It started out as a hobby. A man and his drone, going out and exploring the world as a team. You weren’t doing it for the money, because there wasn’t any, at least not yet.
Then your cousin called and asked if you’d fly your drone over her wedding and send her the video as a wedding gift. Six months later her maid of honor reaches out on Facebook and asks if you’d do the same for her – only this time you’ll be paid. Before long you’re being asked to record aerial drone video for people every weekend. Next thing you know you’re getting more than one request per weekend.
Congratulations, you’ve now got a successful business shooting drone footage! The problem is, you also have a life. While being paid to take your drone into the air and record beautiful video of ceremonies and parties is fun and easy, it shouldn’t be your entire existence seven days a week. With this in mind, it’s time to consider scaling your drone business in order to have others do most of the work for you.
Where do you begin? Expanding a small business usually requires capital. If you’ve been in business as a sole proprietor for over a year, you’re in a prime position to apply for a business loan to scale your drone video enterprise. Lenders like LendingClub.com specialize in providing small businesses like yours with the capital they need to grow. Simply apply online to see if you qualify.
But before applying for a business loan, you want to develop a sound business plan. Considering your expertise in knowing which drones are ideal for your intended goals, selecting the make and model of the drone you wish to buy in bulk is important. You’ll want a fleet of drones which are interchangeable from an operator point of view but also safe and reliable. Buying a few more than you need ensures there are always spares available in the event one of your drones ends up in a swimming pool.
Finding an insurance company willing to cover your enterprise is another crucial step. Chances are you’ve already got some form of coverage on your existing drone business, so speak with a representative to see about upgrading the policy to cover a fleet of drones.
What about a location? Your garage is probably not going to work as a headquarters. Devise a plan for how you will use a retail space for meeting with customers, storing equipment, and managing the day-to-day operations.
Like many business models, yours will depend greatly on the sorts of people you choose to hire. Hiring and training drone operators will be the biggest hurdle of your expansion effort. Every drone operator in the United States needs to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration before they begin training. Similar rules apply in most other countries as well. Certification will have a throttling effect on your ability to recruit employees. While becoming certified requires passing a knowledge test, certification does not guarantee pilot competence, meaning proper employee screening and training will still be necessary.
Putting the right pieces together on paper puts you in a better position to acquire the capital you need to scale your drone video business. Once approved, it’s time to convert these plans into action. With a fleet of aerial drones, adequate insurance, a physical location to store and maintain them, and a team of pilots to use them, your expanded drone video business is sure to soar.