Online Business Ideas Chapter 1 of 5: Starting a Drone Business
Hi everyone, welcome to today's drone expert secrets, now that the dust hopefully has finally settled or at least we kind of know where the wood is from the trees with regards to the drone registration scheme let's move on and work out how we can build successful businesses within the drone industry.
Six best ways to start drone business:
Today we're going to look at the six best ways you can get a drone and set up drone business. We have seen over the years people starting businesses either starting a business by using their drone or ideally and this is what we see people who are the most successful when they incorporate this is by adding a drone into what you already do using a drone as a tool to help you improve your processes or help solve a problem for someone help provide a solution for somebody.
There's the best way of doing things rather than set it out now and thinking you know what I'm going to get a drone I'm going to get a website I'm going to get the permissions that I need to go and fly commercially and I'm going to make millions of dollars if you're in that bracket I'm afraid to say that for 999 out of a thousand people that that applies to its probably bad news that probably isn't going to happen. So let's look at the six ways you can include a drone into your work or you could build into what you currently do and perhaps use a drone to do things better or add in as another branch to what you do for example are you a surveyor if so not only nowadays do we want to go out doing traditional ground surveys consider adding a drone in and how that could help you deliver better data sets and therefore get more clients and hopefully make more money. So that's it I don't know drone into what you want to do is the best way particularly if you're going into an industry that you all have some kind of grounding in you already have a network in so whether you can penetrate it into easily add the drone in which is going to work out best
Media or production company :
So, first of all, let's look at the first thing that people generally tend to go to when they get a drone which is a media or production company I guess there are three main ways that we can include a drone into this now we back in the day set up a bear successful media company based purely around aerial work we had a lot of expertise in the field. We were already aviators we flew helicopters with cameras on we added drones into our offering and pardon the pun it took off.
We did lots of business we had some great commissions we had some incredible airplanes and an aircraft and drones you know and I'd like to say we were lucky but we weren't we worked very hard at that but we added it into our offering as an aerial media/rider and leveraged our network so that was the best way and that's where you could go that's where we see a lot of people kind of looking to go at the moment and if you can if you have contacts in that network if you are you know established in or know people in the film and TV world then that is a way to go but adding in as I've said already is the best way to do this other things think about could you add a drone into what you do and get aerial shots for the press and media it's a great way of doing things, It's one of the revenue streams within the aerial media business that we see doing quite well.
Stock footage :
Another one which is now coming to the forefront increasingly in this space is stock footage go out to get some stock footage yes the royalties generally aren't very good on the stock footage side of things but they are getting better and it's something that if you are capable of getting good drone footage if you're capable of getting good drone photos and you know what I'm going to throw into this a little one for free for you here.
I wouldn't just necessarily say that it needs to be things around from the air from your drone I would get photos of setting your drone up of having your drone in certain situations so that thinking about how I'm going to go away and do this now that is what we buy when we have to buy stock footage and stock photography for websites for example and with more and more people needing that kind of data that kind of photograph that kind of video that might be something that you want to consider as well not just the footage from the drone but footage of your drone and setting it up and doing the planning of things around it
Surveying modeling and 3d mapping:
The second way in which you could add a drone into what you do you all start to build a new business around is surveying modeling and 3d mapping for me this is one of the biggest growth areas within the drone industry now what we start to see is that gaming studios are starting to pick up on the amount of 3d data that we can collect in a landscape or an environment in or around a building site, for example, we went to Chernobyl several years ago and captured the 3d data which is used in a film but now has also been used to create a level within a role-play game so this is something that I think is going to be kind of used more and more if gaming Studios aren't already jumping on this I don't know why they aren't make sure that
If you can offer this go away and learn how to do it we've got a course coming in the next couple of weeks which will show you how to do this kind of thing this wasn't intended as a blog but we've got a course coming it will show you how to do this learn how to do it get good at doing it add it into what you can offer and contact a load of gaming machines to see if they want your 3d point cloud data another one from that post-production houses. We had a company when we first started teaching the permission for aerial work as it was back kind of five years ago now one of the first clients that we ever had come through was a post-production company who specialized in going out with a lidar system a laser detector and Raijin system and they would go out they would capture a point code of a set for a film and they could then deconstruct the set they could blow it up and all that sort of stuff within a computer against a green screen that was what they did now.
That's moving into the drone space so think about how you could go out and capture 3d data a 3d point cloud and deliver that to a post-production house moving on then into surveying and commercial data and inspections now this is a massive growth space you know getting that data capturing it delivering it up to a developer delivering it up as part of a Commission in terms of going forwards and doing a costing analysis we've seen lots of survey companies now starting to capture this data it isn't too late though if you want to be able to add that in going away learn how to do it.
But the most important thing is that don't forget the data that you're capturing isn't worth that much unless it's qualified and it needs to be qualified by it an approach qualified persons so go out partner team up with collaborate with a survey company who doesn't have the drone kind of experience that you might have that you might be able to bring to the table partner up with them and offer to go and collect some point clouds some data clouds for them deliver them the data they can send a surveyor out to do the ground control points that they can qualify the data and that then becomes a valuable data set you can make a lot of money next one roofing or structural surveys and inspections of assets where the traditional method would have been to work at height this is one of those places where drones can help to solve a problem.
