I have been asked by a company to put together a proposal to build a highly specialised piece of software. The company is a new player in the financial sector who needs to have this system to operate effetively. There are very few if any off-the-shelf solutions to their problem, but I happen to have worked in the exact same problem space before and would bring in-depth knowledge of a similar in-house system as well as the business processes to the table.
While there are a small number of financial companies in the same space, they all seem to build their own systems from scratch rather than going for a vendor solution. This appears to be due to market/country-specific variations.
I think I have a good shot at landing the deal with the firm, but also believe that it may be possible to make the software modular enough to turn it into a product. The variations, from what I can see right now, are confined to one or two particular modules.
What I would like to do is to build the system for the client as per their specific requirements, whilst keeping the modular approach in mind and then try to re-sell the software to other firms without the 'specialised' modules. The client will therefore effectively fund my start up.
This implies that I will need to retain the intellectual property and this will have to be made very clear right from the beginning. Also, to be clear, if I sold the software to other similar firms, they would not gain a competitive advantage as the original client works in a very specific market where they have a monopoly.
Has anyone else done something along these lines before? I'm wondering how to structure the deal and create incentives for the client to be supportive. Because it is not 100% certain whether I will be able to market the product to other clients in the future, I effectively need to ensure I price this into the cost of the project so that if it was a one off project, I still make a profit on the project and am able to pay a number of developers and a BA.
Any advice on this would be highly appreciated.