5 Ways to Make Money with Your Drone – Even on the Ground

wp-image-42946″ src=”http://dronelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Forex_Money_for_Exchange_in_Currency_Bank-1024×574.jpg” alt=”Forex_Money_for_Exchange_in_Currency_Bank” width=”353″ height=”198″ srcset=”//dronelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Forex_Money_for_Exchange_in_Currency_Bank-1024×574.jpg 1024w, //dronelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Forex_Money_for_Exchange_in_Currency_Bank-300×168.jpg 300w, //dronelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Forex_Money_for_Exchange_in_Currency_Bank-768×431.jpg 768w, //dronelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Forex_Money_for_Exchange_in_Currency_Bank.jpg 1280w” sizes=”(max-width: 353px) 100vw, 353px”/>The drone industry is ramping up fast – and demand for commercial drone operators is on the rise.  It can take time, though, for a new drone business to build up its customer base.  So how do you make money with your drone even when you’re not out flying for clients?  Here are 5 ways to use your drone expertise to keep your business flying between gigs.

  1. Provide Support.  While large drone manufacturers do offer support, it isn’t always easy to access – and it isn’t always staffed by drone experts.  Not getting good support is a major complaint for drone operators – that’s why the 500 Below app was created.  500 Below allows drone operators to register to provide support to operators with the same kind  of drone.  By logging on when they are available, they can help out other drone operators and make money with their drone expertise.
  2. Teach.  The FAA estimates that there will be 16,000 new operators this year – but they’ll all have to take the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test first.  Experts willing to help coach drone pilots on passing the test are in demand.  And it isn’t just taking the test that drone pilots need help with – drone operators are finding success in creating videos teaching the basics of drone operation, tips and tricks for various applications, drone maintenance, and drone repair.  Dont’ want to go it alone?  Many high schools, technical schools and colleges are offering classes in everything from drone operation to drone development – find an educational institution near you and offer your services.   Check out this list from DroneEnthusiast of some institutions offering UAV coursework.
  3. Sell.  As drone technology is still in its early stages, drone operators are known for building with components, trading up, and reselling drones.  Last year, over 90% of new drones were purchased online.  International manufacturers are often looking for new outlets to offer their products – consider using your expertise to provide a carefully edited collection of professional parts and products online.
  4. Repair.  Let’s face it  – drones crash.  And while many professional drone operators know how to repair their own machines, a lot of amateurs don’t.  Sending a drone back to the manufacturer – often overseas – is neither convenient or cost effective.  That leaves a significant space for drone operators willing to use their expertise to repair other people’s machines.  Try posting your availability for repair work on local forums and flying clubs – but don’t forget to put your name in at local retail outlets where drones are sold.  Often people bring broken drones back to the store in the hopes of getting some help.
  5. Consult.  Real estate agencies aren’t sure how their agents should be using drones.  Construction companies don’t know if they need a license.  Cities and towns are struggling with how best to utilize drones.  City councils need help in determining if proposed ordinances make any sense, and public safety organizations like fire and police departments are trying to figure out what they can do with drone technology.  Becoming the local resource on drone applications may not only make you some money in the short term, but could also introduce you to a new local client base.  At any rate, getting to know local businesses and public officials can only help your drone business to achieve the right kind of publicity in your community.

The FAA estimates that 90% of new drone operators will be small businesses.  It can take time to get a small business flying – so take advantages of as many opportunities to make money with your drone as you can, even when it’s on the ground.

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