Pricing jobs to win contracts in uncertain economic times

This year has brought a unique set of challenges for cleaning business owners and decision-makers.

The choices you make today will make or break the success of your business tomorrow. 


In these turbulent economic times, every decision weighs heavier than ever. The cost of supplies, labour, and operations are not just numbers on a page— they are the lifeblood of your business. 

With the market’s unpredictability, the “race to the bottom,” and information overload, it’s like driving blindfolded on a dangerous mountain pass during a thunderstorm.

Each critical decision—from finding cash to pay wages to covering ever-increasing interest rates—feels like a high-stakes turn along a dangerous cliff’s edge, where one misstep could lead to a disastrous freefall into the economic abyss. 


As costs rise and cash gets tighter, pricing becomes a critical but often disregarded tool, not just to survive, but to beat your competition by providing the best value. 

All too often, I hear things like, “I have to drop my prices,” “I won’t win business,” or “I can’t compete with X; they have more scale and/or lower costs.”

The argument around price is just not valid. The truth is people don’t buy on price; they buy on value. It’s not about setting prices; it’s about understanding customers’ needs and creating highly valuable service packages that deliver quality and build trust.


What do your customers value? 

Maybe it’s your eco-friendly products or your lightning-fast response times. Start today by simply asking your five best customers what they value most about your service. Their insights could be the key to your next big win. 

What is your cost story? 

Dive into your expenses. What does it cost
to deliver every service? Having a deeper understanding of what drives profit enables you to make smart strategic decisions. 

How do you stand out? 

In a sea of competitors, what are they doing differently than you? Don’t copy, but understand what you can do differently to shine above the competition. 


Sometimes, gaining this insight means seeking viewpoints from outside your immediate circle. Engaging with someone completely removed from your business can offer a fresh, unbiased perspective on your pricing and service value. 

This isn’t about questioning your expertise; it’s about enriching it with diverse viewpoints from experienced people who can “bring ideas from outside your business or even your industry. 


1. Give customers a choice: Present your services as a range of compelling choices. From essential to premium, let each option speak to different customer needs, adding depth and breadth to your business. 

2. Refine and elevate your value pricing strategy: Ground your pricing in a deep understanding of your costs and customer value. Ensure it reflects the exceptional service you provide. 

3. Outsmart your competition: Stay informed about the market and your competitors. Use this knowledge to innovate and offer services that set you apart. 


Business owners and leaders often fear pricing, the uncertainty it brings, and the fear of losing customers. It becomes much easier once you have the facts about costs and why customers buy from you. 

Don’t raise prices; come up with entirely new customer-value-rich offerings that your ideal customers can’t resist. Our clients have used this exact method to achieve an average of 2.29 times more profit, with some as high as five or even eight times more profit. 

Anthony Tesler of Need-A-Skip-Now says, “I thought it was just about having the lowest price. I was wrong. By focusing on customer-value pricing, we went from just surviving in a very competitive market to making five times more profit in just one year.” 

Igor Katelenets of Cleaning Star admits, “I was chasing the wrong type of business. I thought chasing big jobs would make my business easier, but the reality was that I was losing money on many of the jobs. I changed the strategy and doubled my profit.” 


By embracing these strategies, you will not only survive the turmoil but will rise as a legend in the cleaning industry, inspiring others and carving a legacy that transcends the ordinary. Let 2024 be the year you redefined success in the cleaning industry. 

Article by Brad Horan. Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya.

Brad Horan is the founder of Lucrature. He can be reached at bhoran@ or visit his website at 

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required