The coronavirus pandemic (covid-19) is probably and will continue to be the most disruptive element of 2020 and beyond.
It did not only change the way we relate with others, how we work, and commute, but more so, it changed the way we do business, and this new model of commute, work and business, by all indications, will be with us for a very long time.
However, every adversity comes with its own opportunities and prospects, and it is only those who have the eyes of the eagle, that will be able to spot and take advantage of the opportunities.
Starting a Drone business is one of the new businesses that will create the new super-rich. Drone business though did not start in 2020, but the “pandemic business model”, has no doubt made it the business of now and of the future, as business is no longer business as usual.
In this write-up, we will be guiding you through everything you need to know before you start a drone business and how to also make your drone business, very profitable.
As with every other business, you are always advised to get a business plan, in like manner, drone business will also require that you have a plan, a road map, legal requirements, and areas/niches of drone business, where you can take the highest profits.
How to get started with Drone Business
Starting a drone business follows the legal process, as with other businesses, and you will do yourself a lot of good, if you do not run against the law, as this may impact negatively on your new found drone business.
Getting started then implies that you follow the below processes, as starting a business is beyond coming up with a business idea. Before you let loose your first drone into the air, please ensure that you have complied with the followings:
1. Get your Drone registered
Getting started with drone business on a commercial level will requires that you follow the due process of the law. It does not matter the weight or the size of the drone.
If your intention is to use it for commercial purposes, the law then requires that you must have your drone registered. Registering your drone depends on the country in which you will be operating your drone business.
The first step in getting started is for you to visit the aviation authority website of the country where you are starting the drone business and get it registered. For instance, if you are starting your drone business in America, you can simply register in the FAA drone zone website.
The registration process is easy and cost about $5, and you will simply fill a form providing basic details. After the registration, you will be assigned a serial no, which you can permanently be marked on the body of the drone.
Same way, you have a new plate number for your car, the reason for permanently having the serial number on the drone is for visual inspection, when there are drone related accidents, so that emergency responders can spot your drone for instance, in case of accidents.
2. Get a Drone license
The 14 CFR Part 107 rules provide the legal framework that regulates commercial drone flight. Part of the framework requires that the pilot of the drone must be physically and mentally fit, and the drone not flying at night and also not encroaching on controlled or restricted airspaces.
How to Get an FAA Drone License, Step-by-Step
- Be at least 16 years old.
b. Pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test.
c. Apply for and obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate. …
- Pass a background check by the Transportation Security Administration (this vetting happens automatically during your application process).
3. Get Drone Insurance
It is not mandatory to get an insurance, while starting out with your drone business, but it is highly recommended that you get an insurance for your drone.
If you are serious with your drone business, it is expected that you will treat it as every other business venture, which implies that an insurance policy will protect you from unexpected obligations that will come financially as a result of your drone getting involved in an accident, which may damage the property of others, cause injury and even your cherished drone, thereby ending your drone business, even before, it lifted its head above the ground.
So an insurance policy for your drone business will give you the springboard to bounce back when there are eventualities.
How you can profit from drone business
- The world has changed a great deal and what used to be known as the “flying cameras of the rich”, has gradually transformed into a multi-million industry. The global Drone Services market size is projected to reach USD 51270 million by 2026, from USD 5453.2 million in 2020, at a CAGR of 45.3% during 2021-2026. And the U.S commercial drones’ market size was USD 824.0 Million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 2,333.82 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 14.6% from 2020 to 2027.
We, therefore, encourage forward-thinking businessmen and women to take advantage of this projected growth and take their slice of this hitherto “hobbyist toys” turned “money capturing cameras”.
Drone Business Opportunities
Just as the drones fly above the ground, it will not be out of place to state that the opportunities of drone business, are also out of the ground, as the profit margins, most definitely fly’s above the ground, when done properly and professionally.
Below are the areas you can use to break into the drone business and take a slice of profits.
One of the areas you can profit from the drone business is in the area of film making. This includes short films, documentaries, aerial photography, wedding coverage, montages, etc.
The basic requirement is the knowledge of operating a video camera and how to fly a drone, and boom, you are in business, as you will have a lot of clients who need your services and who could not afford the high cost of helicopters to capture the shots they want, which drones can do easily and at a cheaper cost.
It should be of interest to note that many businesses rely on aerial photography for data collections and assets management. So owning a drone can be a great start and the right step to venture into the world of freelance business of commercial photography and videography, which when done professionally can become a primary source of income.
Agriculture Manning/Inspection Business
With the new innovations and technology in the agricultural sector, it implies that farming and farmers are adopting and adapting to the new technologies.
Drone business is therefore a great profit spinner in the agricultural sector, as Farmers for instance, can now reduce the cost of manually inspecting their farms, as drones can reach niche areas in half the amount of time that it would take if manual labor were to be used.
