we've found a solution that will be appropriate, while staying sensitive to your annual budgets and personal experiences of the global price hikes. Read on to learn more!
5 min Read
We began a detailed breakdown of our revenue vs. operating costs and were a little shocked. It all started to make sense when I considered that Kaslo Window & Gutter Cleaning - now Elevate Property Detailing - has been using the same pricing structure as the company I worked for over 12 years ago.
Furthermore, while this felt like a mutually beneficial rate when I was working solo, the curse of the self-employed made itself known (as it does) as I began to scale up. Things like hiring people to perform tasks I never paid myself for and committing vehicles to the business rather than using a personal vehicle all begin to reveal the lack of a full accounting. Sadly, I think this is all too common among solo entrepreneurs, and is often one of the main reasons they stay that way.
Behind the Times
Motivated, the team carried out research on the average price range for our services in North America. And while we thought all of you who said we don’t charge enough were simply paying us a compliment, we soon discovered that in North America, a customer can expect to pay between $4 and $8 USD per pane for simple window cleaning. We currently only charge $2.50 CAD! Considering the increasing costs of living for our team and their families, fuel and equipment, and this long-delayed service fee adjustment, I think it’s safe to say it’s time for us to listen to your good advice.
Knowing this, and recognizing that the growing costs of living have affected everyone, we have been exploring how to approach this adjustment, particularly to avoid putting our services out of reach for our valued customers.
Finding The Solution
I am very lucky to be on close terms with many of my clients, and on seeking a solution to our challenge, a dear client and friend came to our rescue with an answer that I believe will work for everyone involved.
First, we plan to raise our prices progressively and in a “conversational” way. This scaling style will help us cement the most appropriate rates for 2023 and beyond. Secondly, we are introducing (with pride!) a sliding scale rate for all customers in 2022.
Here’s how it will work:
1) We complete the work as usual, and on time!
2) We will send you a quote for the work - even if you are a return client - with options so you can choose the rate that reflects your budget, and which feels fair for the value received.
3) We will send you an invoice based on your chosen rate.
Research also shows that the majority of tradespeople charge a general fee to accommodate the costs that accrue beyond wages. While we do not plan to charge for travel costs at present, all invoices will also now include a flat-rate ‘call out’ fee, determined by zones. These zones will be based on your proximity to our team’s headquarters in Kaslo.
You will see this flat-rate fee reflected in your quotes, scheduled jobs and invoices so you will always know what to expect. Note as well that your flexibility with dates, times, and coordination with businesses in your area will help keep costs low!
We're In This Together
We realize that even the highest price point we offer still puts us on the lower end of average price ranges for this type of work. That is because we also understand that a sudden jump in service fees could deeply affect your annual budgets.
We consider many of you to be cherished friends and family, and so wanted to find a way to make sure we’re all taking care of each other in these challenging times. We believe our flexible pricing accomplishes this goal, and we trust you to make fair choices as you choose the rates that suit you best.
As we embark on this new chapter, I am keen to continue being on the receiving end of your thoughtful insights, guidance, and feedback. Our ‘doors’ are open, which means you can catch us to talk about pricing any time. We want to hear from you whether this move is in line with your hopes for the coming season.
Otherwise, my greatest thanks to you (and thanks from our team) as we work to grow our team, share our knowledge, and fulfill the lives of those we serve, and those who serve us. From all of us at Elevate–we wish you an excellent 2022!