Skymaster

Double Eagle Aerial - Biggest Challenge = Setting Price Points

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Over the past few weeks as I've launched my new aerial photography business in San Antonio, Texas, easily the biggest challenge I've faced is establishing price points for the various packages I'd like to offer.  I've done A LOT of research on this, but the prices and packages vary widely across the country, so what is fair while introducing the technology/service to a new market area?.  Currently there is only one other business in the area legally providing these services, and I'm still waiting for my 333 Exemption, so I've also had to balance my desire to promote the business and gain market share with the fact that I cannot yet charge for the services rendered.  Considerations we can discuss include:  business structure (LLC, Corporation, LLP etc), budget, target audience, partnerships etc.  Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and recommendations.  In the meantime, check out my website:  www.dougleeagleaerial.com

 

 

Double Eagle Aerial Centered.png

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Hi there @Skymaster, thanks for taking the time to post.

You're giving us a lot to work with here, but I'd rather focus on your one biggest challenge of pricing/packaging.

Some comments about how to push things forward here:

  • I like the pricing table you have displayed on your website, but it's not mobile optimized. I'm not able to see the majority of your pricing when looking at your website on my phone. I'd fix this ASAP, and it might be a good opportunity to revisit the design of your website in its entirety and to improve its user experience.
  • Even if there aren't many companies operating in your immediate area, I'd widen your search to at least conduct a bit of competitive research. There are many aerial service companies throughout Texas. I found dozens in a quick Google search for similar markets to San Antonio. I'd make it an immediate goal to get pricing quotes (either by visiting websites, or by calling directly) from at least 5 other companies who offer similar services. That's the best place to start.
  • Might also be worth joining lists/marketplaces like this one to see how they handle/standardize pricing if they control that part of the service: https://www.thumbtack.com/tx/san-antonio/aerial-photography/

Hope this helps!

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Thanks Alan!  Tracking on the website issues - another challenge in working with web design and web hosting!  I appreciate your recommendations and am already looking into them as well as other information posted by you and others on this forum.  Thank you!

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I like the Drone Logbook embed you have on your website.  Not so crazy about the background music on your homepage.  That makes me want to kill websites quickly, no matter how much I want to read the content.  

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2 hours ago, gneissguy said:

I like the Drone Logbook embed you have on your website.  Not so crazy about the background music on your homepage.  That makes me want to kill websites quickly, no matter how much I want to read the content.  

Whoa, didn't notice the Drone Logbook embed...that's a really cool feature! Love it.

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Just a FYI. Just because you are not being paid or making a profit does not make what you're doing non-commercial. You really should not have any sUAS imagery you collected without an exemption on your business website. Your competitors could rat you out to the FAA. Chances are nothing will come of it, but in my opinion it's not a risk worth taking.

Sorry to be Mr. Buzzkill here.

 

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31 minutes ago, Keith said:

Just a FYI. Just because you are not being paid or making a profit does not make what you're doing non-commercial. You really should not have any sUAS imagery you collected without an exemption on your business website. Your competitors could rat you out to the FAA. Chances are nothing will come of it, but in my opinion it's not a risk worth taking.

Sorry to be Mr. Buzzkill here.

 

Hi @Keith, so the clarify, you're taking the position that until you have a 333 exemption if you're a U.S. drone pilot, you shouldn't be doing any kind of business marketing? Even if your photos were taken recreationally? Even if you're doing pro-bono client work to build up your demo reel? Even if you're transparent on your website and state that you can't officially accept commercial work until the exemption comes through?

I really hope that's not what you're saying :)

If it is, I wholeheartedly (and respectfully) disagree.

Just because the FAA is dragging their feet doesn't mean that smart, transparent entrepreneurs can't get certain aspects of their business foundation in place to hit the ground running.

I'm not telling anyone to break the law here. I'm encouraging folks who are serious about building a business in this industry to stop twiddling their thumbs when it comes to regulations, get your paperwork in the queue, and do everything you possible can to push things forward with your marketing / sales funnel until you're officially granted the exemption.

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2 hours ago, dohara said:

Just looking for the embed code on dronelogbook.com -- where about is it on their site?

Thanks,

Den

On the homepage dashboard, to the right directly under the "locations" button is a small text box that says "add your counters to your website"  Let me know if you can't find it...

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12 hours ago, gneissguy said:

I like the Drone Logbook embed you have on your website.  Not so crazy about the background music on your homepage.  That makes me want to kill websites quickly, no matter how much I want to read the content.  

LOL - thanks for the candid feedback.  I don't know how to have the music only play if you hit the video, so while i figure that out, I just took it off.  That was my very first video and I've made some better ones since.  I appreciate your feedback!

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51 minutes ago, Keith said:

Just a FYI. Just because you are not being paid or making a profit does not make what you're doing non-commercial. You really should not have any sUAS imagery you collected without an exemption on your business website. Your competitors could rat you out to the FAA. Chances are nothing will come of it, but in my opinion it's not a risk worth taking.

Sorry to be Mr. Buzzkill here.

 

Hmmm, an interesting perspective and I thought I was being super cautious.  I figured with the disclaimer that I'm not accepting payment pending receipt of the exemption that I was being as about as forthright as i could be.  I'd tend to think you could still market your business using your product and service while waiting for the exemption and I haven't seen anything to the contrary.  I'll have to do some research on that angle, but I do appreciate the perspective - had not thought of it in that sense.  

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15 minutes ago, Skymaster said:

Hmmm, an interesting perspective and I thought I was being super cautious.  I figured with the disclaimer that I'm not accepting payment pending receipt of the exemption that I was being as about as forthright as i could be.  I'd tend to think you could still market your business using your product and service while waiting for the exemption and I haven't seen anything to the contrary.  I'll have to do some research on that angle, but I do appreciate the perspective - had not thought of it in that sense.  

Having a website and marketing is not the problem. In my opinion using imagery you personally collected "recreational" on your business website is a risk since its clearly being used for commercial purposes. It's small but a risk none the less.

I know Alan disagrees with me here. But it's still something to be aware of. Would I follow my own advice. Probably not. So it's just a matter of how close you want to walk the line. The reality is the FAA has bigger fish to fry.

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On 3/4/2016 at 8:29 AM, Keith said:

Just a FYI. Just because you are not being paid or making a profit does not make what you're doing non-commercial. You really should not have any sUAS imagery you collected without an exemption on your business website. Your competitors could rat you out to the FAA. Chances are nothing will come of it, but in my opinion it's not a risk worth taking.

Sorry to be Mr. Buzzkill here.

 

Hi @Keith, - I followed up with Gowdy Brothers and they are somewhat in agreement with you.  They suggested I put an overprint on the photos that I've taken until the Exemption comes through.  That way, I specify that it's recreational only, but allows me the time and effort towards "building the business."   They also agreed with you that it's likely the FAA would not take action but suggested caution, and I think the fact that there is an exemption pending and that's annotated on the site, they would probably steer them away from me.  Thanks again, for the feedback.

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1 hour ago, Skymaster said:

Hi @Keith, - I followed up with Gowdy Brothers and they are somewhat in agreement with you.  They suggested I put an overprint on the photos that I've taken until the Exemption comes through.  That way, I specify that it's recreational only, but allows me the time and effort towards "building the business."   They also agreed with you that it's likely the FAA would not take action but suggested caution, and I think the fact that there is an exemption pending and that's annotated on the site, they would probably steer them away from me.  Thanks again, for the feedback.

Yeah I think that's a smart approach. This way it's more like: look what I did as a hobbyist and I'll soon be able to do this for you once my exemption goes through.

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