How to start a cleaning business: 11 – Time hacking week 1 data

In a bid to improve profitability I recently downloaded the aTimeLogger app in order to see where I spend my time throughout the day.

The idea behind this experiment came from a recent ChooseFI podcast that I’ve previously written about here. Using the data, we can attempt to reduce the travel time and work time for each job, thus increasing the actual hourly rate. We can then pinpoint which jobs pay the least and increase the amount charged per clean. Lastly we can investigate the discrepancies and wide variations in the actual hourly rates.

Actual hourly rates were calculated using this equation. Now lets take a look at the results from week one:

Day Type Travel Time Work Time Amount Charged ($) Actual Hourly Rate ($)
1 Commercial 27m 3h 20m 160 36.94
2 Commercial 17m 1h 312 60 33.12
3 Commercial 24m 1h 35m 90 39.72
4 Commercial 15m 1h 16m 130 79.79
5 Commercial 13m 1h 52 53 19.63
6 Commercial 27m 55m 60 33.74
7 Commercial 42m 2h 30m 120 31.77
8 Commercial 17m 45m 70 62.23
9 Commercial 12m 1h 4m 27 15.53
10 Domestic 36m 2h 34m 120 32.12
11 Domestic 56m 2h 46m 120 26.70
12 Commercial 31m 28m 30 24.57
13 Domestic 24m 2h 9m 110 37.41
14 Domestic 48m 2h 34m 131 33.14
15 Domestic 23m 2h 11m 90 29.43
16 Domestic 28m 1h 56m 80 27.60
17 Domestic 54m 1h 53m 90 26.64
Totals 8h 14m 31 h 20m 1541
Average 28m 1h 54m 90.61 34.71

So lets look at some of the highlight (and lowlights) from week one’s data:

  • Average hourly rate (Commercial) – $37.70
  • Average hourly rate (Domestic) – $30.43
  • Best hourly rate – $82.64
  • Worst hourly rate – $15.53
  • Total weekly travel time – 8h 14m
  • Weekly income – $1541

The fact that I spend the equivalent of a full work day travelling from job to job blows me away.

I put the discrepancy in hourly rate down to poor estimating. A lot of the lower paying commercial jobs are clients that I took on when I first opened the business. I was keen to build my portfolio and was willing to work at a reduced rate to build clientele. I’ll either increase the price per clean for these clients or swap them out for new clients at a higher rate.

I’ll analyse and attempt to reduce travel time in a future post. Reducing work time for each job while maintaining a high level of quality may be difficult, but I’ll investigate strategies in the coming months.

It’ll be interesting to analyse week two’s data to see if the results are similar to week one.

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