CONTEST – Enter Our Drone Business Plan Contest For A Chance To Win!
Right now it is september 2021, when im recording this video for the folks on our email list were doing a contest for a one page business plan that only has four parts to it: to win a free uh access to our drone business mastery program for the Winner and runner up and the first place winner also gets a 200 amazon gift card. So, im going to jump on the computer in just a second show you how to actually work through this template were going to have a template for you with the four areas asking you questions prompts helping you think through things to put together a very simple one. Page drone business plan that will really give you a leg up in thinking through what are your goals? How feasible is this? How much are things going to cost all that good stuff and for everybody doing the contest with us in september? If you turn in a copy of your drone business plan to us, youll get free access to our drone business. Mastery first course, which is drone business foundations and actually walks through super in depth on a lot of these points, were going to be going over in the business plan as along with a lot of other topics to think through before you start your drone business, all Right so im going to jump on the computer go into the one page business plan template and walk you through each section.
So you know what to do. What were looking for and help you think through it, and even if youre, watching this after the contest is over, this will be really helpful for you if you are considering starting a drone business and um check it out and see. If the template is helpful, there should be a link either in the email you got to download the template or, if youre, watching this on youtube or something later well put a link for that template below so lets dive on the computer. Now we are on the one page business plan template again. I didnt mention it earlier in case youre. Watching this later. My name is david young im, the founder of drone launch academy company that helps people do commercial flight training for drones, starting businesses, various other applications test, prep mapping all that stuff. We have a lot of different instructors from various industries that teach courses for us, but ive been able to see dozens and dozens and hundreds of drone businesses, people starting drone businesses, successful ones, not successful ones, ive seen just a really really wide range of drone businesses. We also have a podcast called the drone to 1k podcast. All i do on there interview drone businesses making anywhere from a thousand dollars a month up to several hundred thousand dollars a year right. So ive seen a lot and ive just been in business and entrepreneurship. For a while so thats what this drone business plan template is based off of are the biggest four areas where i see people, maybe not doing enough due diligence or things that are critical to think through and plan out and get right as youre doing your drone Business now i wouldnt get too worried.
You know you dont have to its, not like i cant start my business until ive nailed down every one of these things, but you at least need to take a moment to think about each one of these things give it some thought, give it as much planning As you can and then move forward, you can always revise this as you go. This will always change and develop as you find out, new information and youre in your in your industry. Longer so dont think you have to have all this pinned down on day one, but you need to have something right. You need to have a target, a goal to work towards something to focus on, and then you can just revise it as you move along right. Thats, really any business you got ta make a plan once you get the plan take action. Most peoples problem is not as much making the plan but taking action. People are good at making the plan because it feels well, they dont do it all the time, but if they have the option of making a plan versus action, i feel like people will tend towards making a plan um, and so action is very important. All right enough of that lets dive into it. So first thing were going to look at here: is industry, niche or niche uh, depending on how you want to rhyme uh your focus right? They say the riches are in the niches right that doesnt, you have to say niches, to make it right.
Um ive seen this over and over again the people who want to try to be everything you know. Oh, i do wedding photography. I do landscape photography. I do construction progress mapping, i can do asset inspections, i can do lighter. You know they typically dont excel in any one area and they just kind of flounder and never really take off. The reason is a drone is just a tool. Each industry is very different with a different set of problems: different set of customers terminology also. So if youre working with real estate agents, doing more video production photography for clients like that youre inside homes, theyre going to have their own industry issues right, youre going to know hey these clients want their listings up really fast. They want quick turnaround time. Maybe they they want a baseline quality, but maybe its not that important to them or maybe youre doing luxury homes. Its really important right. You know youll, understand whats important whats, not what the biggest problems are. You understand hey, why do they even want my videos? Is it actually to attract more listings or is it to sell the home faster? You know youll work that stuff out, whereas lets say youre doing stuff, with engineering companies right and youre helping them. You know, do create 3d models of buildings and creating orthomosaic maps. You know you need to understand, you know how do the? How does the lingo work whats some common survey terms, and how does that technology work and what do they care about? What do they want to see? What do they want to measure? What problems are you serving that kind of goes into the next one? But the point is you need to focus on an industry, so you can become really familiar with what their problems are and as youre thinking through this right.
