Why creating a business with drones has become more difficult today
In the late 90s I worked as a factory employee. At the factory entrance there was a print of a photo taken from the sky, I think with a helicopter. It cost 1000 euros.
Ten years later drones arrived, and suddenly prints like that started to cost just 200 euros, because they were identical to those shot from the helicopter but the drone had far lower costs.
I think today that same type of photography can hardly be sold for 20 euros, because many people now have a drone, the market has been saturated and, round the corner, there's always a friend working almost for free.
Something similar is happening in the stock footage market, because there’s always more and more videos for sale, but with a big difference. The product is not sold directly by producers, but by agencies, which compete on many features, not only on the low-cost offers they have.
If you’re wondering whether it is worth using the drone to open a new business, I think starting now is a bad idea, unless you already have good connections to find customers, but in that case you wouldn't be working thanks to your skills with the drone, but because you know the right people.
For example: you are a sales representative and you know lots of entrepreneurs who trust you, so you can also sell them photos or videos made with the drone. Or you work in the sports field and you can easily sell videos filmed with the drone to teams for their YouTube channel.
In general, whatever your business project is, I always recommend you consider the sale as a priority, even compared to the product itself.
So in order to work with drones, you have to beat your competitors by being able to explain to your potential customers why they should choose you and not the dozens of other businesses who sell a product very similar to yours.
The sale is always crucial. The group of friends with a toy drone having fun might dream of taking advantage of their passion. But in order to understand if their project can become a profitable business, they don't have to think about the pleasant part of the job, but they have to understand why they can sell their service.
If those friends want to use traditional methods to find customers, they should start knocking on companies' doors to start selling. Out of 20 attempts, 10 people will send them to hell, 5 will take the business card but will never call back, 4 will say that the owner isn’t there and to come back another time, hoping not to see them again. One at most will ask for a quote.
That same quote will also be asked to a dozen other drone owners, looking for the best price, so the final result will be wasting a month being treated as a pain in the neck by hundreds of people for nothing.