How to Set up a Successful Small Business for Less Than $1,500!

Are you tired of your mundane, 9 to 5 job? Want to make a career switch but unsure what to take up next? Do you want to be part of a growing industry that can give you financial freedom? If yes, I have some great tips that will help YOU set up your own successful small business.

In this blog post, I provide you information about the drone or UAV industry. We discuss various ways via which you can make a career switch and be a part of this promising industry.

Can a Drone Business Be a Successful Small Business Idea?

Driven by increasing demand from sectors such as construction, agriculture and mining, the drone industry has experienced blazing growth in recent years. A constant stream of work, low start-ups costs and good money making potential has lured many folks into the UAV fold. As per the latest statistics, the total number of UAS registration is fast approaching a million. More than 70,000 Part 107 certificates were issued in 2017 itself.

How to Conduct the Initial Research to Set up Your Drone Business

I cannot stress the importance of this first step enough. Often, struck by an idea, folks rush to start off their small business without researching all aspects of a small business. This is a recipe for disaster and will only lead to losses.

The drone industry is a complicated one, and drones have varied applications in many industries. Real estate is the breaking ground for most new entrants into the UAV industry. Real estate is a static subject, and drone jobs in this field can be executed with relative ease. Working in real estate will give you a chance to study the workflow. You can understand the nuances of data acquisition and client deliverables. This will give you the confidence to move on to more profitable and better paying jobs.

Construction, followed by agriculture are the sectors which employ the largest number of UAV pilots. Other prominent sectors where UAV pilots can find employment include mining, telecommunications, transport and oil & gas. Average hourly rates commanded by UAV pilots in mining and oil & gas are among the highest.

You will also need to learn about FAA drone rules. As a UAV pilot, you need to know where you can fly and more importantly, where you cannot fly.

All this information can be overwhelming for someone new to the industry. We, at Drone U can help you build your flying skills and confidence. As a Drone U member, you will get access to more than 30 online courses. Whether you are a beginner or an established player in this industry, these courses will give you the Tips and Tricks necessary to succeed in a competitive industry. The cost? Just $47 per month.

Registration and Certification Expenses to Set up Your Drone Business

Once you have equipped yourself with some basic skills, you can consider forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). As the name suggests, by forming a separate entity, you are limiting your personal liability. Doing so will ensure that your personal assets and your business assets are clearly differentiated from a legal standpoint. Forming a LLC is not at all difficult. In fact, if you have a financial background, you should be able to deal with the paperwork on your own. Or else, you can consider a service like LegalZoom. Registering your business on LegalZoom will cost you around $150.

To operate as a commercial pilot in the United States you need to get your Part 107 certification. Click this FAA link to get more information on how to get your Part 107 certification. Drone U helped hundreds of aspiring UAV pilots procure their Part 107 certification. You can click here to know more about our course structure.

Which Are the Equipment and Supplies Needed to Start Your Drone Business?

Every business needs some basic equipment and supplies for starting a drone business. If your starting budget is just $1,000, you can consider buying a DJI Phantom 4 Advanced Refurbished. This unit is available for $959 on the DJI store. The cost of a brand new Phantom 4 Advanced is $1350.

A refurbished DJI drone has been thoroughly checked by DJI for defects. Refurbished units are the ones which have been returned to DJI within 7 days of purchase. Click here for the ultimate drone kit.

Advertising and Promotion to Find Clients for Your New Drone Business

You can promote your brand by posting marketing videos (drone footage) on Facebook and YouTube. If you do not have the necessary video editing skills, we strongly recommend you take some courses to correct this. You can hire some great video editors for $15-$20 an hour via platforms like Upwork. Before hiring a freelancer, be clear about your requirements. Or else the end product will be shoddy.

If you have the budget, you can also use Facebook Ads to give your brand more visibility. You can also create a basic but nice looking website. You can drive visitors from Facebook to your website. Blogging is also a great way to build your brand by articulating your knowledge.

New entrants can also consider working for websites such as DroneBase and Uplift. However, this phase of your career should be treated like a “paid internship” — stepping stone to bigger and better things. Contractual agreements forbid you from approaching a client while working on a job. However, once a job is over, you can, in most cases, you can approach these clients without going through a platform. We recommend carefully going over your contract before jumping to any conclusions.

Convincing a lead or a prospective client to give you work requires a certain level of skill. It is always beneficial to find leads who have a fairly good idea of what they are looking for. It would be easier for you, the UAV pilot to explain the benefit of drone technology to these clients.

In order to achieve high conversions, it is important to deeply research the industry that you are planning on catering to. What are the various pain points that you can solve by offering your drone services? Intimately knowing your client’s business will help you articulate how YOUR service can provide actionable insights — which will lead to SMARTER and FASTER decisions.

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