One of the tried and true adages is that if you think it's expensive to hire an expert, then just wait until you hire an amateur, because often the lack of knowledge and expertise of an amateur can wind up costing much more in the long run. Janitorial work is often considered unskilled labor, but there is actually quite a bit of knowledge and a skill set required to do the job well.
One of the most frequent questions we get is, can we give a break on the price or bring down the cost? This is particularly true of trash hauling, where many clients get sticker shock. So let's break down the nitty gritty and where the numbers come from.
In the state of California, there are laws requiring recycling and composting and systems in place to divert at least 50% of garbage to slow landfill expansion. An Integrated Waste Management Fee is "charged on the amount of solid waste (including nonhazardous wood waste) measured by weight or volumetric equivalent disposed of at a disposal site in California. The total tons of solid waste subject to the fee are multiplied by the fee rate to calculate the amount due." Some dumpsites charge up to $100 per ton to dispose of items. That, plus gasoline, cost of and wear and tear of machinery, and labor hours adds up.
As for janitorial labor, it's one of the most expensive workman's comp policies available. Add on top of that payroll tax, state tax, federal tax, and disability. And we're certainly not going to cut hourly wages where we already have people working in difficult jobs that are hard to fill, there's not a lot of wiggle room for negotiation.
While cleaning is considered unskilled labor, there are techniques and methods we employ and train our staff in to improve the level of craftsmanship and efficiency of the process. It's also manual labor and physically challenging, which means it's not a job that most people want. Many people have dreams of starting their own business or winning an NBA title or writing the great American Novel or starring in a feature film. Nobody grew up saying, "Mom, Dad, you know what I'm going to be when I grow up? I'm going to clean toilets for a living!"
So while we understand that it's more of an eat-your-spinach line item and not as sexy as five star chef food or exquisite decor, it's also better to have it done right the first time so that not only do you not have to go back and clean areas you've just paid to have cleaned, but also so that you don't have to spend money if it's not done right or if the cheap approach incurs any kind of property damage. As we like to say, what makes a good thorough cleaning great is having someone else do it for you.
PopUP CleanUP is a female black-owned small business headquartered in Los Angeles.