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Thread: Financial issue - what thought /analytical process works for you?

  1. #11
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    Originally Posted by mustlovedogs
    Have her cleaning prices increased over time? Would you be open to paying a little bit more for every cleaning?

    Prepaying is fine, but it comes with a discount when I do it. Like 4 cleanings for $275 or $75 a piece kind of thing. I would do that next time, if you want to prepay.
    Oh, interesting!!! No, she has never increased her prices and from what I know about what others pay in the general area it's not typical for biweekly/weekly cleaners to increase prices - different if it's a person you employ as a daily housekeeper/nanny from what I've seen (which we do not do). I think for her it's a volume business -she has 2 others women come, they finish in 1.5 hours or so and they have a number of apartments in this (very nice) building. Crossing my fingers that she wouldn't want to ruin her reputation in this building. I am not sure where else she cleans. When I moved in I was referred to her by our leasing office and since they know her I felt comfortable. I will switch if this happens again. Thank you so much.

  2. #12
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    UPDATE: I just now received this text from her -breaking news:

    "Good morning. Just want [to] thank you again for all your help. I'm so blessed to have good clients that care. You're the best. May you receive it back 10 times :-)"
    We responded "Thank you! We're glad to have been able to help :-)"

    Well that makes me feel a bit better. (husband's idea was to do past tense as to not imply we're happy to do this again lol)

  3. #13
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Oh, interesting!!! No, she has never increased her prices and from what I know about what others pay in the general area it's not typical for biweekly/weekly cleaners to increase prices - different if it's a person you employ as a daily housekeeper/nanny from what I've seen (which we do not do). I think for her it's a volume business -she has 2 others women come, they finish in 1.5 hours or so and they have a number of apartments in this (very nice) building. Crossing my fingers that she wouldn't want to ruin her reputation in this building. I am not sure where else she cleans. When I moved in I was referred to her by our leasing office and since they know her I felt comfortable. I will switch if this happens again. Thank you so much.
    If over 9 years she hasnít increased her prices, I think itís time to do so. Thatís 9 years of not keeping up with other costs. Thatís all Iím saying. She may be in a bind because her wages havenít increased except in volume, which is a hard business model to live by.

    In that case, Iíd feel fine pre paying (lots of history!) and discussing if another $5-$10 per cleaning with NO paid vacations is a good agreement.

  4. #14
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    Originally Posted by mustlovedogs
    If over 9 years she hasnít increased her prices, I think itís time to do so. Thatís 9 years of not keeping up with other costs. Thatís all Iím saying. She may be in a bind because her wages havenít increased except in volume, which is a hard business model to live by.

    In that case, Iíd feel fine pre paying (lots of history!) and discussing if another $5-$10 per cleaning with NO paid vacations is a good agreement.
    I agree , I am raising my prices in October as we have had tax increase here and the price of food has gone up in a ridiculous way the last few months. Overhead of every kind will go up. I am limited by law in client number, so increasing my daily rate is the only viable option.

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  6. #15
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    My ex had a small business as a landscaper. Shortly after my mother passing we were in a really bad financial situation ( previously we relied mostly on my income as I made more, but the financial stress caused by mother's passing meant he had to contribute more). He had had the same clients for some fifteen years at that point, who were always really happy with his work and recommended him around a lot. So, at the time we were struggling, he asked his regular clients for advanced payment a few times, and got around to working on the projects the very day after the payment, always delivering in due time. It was just those few times when we were really in a pinch. I was against, not wanting him to risk the relationship with clients whom his livelihood has been dependant upon for over a decade, but apparently they though he was reliable and trustworthy and were glad to help, especially as it was the first time and his prices have always been more than reasonable to boot.

    I'm a little put off by her having asked payed vacation days, I'd never heard of that with occasional cleaning service. I guess it's one of those things some people chance their luck asking thinking there's no harm trying, especially if they otherwise have a good rep?

    If she does the four cleanings in due time without asking more favors, I'd chalk it down to them simply needing an investment in hubs business, a one time thing. But I too would get someone else if this wasn't the last time she asks.

    The go fund me I think was a reasonable request, if for example she had to register a business to keep working. If her clients wanted her continued services, I don't think a small contribution to ensure she stays in the business (if I understand correctly that's what she was trying to do) is a terrible idea.

  7. #16
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    Originally Posted by mustlovedogs
    If over 9 years she hasnít increased her prices, I think itís time to do so. Thatís 9 years of not keeping up with other costs. Thatís all Iím saying. She may be in a bind because her wages havenít increased except in volume, which is a hard business model to live by.