They're a solution to a problem that exists and that kind of problem really is risk so if we've got people working at height invariably there's a lot of insurance cost involved with that there are lots of personal risk involved with that potentially we've got to put things up like scaffolding we've got to have people who are qualified to work at height whereas bang we could potentially throw a drone up capture that data and again potentially I would suggest partner up with someone who already does this offer them the opportunity to see how you can collect the data that they would generally have to I mean we've done dams in the center of Wales which we managed to do a dam in half a day we've collected the data in half a day no-one's been at risk we've had a drone capture that picked the data set we've then annelotte well we've learned processed that data into a 3d model the 3d point cloud a huge author mosaic handed that over to the relevant people so that they could then do their analysis of that data which makes the data worth a lot of money pass that data on to the appropriate people who needed the data in the first place.
We saved on those dams it used to take six weeks for people to do these dams of working at height pen and paper abseiling down we could do those in half a day it's a massive not just cost reduction but also risk reduction and this is where the OSC the operating safety case we've got another video about that I won't labor it, below that's where the operating safety case comes to its own because the CA actually will look at the risk credits so how are you taking something that is risk and explodes expose people to risk and reducing that risk by using a drone risk credit is a big thing in the aviation industry.
At the moment the other one in this is wind turbine inspection so looking at wind turbine inspections you know we've done thousands of wind turbines across the UK we had one of the biggest wind turbine inspection contracts in Europe over the last few years we've now handed that on and passed that baton over to other people because we don't work in that space anymore we concentrate on the training but once you know what you're doing it actually can be done simply really efficiently really quickly and again the cost savings and the efficiency savings that passes on to the people who own and operate those wind turbines is massive and shouldn't be underestimated.
Thermal inspections and Agriculture:
The fourth one-off thermal inspections now the cost of equipment to conduct thermal inspections are coming down and it's going down quickly it's worth bearing in mind there if you do want to do thermal inspections that will likely be some form of qualification required or again collaborate with somebody else who is qualified and get them to qualify the data on your behalf we're seen now people using or doing huge inspections on massive scales for things like PV cells for the solar farms the solar cells that you see out there you know to work out which cells are going bad which cells are dirty and need cleaning and this is only going to grow as we invest more into renewable energy. So a definite growth market well worth looking at getting into although elements within this thermal.
I guess outside of the red-green-blue imagery and data collection is agriculture now are embracing the agronomists are starting to embrace data they've used satellite data for a long time but satellite data is very expensive you can't always get bang up-to-date satellite data so why not use a drone capture that data from the air team-up collaborate within an agronomist so that they can have those datasets on hand able to use and react to them appropriately to increase the yield and kind of efficiency of farming and that comes into the NDVI and near-infrared spectrum you will need specialist aircraft specialist data capture sensors for that but something to look at the final part within the thermal element is search and rescue search and rescue is a growing market.
I would say within the drone space we've seen people are starting to use drones now to look for people and animals that have gone missing and some have been found which is an incredible application of the technology and I think as more of this happens there will be more requirement for agencies to bring in people who have that capability who have the equipment and you will be able to make money from that get some contracts to collaborate with your local police force your local fire and your local search and rescue you know mansion rescue.
If you're up in the mountains and the Highlands collaborate with those people get known by them to find them on LinkedIn wherever they hang out and offer your services and see if you can build a relationship and then build a business from it.
Wedding photography :
The fifth thing is wedding photography now wedding photography we see this coming at us all the time we get wedding photographers on courses because they know that they need to be able to deliver the drone shots that wedding couples want I wouldn't say you can build a business on its own within the wedding photography business just by having a drone but it's going to be an add-on and I think it's becoming one of those things from what we've seen within the industry where people want it more and more.
If you don't have that capability you won't potentially be chosen to get the wedding photos or that couple the final one and it would be remiss of me not to point this out is training that is what we've double down on if you've not been staying up-to-date with the kind of channel. If you've mastered your craft if you've mastered the art of flying a drone you know you know how to kind of get someone to use the camera on their drone in a better way than they would do if it was just in Auto we charge a hundred and forty-nine dollars an hour for people to spend time with our instructors because they've spent years learning we know hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of practice and we try 149 dollars now or it's not a bad way to make a living we also now have master classes and go out and make your own if you have a specialist subject you know there are people out there who are begging within the drone industry to know how to and be taught how to edit films how to grade footage how to put a showreel together create a master class around this show people to get best shots from their drone how to collect data in the best way how to present that data and you will do very well
I was going to say brief rundown but a fairly I suppose in-depth overview of the six main ways we see people making money in the drone industry today really interested in space to be indefinitely growing at the moment and growing quite quickly despite the CIA trying to put the brakes on despite the Department for Transport trying to put the brakes on you know really interested in space to be in lots of money to be made if you can master your craft and I would say that the key takeaways from it are you need to be adding a drone into a business you need to be delivering a solution solving a problem with the use of a drone and and I can't stress this enough collaborate and partner with other people who might be able to use your services rather than going out and trying to get 50 customers go to the one person who's got 50 customers where they could use you as a solution to a problem and you'll have immediate access to those 50 people yes you might not make the full amount that you would normally charge.
50 lots of 100 dollars are much better than one lot of 50 dollars okay I hope you found that useful like say if you did give us a thumbs up if you didn't give it a double thumbs down, all the best.