You know you keep this short, because this is one page right, so you only need a couple sentences. We need to write out hey heres, the industry, the niche im gon na focus on whether thats um, you know working and you know weve had people in some of our programs, one person they worked for um doing some conservation work, and so they were uh. I got, i think they were relocating salmon or moving some logs around on some rivers. You know they were doing some type of work with uh with rivers and they needed to map out that river to see where different things were different elevation changes and they were already familiar with the work that was going on there because they worked in there in A different capacity not with drones. They were very familiar with the work that was going on there and they knew oh hey also. When they do grant proposals, they need imagery of whats being done right, so they can describe it so they can pitch it better. They it helps them to get video and things like that, so she was able to help in multiple ways because she was familiar with the industry. So what it is about your background, your experience, your connections and your interests that make a specific industry attractive. So for this particular person she previously worked in that industry, so she was much more familiar with who the players were specific problems.
They had that she could solve and already had connections there. Now you dont have to have connections in industry to get started right if its, you know, based on hey im, just really interested im willing to put in the work to develop those connections thats great too, but its usually easiest to get started. If you think okay, what do i already know? Who do i already know what industries am i already familiar with, where i could have a leg up on? Maybe someone else who doesnt have that same knowledge and then you know, are there any problems that i could help with with my drone right so think about your industry right out here you know im going to focus on this industry. The reason thats attractive is because ive previously worked 15 years in construction, and i know superintendents im from very familiar with issues they face. Um – and i can you know – be able to get a couple client meetings pretty quickly, whatever theres a couple sentences on which industry youre going to focus on and why all right specific problem being solved. So i touched a little bit on this on industry, which is why the industry is important, but i think a lot of a lot of the problems people have with the drone. Is they think? Okay, since i have a drone – and i have my part – 107 certificate – or maybe you dont even have that, but i own a drone – and i have my part – 107 certificate.
People are just going to want to hire me and they just assume that theres all these people out there that are just looking for you, because you own a drone and have a part 107 certificate. Thats not really the case right theres, a lot of people who have their part 107 license thats, saying like i have my drivers license. So you know i can be a race car driver. You know the part 107 is a minimum criteria: minimum barrier entry, it doesnt necessarily separate you from the rest of the pack. What separates you is having specialized knowledge and expertise to be able to fix a specific problem, because your clients, your customers, they dont, really care that you have a drone, i mean they may think its cool, but as far as them handing you money, theyre, not just Going to hand you money merely for the fact that they have that you have a drone right, they can go, buy mavic mavic air 2 for 700 bucks or a mini 2 for 500, or you know even other drones that are used for less than that right. Its not like super out of the question for them to go, buy one, but you have to know how to take that drone and solve a problem with it and thats. Where most people miss the mark. They assume that people are going to hire them to have a drone, but they havent thought about what out.
There is a problem that im solving with my drone. Let me give you an example: um everybody likes real estate, its a common use for drones. People often say oh well, i can take pictures from the sky of the property. It makes it look cool yeah. But what makes you unique about solving that problem? Could the realtor go up there and get that same shot right or maybe the problem that youre solving is hey? The realtors tried to get pictures before they dont ever look good. They dont know the right angles. They dont know how to make the photos stand out right. So maybe your specialized skill that you learn is you learn photography. You learn lightroom editing all that stuff to where you can get like an awesome sunset picture. You know all the right angles to fly around the property with, so when you show someone your portfolio, they go wow. This is awesome. I cant replicate this on my own. I need really nice pictures for this luxury listing that i have, and i cant do this on my own. I have a problem that i need to solve right and so thats. We have to focus on same thing in any industry. Another industry lets say: uh construction engineering, uh, a guy, a friend of mine, whos, been on the podcast root, patel uh. I my our offices are close together and he was telling me you know he got hired by a mining company to do drone work, even though they have their own internal drone team, because hes very, very good and familiar with mapping and knowing how to create maps.
How to do keep track of progress, how to do different analysis and be very adaptable with the drone and their their internal drone team. They were all engineers and they know about the industry and all that stuff, but they dont know how to apply drones. To fix that specific problem that theyre having measuring this stack growing over time measuring different things in the air um where root is very creative and he goes when he heard about their problems. He goes oh yeah. I can do that with a drone. I can do this this and this, and so they hired him for a really impressive hourly rate. It was like 350 an hour to help them with engineering work related to drones, um and so thats, a problem because they couldnt figure out how to do the right. Theyve been using airplanes to do different types of surveys and measurements, and they can only do it maybe like once a quarter or once a year, because its so expensive so thats the problem solving they dont have to do it with an airplane. Now he can help their engineering team, they can focus on engineering, he can focus on collecting and analyzing data and bringing that data to them for them to help analyze as well. So you got to think about what is a specific problem that i can solve that. Maybe someone else cant right, so you need specialized experience and understand what peoples issues are so think about it.
