I am the co-owner of a small web development firm. We offer Ruby on Rails programming for our clients which mostly consist of small companies. We typically charge $80-$110 per hour. For 2/3 of our clients we build large projects, deploy them, handle bug fixing for about 1 month and then disengage. The other 1/3 we provide ongoing maintenance (additional development). We set up a service contract for monthly hours billed at a set rate.
How would you suggest I price the following SLAs for those clients which we have service contracts for?
- Sometimes critical bugs pop up in applications after the 30 day post deployment window closes (at which point bug fixes are no longer free), yet clients want us on call for these things. They want it done ASAP whether it be 11:00 pm Tuesday or a weekend.
- In the event a client website gets hacked (we do basic security testing, but we are not security experts), they of course need immediate attention.
We set up almost all our client web servers on Amazon EC2. Sometimes the web server needs a restart. Sometimes a process is stuck and needs a restart. Sometimes EC2 itself goes down.
In addition to what I mentioned above, we are increasingly seeing clients that ask for small updates/enhancements that only take a few hours if not less, but they want the turn around time to be 1-2 days or sooner. What additional charge would you put on our hourly rate for such things. I was kind of equating it to next day delivery versus standard mail where you have a roughly 30% + cost.
Finally, for those of you that have service contracts. Say 80 hours per month and the clients only used 50 hours. Do you let that carry over to the next month?