The majority of drone businesses are one-person ventures or small businesses. Few entrepreneurs have built large companies with turnovers in millions of dollars. It is not easy to create and manage a successful business. Starting a drone (UAV) business on a solid foundation of appropriate skills and planning is essential. Do you think you have what it takes to create your own drone business? Let us find out.
All businesses start from an idea and definition. You must define what services you will strive to provide and what your target market is. If you got that down, you must determine if you have the time and the resources to undertake a venture like that. If you are feeling confident – go right ahead.
For the next step – a realistic business plan made by yourself or a professional service provider alongside a market analysis is required. Competition, service viability in the market, service prices, regional peculiarities, etc. – all these details are essential for a reality check. If this reality check makes you question starting a business where you are – good, question further and ensure you have a solid foundation before going any further.
Drone Business Markets
Every business needs to differentiate itself and choose the right direction. For example – the most popular field for drone pilots is the real estate market (both private and commercial). There is a lot of established competition in the real estate market and many different services. Suppose a drone pilot wants to enter such a market. In that case, they must immediately offer their clients a competitive service with unique added value. Penetrating an established market is more challenging and only viable if you have expert skills and an extensive portfolio of your previous work.
If you choose a more niche market, you might get a more accessible entry point but less potential clientele and less pay. But this is a tradeoff you must make if you want to pioneer a unique service, thus potentially establishing yourself for the future. Whichever you choose – you need to show real added value for your clients.
A drone is just a tool to gather data. The real value is your data analysis and content for each specific client. Complex jobs worth doing rarely ever end with just a drone flight. You must meet individual requirements each time to produce a product that generates positive business outcomes. That product will be a tangible piece of valuable data they could not obtain otherwise.
Drone Business Areas
There are quite a few areas for drone pilots to work in:
- Drone photography and videography;
- Photogrammetry (orthomosaic, 3D mapping, surveying);
- Agriculture (plant health monitoring, crop dusting);
- Inspection (roof, power lines, wind turbines, power plants);
- Public safety (firefighting, law enforcement, search, and rescue);
- Mining (stockpile monitoring, volume measurements, and estimations)
- Governmental contracts.
You might want to specialise in one area or be a jack of all trades. You decide if you want to specialise and what skills to gain. The more complex and encompassing abilities you have, the better, but being an absolute expert in a single specific area is also a viable approach.
Daily Business Tasks
Besides flying the drone and doing the work, you will need to handle many other business tasks day-to-day:
- Finding new clients;
- Writing quotes;
- Creating marketing campaigns;
- Drafting documents;
- Dealing with customer demands;
- Managing the financial aspects of your business;
- Keeping track of applicable regulations;
- Keeping up with your competitors;
- Observe the entire industry and technological advancements;
- Taking care of work-life balance;
- And many more.
Handling all of these tasks will require you to gain additional knowledge beyond drone flying and data analysis if you are starting as a one-person venture.
Starting a business is always a risk. Good preparation and consideration will help to minimise those risks and manage expectations. If you have the resources and the passion for drone-related work, you enjoy complex challenges – go for it. The demand for professional and reliable drone services will only increase with time.