You need to either decrease a real pain, so something negative right. You need to get rid of someones expenses or save them time or make it safer. So in the in the case of the real estate agent, you know she needed uh. He or she needed a luxury picture. Aerial photos of lets say a high end property and they needed that because they wanted, they know, thats an expectation from their client right. So that would be probably increasing, or you know, maybe well probably wasnt negative, its probably a positive making them look good to their client right. So you need to decrease the pain or increase a positive, but maybe that realtor had a problem where they had an aerial photographer and that person quit on them the day before right now they needed someone else and youre qualified and you can do it so they Had a pain, oh no, i cant get these photos done and you come in and save the day right, um or increase a pleasure so more revenue, something good um. It makes them look more innovative to their boss or it helps them attract new clients, or it helps them to you know exceed you know some target that they have right. It helps them expand, helps them do something better, so thats what people pay for more clients, things getting better or youre, reducing something that they dont like all right. So again think of the specific problem youre going to solve, and this is not to say that you can only ever work on this problem.
I know people who are in video production and then they get asked hey. Can you come take some photographs of these roofs? Im doing right for marketing photos thats outside of like their normal niche, that they work in per se, but theyre theyre still focused on their niche. But if someone comes to you and asks you to do something else that youre capable of doing and uh, you know youre interested in that youre willing. You have the capacity then go for it. Im not saying you cant ever work in anything else, but the problem is when a client comes to your website lets say, and they look at your website and they see that you do mapping for construction. You can help with survey stuff. Oh, you also do wedding. Photography, it looks like you, dont, take any one of those seriously because it looks like you couldnt possibly do all of those and be very proficient and an expert in each one of those. So it makes you look kind of more like an amateur if youre spread too widely, but if they come to your website, you say: hey, we solve this specific problems for engineers and mining companies. We help them. You know help. We help their engineers collect data, so they can have the analysis they need or hey. We help real estate agents, get more listings and sell more homes. You know by by attracting new clients through video and selling homes.
You know by helping uh mark. You know video get shared whatever you can share some stats right, so youre focused on solving an industry problem, and you need to be very specific about that to your external people. That will be looking at you so that youre more attractive to them, but that doesnt mean you can never do anything else right. You also need to think how big of a problem is this to the customer, so if youre solving a problem that is going to save them, you know a ton of man hours. They dont have to bring people in on the weekends pay them overtime. Now they have less accidents per year because youre using a drone. Instead of put people on scaffolding right, you can quantify that and try to say: okay, if im going to save them, you know 30, 000 or im going to increase their revenue by 30 000 um and i only charge them 5. 000 thats a good deal for them right, so the bigger problem that you solve, the more you can charge right or if this is hey, they need some photos. Its not like. This is going to make or break the listing. You know theyll probably still sell the home, where theyll probably still do this. This is just more of a nice to have, but its not critical or its, not solving that big of a problem or they could solve this problem themselves, thats when the fees get smaller.
So just kind of know: hey the bigger problem. I can figure out how to solve right and the more important it is, and the bigger impact uh, the more i can charge for it all right and do they do they know they have this problem or do you need to educate them if you have to Educate them thats, okay, thats, pretty common in the drone industry, but sometimes that requires a little bit more work. You know and saying hey. Can i give you a demo on this and you have to kind of enlighten them as to hey. You know how you have xyz well, if i bring a drone, it can help you alleviate that. So, even though they may not know they have a problem or know that theres a good solution that makes their life easier, you can show that to them all right. Moving on client acquisition strategy, so simply, how are you going to get clients right? We talked about this before. If you uh have previously worked in an industry or have connections, um thats always helpful, but if you ask, how are you going to approach them like? What are you going to say, whats going to be your your pitch, how you know this goes back to hey? If youve got a problem that you solve, this is kind of solves itself, but if you dont have that, how are you going to build those relationships? Youre going to go to industry events, youre going to go to networking events youre going to start hitting people up on linkedin.
What are you going to do so talk about your plan there, then? How are new potential clients? People you dont know im going to hear about you. Are you going to do stuff on your website, youre going to try to utilize seo or youtube or youre going to run facebook ads and google ads? And if so, you know whats your budget for that, and do you have any experience doing that are youre just going to kind of throw stuff up on the wall and see if it sticks? You know like think about this, as if youre talking you know to an investor, even though this is probably just going to be for yourself and your own planning right, are you going to get started with drone pilot networks or you know, whats your plan? How are you going to get clients? This is very important. This is one reason a lot of drone pilots dont make money, because again they think ive got a drone. Ive got my part 107. The clients should come to me and thats, not always how it works. Right its about building relationships, making people aware of what you can do and showing them value and solve their problem right so right out here. This is the section to write out hey. How am i going to get clients heres some questions to think through and last its all this? You know this is the whole reason. Youre even going into business right is to make money.
