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How To Start a Drone Business That Will Last And Succeed
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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