We provide a customisable SaaS solution, and have adopted the classic billing model of a monthly user subscription fee. However some of our clients also require us to make customisations to their instances from time to time.
Currently, if the customisation can be refactored into the main / shared codebase (thus allowing all of our clients to benefit from it), we do not bill for it. But the majority of customisations are client-specific, in which case we bill per hour (albeit at a significant discount to market-related hourly rates for software development).
I know of some companies that don't bill for their time at all, and others who bill for everything. What are your thoughts on the various strategies?
If it is a good idea I want to see globally in my SaaS, I do not take money for it.
If it is specific for only one customer, they need to pay the customization. You have also to consider if this customer can get upgrades of your product later or if the version is really forking away... in the later case this might become pretty expensive if you don't bill the change.
The best way would be to have a plugin architecture in place which does not (or less) conflict with the mainstream app. Again, I would work on a monthly rate.
Not billing for customization... well, not my cup of tea.
We have a couple products and we handle it like this: