Drones are taking off. It’s an exciting time to own a drone. Once the basics of owning a drone (government regulations) are covered there is a lot you can do to make it your business. Drones, also known as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are more accessible now than ever before. A Goldman Sachs analysis reports a cumulative $100 billion “total addressable market” over the next five years alone.
It’s a new market but the opportunities are endless, in terms of their relatively low prices and ease of flight control for new pilots. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and the functionality varies greatly. Drones are on track to be ‘huge’. And you can take advantage of the many drone business opportunities.
Get the basics right
Like any other business, starting a drone business will take an investment of both time and money. You will definitely need to be genuinely passionate about flying drone for commercial purposes and making it your business. That is a prerequisite for a successful aerial drone business.
If you make a decision to buy a drone today, you not only need government permission to use it, but how, when and where you may use it. It’s a new territory but how they will be used in the future is bound to change and open up up lots of new opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.
If you are ready to learn and acquire UAV’s skills to an advanced level fit for business, then you have an amazing opportunity to turn something you truly enjoy doing into a rewarding profitable business. The The learning curve is can be quite steep for new UAV pilots but it’s worth it.
The choice of drones you will need will be based on what type of business you intend to run. You have a lot options for different purposes. Getting local government approval and a licence will be an important step. Insurance to protect yourself and others is must for new drone pilots. Like any serious business, don’t skip the necessary registrations and legalities to spare yourself the trouble in the future.
Do your research. Make a list of local business, organisations and institutions that could use your drone services including real estate agents and brokers, media companies, tourism bodies, even golf courses, and building surveyors. Think about how you will reach them or how they can find you once you get started. Demonstrate to them the benefits of using your UAV services. The opportunities you can explore
This is by far the most popular drone business opportunity for most people. Real estate, surveying, film-making, shooting special events, and journalism are the common options when you decide to go for aerial photography.
Extreme Aerial Productions is a great example of how you can create a sustainable drone business. The aerial photography company has combined technology, experience and passion to build a growing UAV photography and video services business out of their hobbies. The team translate ideas into a gorgeous, impactful digital medium.
You can combine different areas for your business to stand the chance of growing into a great business. Real estate brokers use drone real estate photography to convince their prospective customers of the many reasons their properties are attractive and worth it. You can work closely with them to handle their aerial photography needs.
Drones are now easy and cheaper options for gathering data in sectors like cartography, topography, feature recognition, archaeology and GIS (geographic information system). They provide information on terrestrial sites that are often difficult, or even impossible, to see or measure from the ground. Your business can find and contact relevant organisations in these professions and make your drone service available to them.
Drones are now less expensive and more versatile option for film-makers than cranes and cameras mounted on helicopters. The film-making industry is huge and you can provide that niche drone filming service to many movie producers and tv show producers.
Many wildlife conservation societies (biologists and researchers) are now using UAV video and aerial imagery to count and monitor everything from birds to wildlife animals.
The demand for UAV flying skills: offer courses
People need skills and permits to fly drones. This is where you come in. What you can do is learn everything you can about using and flying even the most advanced UAV. Getting the right skills in the beginning can be challenging but once you decide to be an instructor, you need to know everything about them.
Find a legal and qualified UAV instructor and get the required knowledge to start your own training program. There is an ever increasing demand for UAV flying skills and some form of accreditation will give you a distinct business advantage to make the most of the drone market.
Once you become a certified drone pilot, you can start your own school, bring other pilots as partners and conduct training sessions on how to fly simple and advanced drones. You don’t have to start teaching with real drones. Students can start with simulators to master the basics. In the future you can offer student license and certifications.
Infrastructure inspection services
Many commercial businesses rely on important data to repair or replace company properties at different locations. Depending on the type of drone business you want to start, you can provide data on cell and tV towers for communication companies on regular basics to help them maintain their properties.
Government institutions also seek the services of special organisations to help them inspect and maintain bridges, wind turbines, power lines, pipelines and even solar panels. Historic and archaeological sites can also benefit from drone services.
This is where a special drone business can partner with different organisations to take care of the infrastructure inspection.
Share your drone creative work
If you are a drone enthusiast, you can capture amazing images and footage with the help your drone and share them on your site or better still on YouTube. A YouTube channel can showcase your work with the rest of the world.
With the help of your flying vehicle, you can also report your own news, shot documentaries and share them on your blog or video channel. If you are consistent, you will end up earning a good income via advertising or sponsorships.
Drone delivery is still very much an untapped market. Amazon has made popular the idea of commercial product delivery but it’s still in the research phase. In some developing countries, drones are being explored to deliver emergency medicine, small (but critical) mechanical parts and even time sensitive documents among other things. Australia and Swiss Post have already tested drone deliveries in the past.
In the future, when all the regulations are in place for each industry, drones will provide significant services to a lot of sectors. Make the most of it by exploring your options today.
With the right and official ground and flight training course, your drone business can be up and running in no time.