    In that case, Iíd feel fine pre paying (lots of history!) and discussing if another $5-$10 per cleaning with NO paid vacations is a good agreement.
    Yes -there are no paid vacations. She asked all of us for one once years ago. I think I wrote that I declined but now I remember I gave her a partial bonus that year at the time of her request
    and then another holiday bonus. I'll leave it to her whether she chooses to increase prices. Were she to do so her prices would be slightly higher than the going rate. Maybe that's why she has not. Not my concern. She seems to be in a bind because of what she wrote to me yesterday. If it continues to happen I won't prepay and I won't suggest paying her more -that's her business decision to make. She's never asked for more.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Yes -there are no paid vacations. She asked all of us for one once years ago. I think I wrote that I declined but now I remember I gave her a partial bonus that year at the time of her request
    and then another holiday bonus. I'll leave it to her whether she chooses to increase prices. Were she to do so her prices would be slightly higher than the going rate. Maybe that's why she has not. Not my concern. She seems to be in a bind because of what she wrote to me yesterday. If it continues to happen I won't prepay and I won't suggest paying her more -that's her business decision to make. She's never asked for more.
    Thatís fair, but Iím just pointing out her bind may be because she hasnít had a pay raise in 9 years and sheís scared to ask for a raise. Again, not your problem, but making it your problem could help her and be very compassionate.

    Saying itís not your problem and then threatening to run her off makes me sad. Sheís been with you for 9 years (I think, right?) doesnít she deserve a little bit more than one weird request leading to her termination?

  9. #18
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    I'd think of all of it-- the paid "vacation" day, gofundme contribution, and pay advances-- as transactional. She's either worth it or she isn't. Having someone you trust with your key to enter your home regularly while you're not around is almost worth it by itself, but again...almost. What would bug me honestly isn't the the "vacation day" or pay advance themselves, but that I just wanna pay someone and have my house cleaned, not to be included in any of this extra financial drama. Really, I'd take the option of paying someone more than it'd cost me helping another cleaner out if I could bank on not getting odd texts during my holiday weekends. But again, you're talking a 9+ year arrangement with someone you trust and who, I'm at least assuming given it wasn't suggested otherwise, hasn't taken advantage by getting complacent in her work ethic. If I felt the trust and her service was worth it, I'd probably provide the advance and not think twice of it.

    What I will say is that asking for pay in advance really isn't all that audacious. In fact, if this is a bi-weekly, scheduled and effectively indefinite arrangement, I'm surprised she hasn't already established it. I'm not saying you (Batya) have consciously made some evil decision not to, but that I'm just surprised she hasn't taken it upon herself to bring it up yet. My work is very different from hers in terms of services, but very similar in that you build a work week block-by-block. I'm an interpreter who contracts predominantly with universities and will get a two-hour class here, another one there, a 90-minute one Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then I have to build around those classes with different universities.

    If a school or institution wants a one-time service, I'll include a cancellation window of >48 hours from the assignment and leave it at that as I can accept work for that time slot any week before or after that job. But, while I don't ask for a pay advance, if they want me to regularly cut out a specific time window of my availability to guarantee weekly or bi-weekly services, 1) the pay is guaranteed whether the professor / student / company cancels that week or not, and 2) should that entire job be cancelled (typically due to a student dropping the class), I get paid the next two weeks for that time still. My service for someone is essentially a denial of service to someone else who might otherwise pay me for ongoing work. There's no way I'd accept compensation per diem and after the fact while giving someone the benefit of sacrificing my availability and turning down other work for any extended amount of time.

    Even the "vacation day" really isn't all that bad. No, she's not your employee, but she is your cleaner. You could go to a cleaning company who does offer its employees vacation / paid sick days and risk a complete rotation of strangers entering your home every other week, or you can give this lady the benefit of having an egregious one day's assurance of pay for that entire year should she be sick that day or should an extra obligation befall upon her. I think some people have an odd perception of contract or otherwise non-employed but regular work. It's not that you don't get benefits. It's that you negotiate 1 on 1 for them. If she feels the value of her work includes a paid personal day, she can and should negotiate for it. If Batya or any other client doesn't agree, then they should refuse.

    That's more a rambling than anything more in response to the general sentiment some may have, not you personally. It sounds like you value this woman and have been more than generous and accommodating with what are frankly her personal problems. While obviously four cleanings (essentially two months?) in advance is excessive as a principle or recurrence, if I were her and I was expected to dedicate that availability to you for the entire year, I'd probably be asking for payments one cleaning in advance to secure my time. So in your shoes, once she's caught up with these cleanings, that's probably what I'd offer and be done with entertaining any other requests for unarranged compensation. Obviously that's entirely up to you, whether you feel she should be the one to ask for it, or whether you justifiably don't consider her services worth it.

  10. #19
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    Originally Posted by mustlovedogs
    Thatís fair, but Iím just pointing out her bind may be because she hasnít had a pay raise in 9 years and sheís scared to ask for a raise. Again, not your problem, but making it your problem could help her and be very compassionate.

    Saying itís not your problem and then threatening to run her off makes me sad. Sheís been with you for 9 years (I think, right?) doesnít she deserve a little bit more than one weird request leading to her termination?
    I am not threatening in the least. If she asks for prepayment again I am going to say no. She hasn't been just with me. She cleans a lot of units in this building and I am not interested in suggesting to her how she runs her business especially since we all pay more than the going rate. If she asks again and seems unhappy if I say no then I believe I will find another cleaner but I would not "out" her to the building. One time when I was going to switch (because her employees who she had then were not doing a thorough job) my office here asked me why and I didn't share (they are unaffiliated but I think they refer her to others).

