It's been a tough 15 months since I released that first version of Dronedesk back at the end of August 2019. Who could have predicted back then that our way of life, liberty and economy would change so dramatically at the start of 2020?
I know a lot of people in the industry are nervous and might be thinking it's harder than ever to build and sustain their business. But I'm convinced that there's still work out there. Lot's of work.
When was the last time you watched the news, a documentary or a Netflix series that didn't include some drone footage? And there are new use-cases emerging all the time from SAR to inspections and, of course, deliveries.
It's an exciting time to be part of what's still a developing industry. And the great news is that, because you can't work from home, drone operators can legitimately continue to go out and work!
I know that when I first began in the industry I lacked direction; I didn't really have a solid plan and I thought that simply flying a drone was a job in itself.
Big mistake. What I came to realise very quickly is that a drone is really just a data acquisition tool. A cool technologically advanced tool but, still, just a tool.
There aren't many successful operators who started in the industry without a plan. And there are fewer still who sustain their business by generalising across multiple disciplines like photography and surveying.
The most successful amongst us are those who've specialised in a niche. They thought in detail about the services they'd offer, carried out detailed research then created, and executed, a business plan.
If you haven't found your niche yet, I'd encourage you to find one. Keep your eye on what's going on in the drone industry around the world and be inspired to explore a new use-case or build on, and improve, what other people are doing.
Write a business plan. Build your knowledge in that niche and focus on working to establish your reputation as the go-to expert. Reach out to anyone and everyone who could be a client for your niche and start building relationships.
Your reputation and relationships will lead to recommendations and, ultimately, recurring revenue (who doesn't love a bit of alliteration!).
It'll be hard work but your business will survive the challenges of the pandemic.