How To Start A Drone Business That Will Last And Succeed. 7 Tips From A Former UAV Operator

How To Start A Drone Business That Will Last And Succeed. 7 Tips From A Former UAV Operator

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How To Start a Drone Business That Will Last And Succeed

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What I’m about to tell you is based on my own experiences. The opportunities are huge and if you’re ready then you can look forward to a long and lucrative career in the world of unmanned aviation.

I’d be very interested to know more about you and your business, and if any of what I’m about to say is of use to you. So please, watch to the end and leave me some feedback in the comment section below.

The tips that follow apply to any drone business whether your speciality is aerial photography, videography, mapping, thermal imagery, or whatever.

1. Preparation and planning

Your first task is to consider your market. Who are your clients likely to be? How will you find them? Having found them how will you persuade them to use your services as opposed to any other UAV operator?

How far are you prepared to travel? Is all your business going to be locally based, in your home country, or abroad as well?

2. Create a business plan

If you’ve ever watched the TV show Dragons’ Den (and I recommend you do) you will probably know that it is essential to know the figures for your business. It doesn’t matter how good the product or service, if it doesn’t show a reasonable profit in a given timeframe then it’s never going to succeed.

So your first task is to create a business plan. This doesn’t have to be a complicated PowerPoint presentation with pretty pictures and multimedia (unless you intent to pitch for some investment) but you should at least compile one or more spreadsheets that remind you of what your capital costs and expenditure are likely to be in the first 12-24 months.

There are plenty of free Excel templates online. Just google for ‘business plan templates Excel’ or similar phrases.

3. Controlling your budget

The second point I want to emphasise to keep a tight rein on your budget. You might thing that you need every new gadget, tool, and software for your business. It’s very easy at the start when you’re flushed with enthusiasm (and you’ve still got money to spend!) to buy all the latest kit.

Just remember that for every pound or dollar you spend you will have to replace it with several pounds or dollars. Do you really need that gadget or software today?

Don’t get bitten by the software bug and suffer from upgradeitus. A lot of software tools are filled with features we don’t use. Stick to the essentials.

4. Set the right price

Imagine the scenario; you’ve quoted for a job but your client hesitates and tells you that they can only pay a proportion of your price. They may even hint that they will hire you again if they can secure a discount this time.

My advice is to stick to your original price and don’t be talked into a discount that results in you working at a loss. You should know from your business plan what your break even price is so you’ll know there will a point at which it’s just not worth taking the job.

5. Reinvestment and further training

Following on from the point about profit there is the need for reinvesting in your business. You didn’t think that £150 was going to go into your back pocket, did you?

Continued in the video…


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How To Market A Startup Drone Business. Tips From Former UAV Operator

How To Market A Startup Drone Business. Tips From Former UAV Operator

How To Market A Startup Drone Business. Tips From Former UAV Operator

This is a big topic with a lot of subjects to cover so this video serves as an introduction only, but watch or listen to all of it then ask me any questions or tell me what specifics you need covered by leaving a request in the Comments section below.

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Before I begin may I say congratulations for making the inspired decision to join the drone industry.

By starting a UAV company now or just by obtaining your drone pilot certification you have caught the wave at the right time.

Your next task is to market either yourself or your business. You need to put your name out there and catch the attention of those seeking your skills and services.

The competition between drone pilots and aerial photography companies is already beginning to increase as the technology evolves.

The growth of the UAV market brings many opportunities but as more people join the industry you’ll need to develop a marketing strategy.

It’s the only way you can keep your head in front of the competition and win those vital orders that will ensure your eventual success.

Once you’ve established your business and built up a list of clients then you may find you need less marketing.

For example, you may receive repeat orders from existing clients and new requests by word of mouth referrals.

Your business might then continue and grow by reputation and recommendation alone!

But before you reach that stage you will need to budget for consistent and well planned marketing.

Various Methods For Advertising.

As someone who uses the web you’ve probably seen and responded to PPC ads, promo videos, and adverts on social media.

Websites are easy and inexpensive to build but they require regular attention and fine tuning to stand any chance of being found.

Social media is free and easy to use but accounts need to be nurtured slowly over time if they are to deliver any leads.

PPC advertising gives you control over your campaign and can be productive but only if the preliminary keyword research is accurate.

YouTube and Vimeo can showcase videos but your efforts may be lost among the millions of uploads if their are not optimised for searches.

Local business networking events in your home town or county may produce leads but they too take time to deliver results.

With all thes options and the pros and cons of each it can be difficult to decide how to spend your time, effort, and money.

Get it wrong and you’ll blow the start-up budget with no results. The phone won’t ring and the leads won’t materialise.

Get it right and the pressue will ease and your confidence will increase with each new enquiry.

Continued in the video…


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