    In my experience where I live housecleaners who come biweekly or weekly do not raise their rates - I am not sure why - I am not in the business. I have increased my holiday bonus in certain years depending on a variety of factors.

    If she is scared to ask for a raise I don't see that as my issue - I have done nothing to make her fearful of asking for anything - in fact to the contrary, apparently, based on the text I posted. I see this as a business relationship. In a business relationship it typically -with rare exception -is up to the person who wants a raise to ask for one and to balance the fear of asking for one against the benefits of asking. I've had to make that analysis myself, I get it. If she worked for me as a full time employee or cared for my child I might see the relationship differently because then it's more of a hybrid business/part of the family. She/her staff come twice a month. If she asked for a raise I'd probably shop around at that point since she is paid more than the going rate.

  11. #20
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    I'd think of all of it-- the paid "vacation" day, gofundme contribution, and pay advances-- as transactional. She's either worth it or she isn't. Having someone you trust with your key to enter your home regularly while you're not around is almost worth it by itself, but again...almost. What would bug me honestly isn't the the "vacation day" or pay advance themselves, but that I just wanna pay someone and have my house cleaned, not to be included in any of this extra financial drama. Really, I'd take the option of paying someone more than it'd cost me helping another cleaner out if I could bank on not getting odd texts during my holiday weekends. But again, you're talking a 9+ year arrangement with someone you trust and who, I'm at least assuming given it wasn't suggested otherwise, hasn't taken advantage by getting complacent in her work ethic. If I felt the trust and her service was worth it, I'd probably provide the advance and not think twice of it.

    What I will say is that asking for pay in advance really isn't all that audacious. In fact, if this is a bi-weekly, scheduled and effectively indefinite arrangement, I'm surprised she hasn't already established it. I'm not saying you (Batya) have consciously made some evil decision not to, but that I'm just surprised she hasn't taken it upon herself to bring it up yet. My work is very different from hers in terms of services, but very similar in that you build a work week block-by-block. I'm an interpreter who contracts predominantly with universities and will get a two-hour class here, another one there, a 90-minute one Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then I have to build around those classes with different universities.

    If a school or institution wants a one-time service, I'll include a cancellation window of >48 hours from the assignment and leave it at that as I can accept work for that time slot any week before or after that job. But, while I don't ask for a pay advance, if they want me to regularly cut out a specific time window of my availability to guarantee weekly or bi-weekly services, 1) the pay is guaranteed whether the professor / student / company cancels that week or not, and 2) should that entire job be cancelled (typically due to a student dropping the class), I get paid the next two weeks for that time still. My service for someone is essentially a denial of service to someone else who might otherwise pay me for ongoing work. There's no way I'd accept compensation per diem and after the fact while giving someone the benefit of sacrificing my availability and turning down other work for any extended amount of time.

    Even the "vacation day" really isn't all that bad. No, she's not your employee, but she is your cleaner. You could go to a cleaning company who does offer its employees vacation / paid sick days and risk a complete rotation of strangers entering your home every other week, or you can give this lady the benefit of having an egregious one day's assurance of pay for that entire year should she be sick that day or should an extra obligation befall upon her. I think some people have an odd perception of contract or otherwise non-employed but regular work. It's not that you don't get benefits. It's that you negotiate 1 on 1 for them. If she feels the value of her work includes a paid personal day, she can and should negotiate for it. If Batya or any other client doesn't agree, then they should refuse.

    That's more a rambling than anything more in response to the general sentiment some may have, not you personally. It sounds like you value this woman and have been more than generous and accommodating with what are frankly her personal problems. While obviously four cleanings (essentially two months?) in advance is excessive as a principle or recurrence, if I were her and I was expected to dedicate that availability to you for the entire year, I'd probably be asking for payments one cleaning in advance to secure my time. So in your shoes, once she's caught up with these cleanings, that's probably what I'd offer and be done with entertaining any other requests for unarranged compensation. Obviously that's entirely up to you, whether you feel she should be the one to ask for it, or whether you justifiably don't consider her services worth it.
    Thanks so much! This is very informative and thoughtful!! I never had a cleaner until I had a child -so in my other city for the 15 years I lived on my own I didn't. We do have strangers coming -she changes employees pretty regularly. Trust is a huge plus here!! In my experience with housecleaners they are paid day of -the $ is left for them if they come in when people are not home. I had a boyfriend for 7 years in my former city who had a biweekly housecleaner and that is how he did it and how it apparently was "done". So I wasn't at all surprised she wanted it this way too. At first I would give her checks. Then she wanted cash so we did that.

    Thanks so much again! I am going to reread how you would approach it. It makes sense to me and needs a rereading.

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