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Just Starting a Small Drone Business...Have a Lot to Learn

Continuous Lift

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I've been flying drones for 5 years. Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification 2017. Recertified 2021. I have a Spark, Mini 2, and just purchased a new Phantom Pro 4 V2.0. Will form a LLC and evaluate Insurance packages.

My initial focus will be on Agriculture. Then after cutting my teeth, I will look at other market segments.

I'm hoping the the forum will be able ease my entry in running a small drone business with the countless decisions that have to be made.

I have watched many YouTube videos and read many web articles on how to start a drone business. Rather than making a lot of costly mistakes and trying to reinvent the wheel, I am hoping I will be able benefit from your experience....you've been there and done that.

I have made no software purchases of any kind. Right now, I'm concentrating on just getting to know and mastering the functions & features of my new Phantom Pro 4 V2.0. First things first...baby steps.

Then I will start to evaluate automated flight control and processing packages...DroneDeploy, Dronelink, Pix4DMapper, Precision Mapper, etc. as well post processing editing software...Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, etc. I have already done a cursory look at all these kinds of software packages. But I have no where near the knowledge base to even begin to properly evaluate them.

I worked for Motorola for 30 years in IT Management. I think that's a sufficient introduction. You asked what time it was and instead I told you how to build a watch...gordo
 

Tanner Harris

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I've been flying drones for 5 years. Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification 2017. Recertified 2021. I have a Spark, Mini 2, and just purchased a new Phantom Pro 4 V2.0. Will form a LLC and evaluate Insurance packages.

My initial focus will be on Agriculture. Then after cutting my teeth, I will look at other market segments.

I'm hoping the the forum will be able ease my entry in running a small drone business with the countless decisions that have to be made.

I have watched many YouTube videos and read many web articles on how to start a drone business. Rather than making a lot of costly mistakes and trying to reinvent the wheel, I am hoping I will be able benefit from your experience....you've been there and done that.

I have made no software purchases of any kind. Right now, I'm concentrating on just getting to know and mastering the functions & features of my new Phantom Pro 4 V2.0. First things first...baby steps.

Then I will start to evaluate automated flight control and processing packages...DroneDeploy, Dronelink, Pix4DMapper, Precision Mapper, etc. as well post processing editing software...Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, etc. I have already done a cursory look at all these kinds of software packages. But I have no where near the knowledge base to even begin to properly evaluate them.

I worked for Motorola for 30 years in IT Management. I think that's a sufficient introduction. You asked what time it was and instead I told you how to build a watch...gordo
Happy to chat with you about our drone services franchise - Blue Nose Aerial Imaging - if you're interested. Much of our focus is to provide solutions/support for many of the concerns you mention. We're always looking for teammates!
 

rolling56

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I've been flying drones for 5 years. Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification 2017. Recertified 2021. I have a Spark, Mini 2, and just purchased a new Phantom Pro 4 V2.0. Will form a LLC and evaluate Insurance packages.

My initial focus will be on Agriculture. Then after cutting my teeth, I will look at other market segments.

I'm hoping the the forum will be able ease my entry in running a small drone business with the countless decisions that have to be made.

I have watched many YouTube videos and read many web articles on how to start a drone business. Rather than making a lot of costly mistakes and trying to reinvent the wheel, I am hoping I will be able benefit from your experience....you've been there and done that.

I have made no software purchases of any kind. Right now, I'm concentrating on just getting to know and mastering the functions & features of my new Phantom Pro 4 V2.0. First things first...baby steps.

Then I will start to evaluate automated flight control and processing packages...DroneDeploy, Dronelink, Pix4DMapper, Precision Mapper, etc. as well post processing editing software...Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, etc. I have already done a cursory look at all these kinds of software packages. But I have no where near the knowledge base to even begin to properly evaluate them.

I worked for Motorola for 30 years in IT Management. I think that's a sufficient introduction. You asked what time it was and instead I told you how to build a watch...gordo
Welcome to the forum....what is your location if I may ask. I'm in SW Missouri.
 
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R.Perry

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Welcome and best of luck to you. If you aren't directly involved with the ag business, you may find it a tough one to break into.
 
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Rob Hodges

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The first thing you have to decide is whether or not you are in a business or a paying hobby.

If you have a business, you need to carefully consider all the costs you have, before you quote a job.
You have predictable costs, like insurance and ones that have to be calculated by job, like mileage.
The cost of Insurance per job, for instance, goes down the more jobs you have. The same thing applies to battery and other equipment replacement (a function of how many jobs you get).
An estimate of your expected workload helps you with your costing, but that will get much more accurate with time.

One of my immediate problems right now, is the increased cost of gas. I've had to reduce my standard range and add an increased inflation factor into my mileage due to the gas prices.
Remember, you also need to pay yourself for driving to and from a job.

I'm seeing jobs online that pay as little as $50. I'm suspecting that the people taking them, aren't even breaking even, but don't realize it.
 

Continuous Lift

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Apologies for being out of touch. I had some unplanned surgery. But will getting back to flying soon. I did form an LLC in Illinois. Location: Batavia, small town 40 miles west of Chicago, which answers one question above. No, I don't have Ag experience other than eating corn to answer another question!

But, there is a farm next door and I will be doing pro bono jobs there and elsewhere so I have some photos & videos for my website. It's nice because it affords me the experience doing 2D mapping on one of their fields, terrain following with Digital Elevation Model on another, and 3D mapping/modeling of a vacation home built in 1850 on a little lake in the middle of a 60 acre corn field. I will do these missions kicking the tires of HammerMissions.com during their 2 week free trial. If the trial isn't long enough to be sure, I'll pay $49 for one month for their Ascend Package. If I buy the annual subscription, that price drops to $39/mo. I want to get this decision right. I won't be rushed by a two week freebee.

I do have a roof/solar panel, storm damage inspection job in 2 weeks...again free in exchange for permission to use on my website. But I won't do it without insurance. Investigating annual/hourly plans...another spreadsheet. 😫

Hammer Missions never showed up in any of the so called top 10 or 20 mission planning/automated flight control software recommendations on the web when performing my due diligence. My brain was getting spreadsheet freeze trying to compare them all. Hammer supports every conceivable standard mission type plus more unique missions like tower, solar, magnetic, and even wind turbine missions. If I go with them, I will never use all the missions they support. Their step by step documentation and YouTube tutorials are excellent with pricing lower/equal to competition.

I've have Dronelink Elite and it has some documentation and tutorials but nothing as comprehensive compared to Hammer. Dronelink does have incredibly responsive forum support with the guy that wrote the software solving problems and providing answers same day or plus 1.

Dronelink has great functions and features. But you have to send your photo files to a 3rd party like Pix4D for processing...$$$. Hammer has an integrated womb to tomb, end to end, workflow. I found them only because I did a web search of all Mission Planning packages that integrated with Air Data. They provide metric/analytic functionality integrated with their software but also supports Air Data, which I use for all 3 of my drones. They have their own flight app very similar DJI Go 4/Fly. Mission planning on both web & device app. Just bought a Apple Mini 6 tablet to complement my iPhone 12 Pro Max.

I'm in the Hammer Mission's education and training phase so I can hit the ground running when I start their 2 week free trial.

If you are interested in my review of HammerMission.com after my 2 week trial, I will gladly provide it. If their performance matches their marketing, there is no question that they will be my vender of choice. However, this is a 'welcome' thread and not appropriate for such reviews. I will find a more appropriate thread to post my Hammer experience if you are interested.

Again, I apologize for not getting back to you after the warm, forum welcome you provided.

Sometimes you take your health for granted until you lose it for a while...Continuous Lift LLC
 

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