So you got to think through hey how much money am i going to make with this right if its? If you do the math here and you go im going to spend more money than im going to make in the next 12 months and its not going to look any better for future years, then you probably shouldnt go into business right. But if you think, okay, you know um, i can get a drone for this much i can. I can get so my startup costs are going to be this. You can kind of plan it out and think all right, i like to break it down so start with revenue. How much money can i make in the first 12 months? So i just did it simple break it down by customers, jobs and per price? I just did jobs and price um, so its like hey. If i can get one gig per weekend, maybe thats what the you know same customer every weekend, maybe its a couple different customers. If i can get, you know, lets say youre doing it part part time lets, say youre doing real estate part time. 300 is pretty average, especially if youre going to do some type of video work for them lets say youre doing some photography, some video for a mid size, home 300. I found to be pretty average for real estate stuff and real estate again is like a pretty typical entry point, its not super difficult thats, why its a little bit on the lower end right, theres, more people willing to do it.
Some again, i told you like root uh, my friend ruth patel, some of these engineering jobs. He gets paid thousands of dollars per job and 350 an hour, but he has a lot of experience in that hes got a lot of connections there so, but lets just start here. If youre new, when youre starting out lets, say youre doing real estate. If you get one gig per weekend right – and you could say maybe for the first for the first month, i wont get any job. So you could even maybe back it off twelve hundred bucks, but one gig per weekend, thats twelve hundred dollars a month, uh or uh, fifteen thousand six hundred a year just doing it on the side, not bad uh. Maybe we back this off a thousand bucks, maybe its fourteen thousand something in a year lets say it takes you four weeks to kind of get ramped up, all right, so cool if im going to make lets, say roughly 14 15k in a year um. How much is that going to cost me, so you get that whats. The drone im going to need you right all right, well ill need probably something like a 2.7 k and up camera, so you could buy like a used phantom 3 standard or you could buy a mini 2 youd probably need a drone kind of in the 400 Ballpark to get started here, thats decent, and then you probably need some type of handheld camera.
So you could either get a. I know people who use a gimbal for their iphone or you can buy like a osmo dji osmo that has a gimbal camera for like 200 bucks, so lets see. Drone equipment lets say 400 for a drone, 200 for a handheld camera or gimbal, so its 600. Maybe you need a couple. Batteries lets add another 200 to 800 software. You can get lightroom for 10 bucks a month uh and then you can get lets say final cut pro for 300 so 800. What do we have now? 1100 plus 10 bucks a month lets? Go 1200 bucks insurance is going to be lets, say: 15, a job um, so 15 times 52. You know well thats 780. You could do you could get a policy for probably cheaper than that, but lets just say: you know 50 bucks a month. If you wanted liability insurance, so 600, so you know were at 1100 plus 600 lets just call it two grand right. So some of this is going to be up front like the drone equipment. So maybe you need 800 bucks up front. A thousand bucks up front. Maybe you can get it for cheaper and then some of these will be ongoing, like mileage insurance, but overall lets say: 2 000 bucks for equipment right so were looking at fourteen fifteen thousand whats called fifteen thousand lets call fourteen fourteen thousand minus two thousand in expenses. Youre, looking at twelve grand in profit your first year by doing one reasonably priced real estate, gig a weekend on average um, so you can write those numbers out project them out.
So maybe, if youre going to do something else – and you know – oh hey – im actually going to help surveyors and i can charge more or im going to be doing something else. My revenue is higher, but actually for those jobs i need you know, maybe a bigger drone or a fan of four. I need one thats, a fifteen hundred dollar drone and i need um. You know drone deploy thats a hundred dollars a month. You know you just have to adjust it for whatever industry youre in um. I just wanted to give you an example of how i would think through that i think, okay cool. I like flying a drone, if i could get paid 1000 a month on in profit on average over a year to you know, do that. Would that be worth it for me? Do i think thats fun? Is there room for growth? There is, you know, could i switch industries later you a lot of stuff to think through, but this is your one page drone business plan, its really just an exercise to help you think through it um plan it out, because you know what they say. Benjamin franklin, i think, said if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail, so hope this helps give you just a framework based on what i know from the drone industry and seeing hundreds of drone businesses try this if they nailed these four things, their chances Of success would go way up so the goal and the plan is nail these four things down initially do some initial research and then get out there and start doing work and the more you get out there and talk to customers and start trying.
This work the faster youre going to be able to dial in each one of these things and figure that out, so i hope that helps feel free to check out all of our other drone stuff. We do especially our journal 1k podcast people love that just inspiring stories from other drone entrepreneurs again thats. What a lot of this is based on so check that out.