Advice needed on selling an existing Access application (1 Viewer)

David Anderson

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I need some help on how to charge for an Access application written for free for Customer #1 if I sell it to Customer #2.

Up to now, I have only ever written in-house Access apps while working as an IT Manager (recently retired), apps for my own use and my most recent project, a database for an annual international photographic exhibition for which I am a committee member. In other words, I have never sold my database apps to anyone. I have now been approached by another photographic society with a view to buying a version of my photo exhibition application. It is still at a very early stage and no deal has been done yet. However, in preparation for any discussions, I am now faced with the tricky problem of deciding how much money I should ask them to pay.

My photo exhibition app took me 7 months to write, starting with a blank sheet of paper. It took me some time to get up to speed on this as my VBA programming skills had got a bit rusty. There was no prior system in place, apart from paper-based processes. I did all the analysis work, selected and purchased the required equipment and currently act as the database administrator. Further development is planned for next year's exhibition.

It's a reasonably substantial application. According to FMS Total Access Analyzer, it has nearly 12,000 lines of bespoke VBA code, though I'm guessing it counts the blank lines as well as the real code lines. There are also 38 data tables, 180 stored queries (this quantity is inflated by a fair number of one-off ad hoc queries), 41 forms or subforms and 34 reports.

Any guidance on costing would be much appreciated. I don't want to charge too much, because they are a non-profit organisation, but I also want to get some reasonable payment for my past efforts and the conversion work to their requirements. A useful starting point would be for me to know roughly how much this would have cost to buy from a professional Access developer in the UK, so if any of you are reading this, then your advice would be particularly useful!.

David
 

kjamal

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If there is a similar application out there, then charge 75% of what it costs. Build up a solid user base and then bring up the price at about 1% per customer.

If there isn't a similar product on the market, you can use the cost plus method. determine how many hours it took you to develop the application in total multiply that by your current pay rate per hour. This will give you a good basis. So if it took you a 100 hours to build the application and you rate of pay is $50/hour then the cost of your product is $5000. Add any selling costs, over head, etc. and mark the final figure up by 30%. This of course must be kept in line with what kind of product it is and the ability of the market to bear it. This approach allows you to cover all your costs on the first sale and have a little bit to carry to the next project.

Also, register a corporation that will own this application. This will limit your liability and also give you a tax advantage. Consult a tax lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Be aware, when you sell something, you incur alot of liability that you don't have when you do something for free. So take care.

Good luck
K
 
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Don't sell the rights. Sell a license to use the IP. You still own it even after it's installed on their computer(s).
 

eildon

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Hi David- I agree with George W. (not bush) I am in the accommodation and travel business and software runs everything we do from reservations to GDS. Sell a yearly license to the user and with that offer a limited say email support for another charge or make it inclusive. Also suggest that they can email ideas that you can incorporate for them to customise their product, but you always maintain ownership of all code. Go with the approach of a side by side walking relationship with your clients- that is if you are looking to do this as an ongoing business. In Australia you do not get anything customised for you under 1k and I have had friends pay over 10K for customised reservation systems for there hotels. So I guess the price is somewhere between what you think it is worth to them and where you do not feel guilty for charging ?.
All the best - Paul
 

Darth Vodka

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Any guidance on costing would be much appreciated. I don't want to charge too much, because they are a non-profit organisation, but I also want to get some reasonable payment for my past efforts and the conversion work to their requirements. A useful starting point would be for me to know roughly how much this would have cost to buy from a professional Access developer in the UK, so if any of you are reading this, then your advice would be particularly useful!.
Access developers earn about £200 a day, more in London, even more for banking and yet more for front office

200*5*4*7=£28,000

that would be if you were on the payroll and you weren't

as for how much you should charge...easy, as much as you think they will accept ;)

how many users will customer #2 have? how buggy is it and hence how much suppport will be needed? how much development work will be needed on it?
 

David Anderson

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I haven't been back to this forum for a long time as I have been busy converting much of my application to an ASP.NET website using a SQL Server database (derived from my original Access back end).

Thanks to all those who eventually came up with some replies to my OP. They all made useful points for me to consider, though my potential 'Customer #2' never did materialise. However, it may come in useful at some time in the future ....
 

AnnPhil

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Does anyone have a sample Contract for selling a Database?
 

Fifty2One

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I have fuind it best practice to NEVER sell a database or application to a customer. If you do that it becomes their property and you may be infringing on their rights if you have another customer who wants a similar or same product and you reuse some of the code you so carefully constructed.
Enter into a licensing agreement with the customer for all of your hard work, this opens up the opportunity to offer the product to more then one customer either in its entirety or modified to suit the needs of each client.
Get some legal advice in order to draft a licensing contract which suits the jurisdiction(s) of you as the provider and your client. It protects both of you.
 

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