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Starting New Business and need Experience pilots advice

CraigBemis

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Good evening all. I am trying to start my own drone business here in Dallas/ Fort Worth area and could really use some advice from some experience drone pilots so that I can lock down how to estimate a project correctly. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Mavic Mac

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Welcome to the forums - a lot of good info here. So, take a look around and hope you enjoy some of the fine photography and information posted by the members.

HERE is a link to posts by Russ Still from Gold Seal on starting a business. If you haven't already received your Part 107 Gold Seal has has an excellent online course

UAV Ground School - Gold Seal is also an approved vendor on this forum.

Pass Your Part 107 Exam
Or We'll Pay For It

  • Taught by FAA Certificated Flight Instructors
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BigAl07

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First off WELCOME to the forum and the "Business" side of UAS.

Good evening all. I am trying to start my own drone business here in Dallas/ Fort Worth area and could really use some advice from some experience drone pilots so that I can lock down how to estimate a project correctly. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
Here's a search page that might help you get some ideas from previous posts here on the CDP forum:

Here's some advice directly from me:
  • A) Don't spend a dime until you know what your business is, who your clients are, and who your competition is (in your local market and surrounding markets).
  • B) Building an in-depth and solid Business Plan is a great way to learn items in (A) above and will go a long way to helping you make informed decisions about your business before you spend your $$. We spent several MONTHS building our business plan and it helped us immensely. We changed our fees (increased them actually for a couple years) and we learned our local market inside and out. We enlisted help from a local University who has a Senior Marketing program for their Business students to complete in order to graduate. They helped a TON in gathering data etc. Reach out to your local University Business Program and see if they do this. Also your local Community College probably has a FREE Small Business program that can also be very helpful. Utilize ALL of your local resources to help build a stronger foundation for your new business adventure.
  • C) Don't fall for the Glitz & Glamour idea when starting a new business. Don't go out and create a mountain of debt that the new business may or may NOT be able to pay off. The less debt the sooner you'll be operating in the BLACK. That shiny new SUV wrapped with company name/logo looks good but "Proof the Business" before going hog wild. Buy what you MUST have but don't go crazy.
  • D) It takes time to build a Brand/Business. Don't expect to "Do well" for a good while so don't make any financial obligations that you don't have the funds in the bank to cover.
  • E) There will be a ton of competition so don't think that just because you see potential business it's money in the bank. Until those invoices are paid it's nothing.
  • F) You'll need to be pilot, marketing guru, book keeper, salesman, gopher and everything else needed to establish and maintain a good business. Sleep may not be your friend for a few years.
  • G) Keep in mind it costs $$ each month to run a legal business. Be sure to calculate ALL costs well in advance. City, County, and State agencies will all have hands in your pockets so be sure to include them all in your budget.
  • H) When buying equipment don't skimp on buying SPARES. If you're going to be a professional you'll need to do professional things like "Have a spare for everything". In business.. One is NONE and Two is ONE. Go talk to a professional photographer an ask them how many cameras they take to a job shoot.....
 

R.Perry

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You might want to look into Multivista in Dallas, actually there are two branches in that area.
I just finished a two and half year contract with Multivista in San Francisco.
Primary focus is construction documentation, if you contract to them they require you to go through the Avion, school in Huntsville AL, and they pay all the expenses or you bill it back to them. They also supply the drone, normally an Inspire 2. Their construction documentation training is outstanding. You will need your 107 to get your foot in the door.
 

Skyfall-0D2

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First off WELCOME to the forum and the "Business" side of UAS.



Here's a search page that might help you get some ideas from previous posts here on the CDP forum:

Here's some advice directly from me:
  • A) Don't spend a dime until you know what your business is, who your clients are, and who your competition is (in your local market and surrounding markets).
  • B) Building an in-depth and solid Business Plan is a great way to learn items in (A) above and will go a long way to helping you make informed decisions about your business before you spend your $$. We spent several MONTHS building our business plan and it helped us immensely. We changed our fees (increased them actually for a couple years) and we learned our local market inside and out. We enlisted help from a local University who has a Senior Marketing program for their Business students to complete in order to graduate. They helped a TON in gathering data etc. Reach out to your local University Business Program and see if they do this. Also your local Community College probably has a FREE Small Business program that can also be very helpful. Utilize ALL of your local resources to help build a stronger foundation for your new business adventure.
  • C) Don't fall for the Glitz & Glamour idea when starting a new business. Don't go out and create a mountain of debt that the new business may or may NOT be able to pay off. The less debt the sooner you'll be operating in the BLACK. That shiny new SUV wrapped with company name/logo looks good but "Proof the Business" before going hog wild. Buy what you MUST have but don't go crazy.
  • D) It takes time to build a Brand/Business. Don't expect to "Do well" for a good while so don't make any financial obligations that you don't have the funds in the bank to cover.
  • E) There will be a ton of competition so don't think that just because you see potential business it's money in the bank. Until those invoices are paid it's nothing.
  • F) You'll need to be pilot, marketing guru, book keeper, salesman, gopher and everything else needed to establish and maintain a good business. Sleep may not be your friend for a few years.
  • G) Keep in mind it costs $$ each month to run a legal business. Be sure to calculate ALL costs well in advance. City, County, and State agencies will all have hands in your pockets so be sure to include them all in your budget.
  • H) When buying equipment don't skimp on buying SPARES. If you're going to be a professional you'll need to do professional things like "Have a spare for everything". In business.. One is NONE and Two is ONE. Go talk to a professional photographer an ask them how many cameras they take to a job shoot.....
Best advice I have ever heard for anyone starting up. Absolutely perfect! 😁
 
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BigAl07

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Best advice I have ever heard for anyone starting up. Absolutely perfect! 😁
Thank you. It comes from starting up a few of them over the years. Some ways are "easier" than others but the easy ones are usually the expensive one :)
 

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