How to turn your drone idea into a scalable business
Where should I start?
A great starter drone would be a DJI Spark or Mavic Mini. These are low cost, and let you get the hang of flying RC Quadcopters without investing too much. The cost to repair/replace is also cheaper than say, an Inspire 2. Bumping and crashing into things can (and most likely will) happen. There is a learning curve with drone flying, and it will come naturally to some more than others. Be smart and learn to fly with something that won’t do too much damage if things go bad.
It helps to have a background in photography, surveying, or videography before you decide on a business plan for your drone operation. If you don’t, just get the hang of flying and taking casual videos and photos first. See if you can come up with some ideas or use it in your daily life somehow. Post your projects on social media and get feedback.
If you enjoy flying and want to take it seriously, go and get the FAA Part 107 waiver. This will get you some credibility and the ability to sell your drone work legally. Get at least 100 hours under your belt, and you should naturally gravitate towards your drone niche; or drop the hobby altogether with minimal investment.
Which Path Should I Take?
Maybe you enjoy taking creative photos and want to create art prints with aerial photos. Or, you like to photograph architecture so you explore the possibility of being a real estate photographer, or building surveyor. Perhaps you have an idea for a startup, or know a company who could really use a drone pilot that utilizes thermal imaging in some way.
Focus on leveraging your strengths, and getting really good at what comes naturally and what you enjoy.
Some career paths for drone pilots include: Photographer, Videographer, Crop Duster, Search and Rescue Pilot, Building inspector, Software Developer, Drone Building and Repair, FPV Cameraperson etc, etc.
Keep in mind that whatever field you go into will require additional education, certifications and training. Many employers are willing to train someone with a solid background and a true passion for flying drones. Also, a flight…