How to Start a Drone Business

Goldman Sachs forecasts a $13 billion market opportunity for commercial drones by 2020, which makes now an ideal time to launch your commercial drone business. After all, a wide range of industries need aerial intelligence. From builders wanting to better manage their projects, to insurers aiming to accelerate their claims process, there are hundreds of ways you can earn an income flying drones.

But how do you start a commercial drone service?

Having the right set of hardware and software tools is just the start. Running a drone operation requires obtaining the appropriate certifications and insurance, as well as building a safety protocol. Not to mention all the “business basics” of ownership, staffing, and executing a sound marketing strategy.

The success and profitability of your enterprise will depend on your plan, but don’t let that deter you. Our comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know:

Defining Your Services

Drone technology has applications across a variety of industries. You’ll need to decide which industries to target and what services to provide your clients. We’ll introduce you to some of the fastest growing applications in construction, insurance, agriculture, and energy.

Selecting a Hardware Configuration

Once you’ve identified the applications for which you’d like to fly drones, you’ll need to select hardware that will help you get the job done. We’ll share resources that will help you configure your rig.

Procuring Software

Selecting the proper hardware is only the first step in becoming a drone service provider—you’ll also need to purchase the right mapping and flight planning software to automate flights, review surveys offline, and process your data into meaningful business intelligence. While you have a variety of software providers to choose from, it is important to select an easy-to-use, comprehensive platform to ensure the success of your commercial projects. To give you an idea of what to expect from a software platform, we’ll review our own flight, mapping, and processing solution.

Safety, Compliance, and Insurance

As a drone service provider, you’ll want to protect yourself and your business from operational risks by obtaining proper insurance and certifications for your commercial activities. We’ll address government certifications and discuss how to use two types of drone insurance. Also, we’ll share an outline you can use to develop your standard operating procedures.

Ownership, Operation, and Customers

In addition to what happens between takeoff and landing, you’ll need to conduct some basic business activities. We’ll help you consider three basic ownership structures, financial management, and hiring staff.


Finally, sales and marketing are critical to a thriving drone service enterprise. We’ll help you set a strong foundation by thoroughly defining your customer and how to speak with them about your services.

Hopefully, having read our guide, you’ll be ready to get out there and claim your piece of that $13 billion market opportunity. With a smart plan, hard work, and a little luck, your business will grow as adoption of drone technology expands.

Read our Drone Service Provider Business Guide now.

We’re here to help—if you have any questions or are ready to get started, get in touch: http://www.precisionhawk.com/contact