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My biggest challenges are all interlinked and in no particular order are as follows: Funding for both my CAA licensing (PFAW) and for other equipment and software I know I am going to need in order to offer the quality of service I want to offer. At the moment I am in training for my practical part of my PFAW and it has been difficult for me to be able to get out and practice in the outdoors for numerous reasons. So I have had to resort to simulated training and mini indoor drones, but this does not help me when I can't get out to fly my commercial drone, which is bigger and of course performs differently in a real world scenario. I lack experience of flying, filming and surveying in the areas of work I intend to undertake when I am fully licensed, so I have no working portfolio I can draw upon for clients to evaluate my work. I already know all the applications and industries I intend to work within and offer my services to, but my problem is how do I find the clients and of course convince them that I am the person for the aerial work they need. So essentially finding the clients and the work. Thats me in a nutshell, so any millionaire investors with a long list of clients in need of aerial work out there!!!? If so I'm your man!! Regards Graham McKean
My name is Jim Brammer and I am the owner of Soaring Vistas Media Aerial Photography, located in the Los Angeles area. Single biggest challenges, listed in order of priority . . . 1) FAA 333: Petitioned the FAA in mid September, 2015, for my FAA 333 exemption and still waiting for 333 exemption grant. 2) Pilot License: Until the FAA implements a certification process for drone pilots, I either need to get my pilot license or hire pilots. Challenge is finding pilots who want to partner with me. 3) Pricing: Still trying to figure out rates for pricing. Could use some help here - want to set competitive rates but also need to be profitable. Need to be able to pay for equipment, insurance, marketing and, of course, to legally staff a mission, I need to factor in the cost of a licensed Pilot and Visual Observer at a minimum - maybe more staff depending on size and complexity of the mission. 4) Competing against non-333 businesses: I've done some test marketing to real estate agents in my area and found that there are a lot of folks out there without their 333 exemption who are willing to shoot aerial real estate jobs for a lot less than I need to charge to make my business profitable. 5) Customers: Need figure out my target markets and get out and network in the community. Looking forward to Alan's new Biz course!!
Awesome, first post, first thread. Kevin Needham here, FlyBot Aviation, British Columbia, Canada. Commercial UAV Operator, Equipment: Phantom 3 Professional My biggest challenge so far is finding customers. I have "self-taught" myself to pilot, obtained my federal certification (called the SFOC permit in Canada) and practiced and researched my skills. I have liability insurance, I have obtained my Aviation Radio Operators certificate. I have cold called my local area, speaking to realtors for pictures/video, spoken to construction and municipal governments for mapping or construction documentation and using some of the newest software, have honed my mapping and 3D map building skills. I have done very few jobs so far, realestate work, which is one-off work. I find it challenging to present myself to local industry, survey, mapping companies when my background is less technical than their own. I am entrepreneurial by nature, so often try to devise, brainstorm ideas that might entice customers to opt-in to UAV services, ideas like starting a video map of my city, or possibly a video map per industry (EG: Looking for the best seafood restaurant, watch the video) then charging customers a fee to have their store, location marked inside the video, or to have contact info included. Trying to devise a packaged product to sell. I believe my main interest is industry, inspections, documentation, volumetrics etc. If this forum, and specifically this course will help narrow and simplify the process of finding customers, it will be worth every penny .