Farmers also now use drones for infection controls like pest and blight identification, weed identification, and application of crop inputs like fertilizer, pesticides, and water distribution. As a drone business owner, there are huge opportunities, as all that is required from you is to approach the farmers and provide them with these services at affordable costs and take your profit.
Mapping and Industrial Inspection Business
Before now, it takes surveyors lots of days and even weeks to map and measure and quantify areas, but with drones, it has become increasingly easy to map, quantify and measure geo-referenced areas.
Professionals, like Architects, construction site owners, mining engineers, shipping and infrastructure professionals, are all turning to the use of drones to carry out their activities, and who else is more in a position to provide them with these services, if not you, the drone owner?
Small Business Delivery/marketing/advertising
During the lockdown as warranted by the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon started experimenting with drone deliveries. If nothing else, this is an eye-opener that drones will become the “delivery vans” of the future, and the future is here already.
According to new laws and rules, as developed by local authorities in different countries, small businesses now benefit greatly from drone technology.
Drones now deliver various items and carry out activities ranging from food supplies, repair materials, grocery items, and perform other functions that now help reduce operation costs for small businesses. According to new findings, Drone are also now used for intelligence gathering and data mining.
Part of the findings that easily come to mind is that for instance, Walmart is testing how drones could help improve warehouse inventory management.
The new areas where Drones usage are been adopted is in the area of carrying out marketing campaigns, as drones now carry advertising banners and they are also used in shooting aerial footage campaigns, and this has helped many businesses to maximize exposure.
And as more businesses align themselves with these new methods of deliveries, that will eventually eliminate pick-up vans, drone business owners should be rightly positioned to take advantage of these new opportunities.
Real Estate Drone Business
Over the year, real estate has always been a business sector that has been open to growth and innovation. There is no doubt then that the real estate market as a multi-billion industry quickly and fastly adopted drone technology.
Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that Drones now power video tours for customers, who are interested in property inspections, thereby saving time and cost of inspecting one property after the other.
Drone now also provide immerse experience and joy to customers, as they watch drones soar through halls and over rooftops.
Drone Repair/Maintenance Service Business
With the new drone business also comes with ancillary services. It implies that as more drones are in the market, it will mean, that more parts will be needed, routine repairs and maintenance will be carried out.
And with the steadily increasing use of drones worldwide, and with understandably drone crashes that comes with more usage, a good drone repair service is also going to become part of the equation, and who are meant to provide these repairs and maintenance services if not you?.
Drone Professional Courses Provider Business
As with any new business, new knowledge frontiers will be required and developed. So now is a good timing to position yourself by providing this required knowledge and you can do this by teaching and providing drone flying courses.
Drone flying courses are always in two folds; theory and practical. As a professional instructor, you can teach Students the safe use of drones and also the basic skills on how to maneuver them while taking pictures or capturing footages.
You can therefore profit from drone business by offering certification courses and also providing guidance on how to obtain licenses.
Search and rescue
With frequent plane crashes and other high risk accidents, Drones are now becoming very useful in search-and-rescue missions. Not only does Drones reduce cost, as compared to helicopters, drones are also able to reach nooks and crannies that helicopters cannot reach.
So you can profit from drone business by equipping your drones with infrared and/or night vision sensors and rent it out to search and rescue organizations to enable them detect missing individuals, the drones can achieve this by either heat emissions or visually, more so, the drones can also deliver emergency supplies as when needed with regards to the search and rescue mission.
So by starting a drone business, you can help to save human lives and also profit from your business at the same time if you become a drone business owner/operator by selling, renting, or equipping search-and-rescue drones.
In addition to the above, some other drone business opportunities to look into are:
- Commercial Inspection Services: Bridges, cell and TV towers, wind turbines, power lines, pipelines, and even solar panels.
- Fast Food Delivery: Big companies will be adopting drones to deliver daily food items like pizza’s and other fast foods in the future.
- Package Delivery: Drones will be used to deliver parcels, letters, shopping items, etc. for instance, Australia Post and Amazon are already investing in drone technology as a way of delivering packages.
- Residential Home Inspections: Drones will be used to check roofs, chimneys, brick, and other structures for exterior damage and all these represent opportunities for businesses.
- Software Programming/Applications: As the market for drones develops, so also will be the technology that powers it. So if you have programming skills, you can look at what is lacking presently with the drone technology and market and invest in creating a solution for it.
The opportunities listed here are just so small, compared with the possibilities and opportunities you can harness as a drone business owner. Living in a post- Covid -19 and pandemic era, entails that the world will never remain the same again, but the good news is that more opportunities like starting a drone business, will keep springing forth on a daily basis, but what you do with such opportunities or information like this, is entirely up to you. So don’t end up with just reading, take action today.
Let us know your thoughts about this write up on starting a drone business or if you have any business opportunity you want us to write about in the comment session.