How to start a drone business: Plans and Opportunities
From being considered as mere “toys of the hobbyists”, “flying cameras of the rich,” or the “clandestine military operative machines”, drones have further penetrated vast areas of our economy and are starting to become a major part of our everyday lives. Unimaginable uses of drones are coming to life every single day and their evolution is only going to surge with time.
Business tech buffs globally are trying to get a slice of this rapidly growing trend’s pie. The drone business opportunity market is posed to grow 190% from 2014 to 2024, according to The Drone Co.
For a budding entrepreneur, owning a drone in this day and age is a latent business opportunity just waiting to be explored and exploited. For opportunistic businesspeople, drones have multiple uses and can be explored and utilized in a variety of ways.
Before getting started with a drone-related business, it is fundamental to check local regulations on the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Some countries already have introduced strict regulations that limit the use of drones.
How to Get Started with a Drone Business
Before you decide to take the plunge into the intriguing world of drones and the business opportunities ascribed with them, the very first steps are to enroll in an FAA-approved aeronautical training program to get a Remote Pilot Certificate, which is a pre-requisite to be able to commercially conduct a full-fledged drone business. You can enroll in the Drone Pilot Ground School, which helps fledgling drone pilots get the appropriate test prep for the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test.
UAV Coach also offers a step-by-step guide to FAA Part 107 for U.S. Commercial Drone Pilots to score a drone certification process that covers all the new regulations implemented by the FAA.
Drone Business Opportunities
Considered the best business to start in 2017, some of the upcoming potential business opportunities with drones are listed below:
One-man Aerial Film Unit (Filmmaking)
With basic knowledge of operating video cameras and piloting drones, people can produce in-house documentaries, short films, video snippets and montages that would otherwise require helicopters to shoot. Moreover, drones are cheaper, more maneuverable, and safer than helicopters.
Individuals and large enterprise consumers can also pursue a wedding and special events photography business with drones. Owning a drone can be the ultimate start to a freelance business of commercial photography and videography, which could prove to be a secondary or even a primary source of income.
Agriculture Manning/Inspection Business
Farmers can reduce the variable cost of manually getting their farms inspected, as drones can reach niche areas in half the amount of time that manual labor would take. Farmers can also use UAVs for pest and blight identification, crop health and weed identification, and agriculture applications such as fertilizer, pesticides, and water distribution.
Mapping and Industrial Inspection Business
With a geo-referenced map, areas and objects can be easily measured and quantified with drones, which otherwise would take a ground survey team several days to cover. Architects, construction site owners, mining engineers, shipping and infrastructure professionals, and more can be potential customers for a drone inspection business.
Drone Repair Service Business
In most budding industries, there is a corresponding requirement of maintenance and repair jobs. With the escalating use of drones worldwide, and with associated probable military and domestic drone crashes, a good drone service business is never going to be devoid of work.
Repairing drones may not sound like the most revolutionary business opportunity in the field, but it could be a great way to undercut the market and grow quickly in this particular niche — using 3D printing to lower costs.
Drone Professional Courses Provider Business
As the interest around drone uses and operations increases, more tech buffs can benefit from the teachings of professional pilots, drone tech experts and makers. Drone flying courses usually involve theoretical and practical sessions. Students can be taught the basic maneuvers and safe use of drones to take pictures or capture footage. Offering students licenses and certifications can also be offered as part of the courses by authorized instructors.
Small Business Delivery
Keeping in tandem with local rules and laws, small businesses can benefit immensely from drones. Drones can deliver everyday supplies, repair materials, commodities, and perform minor functions that can lower operational costs for small businesses considerably. Elimination of middle men and labor for menial work (such as deliveries and pick ups) can help boost the bottom line of many businesses across the globe.
Drone DeliveryBI Intelligence
Drone Advertising and Marketing Business
Drones have a yet another unusual function of intelligence gathering and data mining for businesses. According to Harvard Business Review, for many companies, drones are quickly becoming another component that must be considered in developing digitalization strategies. As an example, one of retail’s largest players, Walmart, is testing how drones could help improve warehouse inventory management.
Backed by cloud services and big-data techniques, the unprecedented data gathering capabilities of drones have the potential to radically alter the competitive dynamics of the information landscape.
Apart from this, drones can be used for marketing campaigns by carrying advertising banners and shooting aerial footage campaigns, maximizing exposure for companies.
In addition to the above, according to airdronecraze, 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 such as Domino’s Pizza will be looking to invest in drones for pizza delivery in the future.
Package Delivery: Australia Post and Amazon are already investing in drone technology as a way of delivering packages.
Residential Home Inspections: Check roofs, chimneys, siding, brick, and other structures for exterior damage.
Drone Aerobatics Shows: Enter events like drone racing or create your own competitions.
Drone Delivery Methods: Solve the “last 50 feet dilemma” by developing a method for delivery, such as drop, parachute, hoist, or landing.
Software Programming/Applications: If you know something particular the drone market is lacking, then invest in creating an app for it.