The growing popularity of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) has given excellent business ideas to entrepreneurs globally. The advancement in technology and the stiff competition between drone manufacturers have led to the falling of drone prices, making them quite affordable. Drones come with a range of features, making them suitable for a variety of functions.
- Ultra High Definition cameras that enable drones to capture high-resolution videos and images.
- Terrain adherence capability that enables drones to keep to a desired height above the ground.
- Drones are equipped with GPS and autopilot capabilities that enable the drone to trace defined routes.
- Follow Me features that will enable the drone to follow desired targets, among other features.
The features keep getting better with advancements in technology, making drones suitable for a wide range of activities. The global drone market is estimated to reach $14 billion in the next decade, giving entrepreneurs a reason to dive into the drone business. The following are top drone business ideas entrepreneurs can try out.
Drone Business Ideas
To turn any drone business idea into reality, it all starts in a drone factory. Manufacturers have to make drones available to entrepreneurs. If you have the required technical knowledge and skills, starting a drone manufacturing company will be your dream-come-true business idea. Drone manufacturing does not mean that you must produce whole drones. You can decide to specialize in creating drone parts and then contract out the rest. If you want to succeed in drone manufacturing, it is best to reach out to already established manufacturers who will help you establish your business.
Drone Repair Service
As the drone demand rises, people are purchasing drones at a high rate. This means that the number of crashed drones is also increasing, and drone repairs are quite necessary. Since drone repair shops are limited, drone owners mostly take crashed drones back to the manufacturers for repair services. If you have the necessary technical skills, you can partner up with drone manufacturers to start a drone repair business.
Surveying and Inspection
It is expensive to use helicopters for inspections and surveys. Furthermore, capturing aerial views of target areas using hand-held cameras can prove to be complicated. This is where drone surveying and inspection is the perfect option. Aerial surveys are essential in various fields such as archeology, mining, agriculture, digital mapping, security, topography, among others. On the other hand, inspection services are essential in companies such as construction companies, mining companies, insurance companies, and utility companies. Starting a private drone surveying and inspection business is one of the most lucrative businesses you can try out. You only need to perfect your aerial photography and videography skills.
Drone Security and Surveillance
Drones are quickly replacing human security guards as they can watch all angles of a location and relay information back to the control centre faster than a human security guard can. Security drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras can also track intruders despite available obstructions. You can decide to try out the drone security and surveillance business by setting up a company and choosing the types of jobs to take on. You are sure to make huge profits.
Many important events take place around us almost every day, and most times, the hosts want to keep the memories indefinitely in the photo or video format. With the Ultra High Definition cameras present in drones, offering photography services can be the perfect way to help people capture unforgettable moments as you make huge profits. However, with the rising popularity of drone photography, you will need exceptional skills to stand out. Instead of diving into general drone photography, you can choose to specialize in any niche of interest, such as wildlife, sports events, weddings, or music concerts. Let your customers recognize you for a specific service.
Anyone interested in operating a drone must get a pilot’s license. This means that certified drone pilots must first undergo training. If you have the necessary drone flying skills, you might as well start a drone pilot training business to train aspiring pilots. To maximize on profits, you can create and sell drone pilot lessons through online platforms.
Search and Rescue Business
Search and rescue organizations are increasingly using drones in their operations. This is because drones are highly flexible and can access areas where helicopters cannot and can also fly at night. Drones equipped with infrared and night sensors help search and rescue teams to detect missing individuals. Drones make this possible by heat emissions. You can venture into this business as a search and rescue drone operator or equip the search and rescue drones with necessary gadgets.
Following the high demand for drones globally, starting a drone retail business is an excellent drone business idea. You can decide to set up business premises in your neighborhood’s strategic location or set up an online drone retail business. This will help you reach many customers at the same time, hence maximizing on profits. Being fragile, drones will need constant repairs. This means that drone owners will need drone accessories such as chargers, cameras, extra LED lights, batteries, and propellers from time to time. You will need to do proper research on the best drone manufacturers and suppliers you can work closely with.
Agricultural sectors are now using drones to increase the efficiency of farm activities. Drones are significant in farming in the sense that they can produce aerial images of crops that will help to know growth patterns. Farmers can use this information to make decisions on how best they can improve their farming systems. Integrating drones in agriculture leads to higher yields. Venturing into the drone business industry as an agricultural drone expert is a perfect business idea. You will need to decide the type of agricultural drone service you want to offer and get the right licenses.
Drones for Hire
As the drone demand rises, not everyone interested in drone services can afford to buy one. In this case, people opt to rent drones for the short-term for specific purposes. People might have drone photography skills but lack capital to purchase personal drones. As such, the best option is to rent out a drone so that he can provide photography services for an event. Others might want to hire drones for film projects or holiday trips. If you own drones, but you do not have the time to operate them personally, you can start a drone rental business and rent them out to people with skills. In several instances, those who want to hire drones for specific purposes might also lack the skills to operate them. In this case, you can decide to recruit registered drone pilots to rent out their services in your rental business.
Drone Videography and Filmmaking
The entertainment industry is continuously growing, and videos and short film footage creation using helicopters are increasingly becoming expensive. Additionally, helicopters lack the flexibility to capture events from desired angles. This brings the need to use drones. Drone videographers and filmmakers can take on projects that require fantastic aerial footage for short films and movies.
Drone Advertising and Marketing
Any entrepreneur wanting to run a successful business needs to employ excellent marketing strategies. Successful entrepreneurs are known to use digital marketing strategies to scale up their businesses. A good example is the use of drones in marketing and advertising. With their excellent high-resolution cameras, companies can use them to shoot aerial views of their businesses. If a company uses drones to carry advertising banners, it will likely receive significant attention compared to its competitors who will use other advertising methods. Drone photography also produces impressive aerial photos of target areas. Consequently, real estate companies and hotels use drones to show pictures of luxurious target areas. Since businesses are sure to get recognition through drone advertising, entrepreneurs are willing to seek drone advertising and marketing services.
Stock Photography and Videography
You can always turn a passion into a business. If you love photography, you can acquire the necessary drone photography or videography skills and start making a living by selling the aerial pictures and videos of the glorious scenes you capture. You can decide to upload the photos and videos to websites that will sell the work on your behalf, or set up your stock photo and video website.
The African Drone Forum’s Business Challenge is the first Pan-African business plan competition designed exclusively for African entrepreneurs to uncover new commercial use cases for drone applications that demonstrate a high potential for local impact. Finalists were: DRONE ERA (Benin), Africa Bees (DRC), Kenya Flying Labs (Kenya), MicroMek Limited (Malawi), Global Air Drone Academy(Nigeria/USA), Upshore Robotics (Nigeria), Integrated Aerial Systems (South Africa), Jembe Kilimo (Tanzania), JCKEG Solutions (Zambia), and Alley Capital Group (ACG) (Zimbabwe). These finalists were selected from a competitive pool of almost 150 submissions from across 31 African countries. Applicants were asked to provide business concepts that focused on leveraging drone technology to generate new business opportunities.
There are many lucrative drone business ideas that entrepreneurs can try out. However, it is best to research potential customers and how best you can satisfy their needs. It is also vital to ensure that you register your business through the right legal procedures.
- africanDrone: African non-profit empowering civic drone pioneers across the continent.
- Global Drone Regulations Database