The differences from most RTS are:
- workers are AI-controlled
- buildings have inputs and outputs
- physical resources must be transported (after global cache is used up)
- labour is a resource
All exchanges involve money and prices and wages can be adjusted.
It seems like a broken mechanic though because I'm having to calculate default prices so that the economy doesn't break, so that players don't go bankrupt and workers can buy food and pay rent.
About calculating prices - what about just taking actual prices or approximately realistic values, and then let players to fiddle around and see what to balance from there.
As far as I understand the general concept - players will be able to choose what kind of business they wanna run, like logistics, resource extraction, manufacturing, or purely trading or a combination.
buildings have inputs and outputs
Building and it's functionality could be separate, on a very basic level it was done in "Towns" where you build building and then choose what it's functionality will be by putting stuff into the building, so building a factory for example means you need to build a a big enough building to fit, say, production line or whtvr. This might open other possibilities, like planning ahead, say you wanna have a big factory, you can build it big enough to incorporate more equipment later on to avoid building another one, or ability to reequip that factory or upgrade the equipment inside and so on.