Need Some Advice Bidding on Jobs

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I was asked to bid on a job, it is located two hours away from my house, and the flight time is over two buildings and will take a maximum of two hours.

Flying in Central IL, just south of Chicago, and no airports are a factor here, over ten miles from Ohare and Midway too....................

What would you charge for a job like this, they want video of rooftops, and some pano 360 pics too.  

Do I charge a rate for four hours of driving, then charge a per hour flight time as well?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, you can email me directly or respond to the post, whatever you are most comfortable with.


Capt, Jeff "Tazman" Keller

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Hi Jeff,

Establishing a price for uas related services are no different than any for other service business.  You need to establish your costs, and then add for how much you want or need to earn above those costs. The market in your particular service area will then show you whether or not your price for the service you are offering is viable.  

There are plenty of guys out there with the idea that if they bring in any money, even if when factored out they are loosing money, say they are happy because they are flying drones. That is not really a viable business plan though.

Edited by Dave Pitman
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Similar to Dave's comments, its important to understand all the aspects of this type of project bid request since the prep time, drive time, flight time, post processing time, deliverable packaging (video, photos), and customer reporting all add up very quickly. I'd recommend setting several pricing/fee tiers for the different activities involved. Here is an example: Prep-time $30/hr, drive-time $30/hr, flight time $125/hr, post-processing $30/hr, packaging-reporting $30/hr.   These $/hr amounts are totally arbituary.  When you have a standard billing/pricing/fee rate, you can make exceptions via discounting individual pricing elements to submit a competitive bid.   Having a 107 license, flight insurance, getting authorization to fly in the project area, and following a set of safe flight operational procedures and FAA reporting are value-adds of your  service (bid) and lessen the liability of the customer.  Hope this helps, go for it!

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Dave and Secure Hover, et al., 

I charged $25 per hour drive time, then I charged $175 per hour flight time,  and .58 cents a mile.  The one thing that I did not charge for is post processing. I am really glad you mentioned that since I had 2gb of video to upload, and over 425 pictures at 5mb each, LOL.

Was a fruitful day, learned allot, it was clear, calm and cool. Took the day off from my full time job, and made a cool $500+ for this event.

Appreciate your input, and will add the post processing in next time as my 50GB fibre connection to my house took four hours due to the site that was accepting the upload,


Cheers fellas................and as my good friend Alan Perlman always says..................Blue Skies.................


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