15 Profitable Drone Business Ideas You Can Start in 2021

Thinking about a new drone business idea may be thrilling, but it can also be difficult and complicated. Would you like to know where to begin with so much knowledge accessible on the internet?

You may begin right here. I’ve compiled a list of the most profitable drone companies that you can start with little or no money.

As drone technology advances, new possibilities in sectors where you might launch your drone business become available. So now is a great moment to start studying and looking for methods to offer a good service to many of these prospective customers.

Beginning any business is difficult, and starting a drone business is no exception. Building a business from the ground up takes a lot of time, energy, and money, but it is well worth it in the end.

You now understand what it takes, but do you know what kind of drone business you want to run?

First and foremost, if you are a drone pilot, how do you fly your drone? Do you like taking photos and want to sell them? Or do you want to work in a particular area, such as agriculture?

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(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Second, are you new to the drone industry? If so, do you have expertise in a sector where drones are or will be utilized in the future, such as building inspections on construction sites? Drone pilots are being used by an increasing number of businesses to examine structures. The same is true for farmers who wish to utilize drones for thermal imaging.

How Profitable Is A Drone Business?

One of the most often asked questions is, “Is it worthwhile to establish a drone business?” Yes, that’s my response. Starting a drone business in 2020 may be a highly profitable business.

I’ve heard people say, ‘the drone industry is saturated, and you can’t find a job.’ Tell me whatever market isn’t crowded, yet every day, there are individuals willing to start a business.

The trick is to distinguish yourself from the throng. What can you provide that your rivals do not or cannot?

Drone pilots are in high demand since the drone business is still in its early stages. And, if other businesses begin to utilize drones, you may be able to expand your client base as your business grows and establishes itself. This, in turn, is converted into money.

If you’re still unsure about what sector you want to work in, here are some drone business ideas to get you started:

Top 15 Profitable Drone Business Ideas to Start in 2021

1. Drone filmmaking

Drones have made sweeping views of landscapes, towns, and people in movies much more frequent. A decade ago, a picture like this would have required flying a helicopter over the area with a professional photographer aboard using a handheld gimbal.

All of that labor may now be done by a single person piloting a drone. This method is not only safer and easier to implement logistically, but it is also considerably less expensive. Drone technology has made aerial shots possible for even indie filmmakers.

To be sure, getting a foot in the door of the film business is the most difficult aspect of providing this service. Filmmaking is still very much a “insider” business since directors and producers want to collaborate with individuals they know will create excellent outcomes.

If you already have a “in,” that’s fantastic. Drone filming is something you should certainly look into.

If you’re new to the film business, you might put together a “sizzle reel” of aerial video you’ve previously shot. This may be used as an audition piece for prospective clients.

Put your best foot forward with steady films of artistically framed and attractive topics. Starting off in the film business may be tough, but it becomes easier as you acquire momentum.

2. Agricultural Surveys

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(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Agriculture is being transformed by drones. The capacity to scan crops from the air using a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle outfitted with a number of sensors allows a farmer to gather an unprecedented quantity of valuable data, including information about:

  • Hydration of the soil
  • Soil composition variations
  • Infestations of pests and fungi

Drone crop surveys may be conducted on a monthly, daily, or even hourly basis as needed. Accurate data enables for the most effective agricultural irrigation, fertilization, and pest management. Reduced water and pesticide use, as well as increased agricultural yields, help both the bottom line and the environment.

3. Online Drone Sales

This is an online drone business that you can run from the comfort of your own home. In general, there are two methods to establish a business. First and foremost, you may sell drones via affiliate networks.

Second, you may use the drones to monetize your tiny eCommerce shop. However, you may begin affiliate selling with a lower initial investment.

If you decide to start an online affiliate marketing business, you should have your own website. There are many methods to persuade your customers to make agreements with you when selling homes. It will also assist the customer in making a fast decision.

If you decide to start an online affiliate marketing business, you should have your own website. There are many methods to persuade your customers to make agreements with you when selling homes. It will also assist the customer in making a fast decision.

4. Stock Photography & Videography

drone flying over a futuristic city picture
(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Another method to earn money as a drone photographer or filmmaker is to sell the aerial photographs and films you take. You can earn a good income if you have a drone with a high-quality camera.

Certain high-performance drones, for example, can capture up to 8K Ultra HD footage of both interior and outdoor settings. There are essentially two methods to earn money this way:

The first method entails filming or photographing appealing and famous locations with exceptional natural beauty, tourism attractions, and well-known monuments. Such pictures are constantly in demand, and the aerial views provided by your drone will add to the opulence.

The second method to earn money is to take aerial video and pictures for a fee. Both methods are profitable and may be combined into a single business strategy.

If you’re tech-savvy, you might launch your own stock picture and video website specializing on drone images. Because they are so distinctive, they will always be in high demand.

5. Selling Drones

Drone retail was always going to be at the top of our list for obvious reasons: someone needs to feed the increasing demand for drones that is spreading throughout the globe.

You may also earn money selling drones in a variety of ways. You could sell them entirely online and save some of the costs associated with establishing and operating a business.

You may sell them offline and build a strong name in your community and beyond. You might operate a hybrid business that combines online and physical shopping – the best of both worlds, in a way.

Finally, you may auction off your old drones that you no longer need. Selling drones, like selling anything else, will earn you money. And, like any other business, drone retail requires the same kinds of tactics that apply to retailing other products.

You may buy popular new drones from manufacturers at one price and then resell them to the public at a higher price to earn a profit. Don’t stop at drones if you want to improve your profit margins. They also sell its accessories.

People looking for drones will undoubtedly need batteries, chargers, propellers, cameras, gimbals, additional LED lights, and a slew of other accessories. This is the essence of drone retail, and it will work whether you run an online or physical shop.

You may sell your drone goods via online marketplaces in addition to establishing your own online drone shop. There are several of these markets. Some, like Amazon and Ebay, have a huge online presence and appeal, while others, like DJI TradeUp and others, are more specialized, niched down, and cater to a smaller but more devoted audience.

To begin, you must first contact a supplier or manufacturer that offers drones at reasonable rates. In this context, affordable refers to something that is less than the going retail rate.

The majority of them will have an active online presence, and you may contact them through their website or social media. As you would imagine, there are expenses and processes associated with starting your own retail business. Upfront expenses and fees for running a shop exist, and they may vary depending on region.

Costs and laws will also vary between online and offline shopping, so you should do the required research in your region. Then, based on your current circumstances, determine which works best for you.

6. Security Service

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(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Unmanned aerial system video is being utilized to protect sensitive sites and regions from unwanted trespassers, as well as identify and record theft.

After numerous break-ins resulted in both the theft of fish and the pollution of a grow out pond, a buddy of mine was employed by a big aquaculture (captive commercial fishery) that spans 150 acres to fly his thermal imaging camera equipped quadcopter over the premises at night.

The company came to the obvious conclusion that, in their specific situation, it was more cost effective to hire one security officer with an unmanned aerial surveillance system that could quickly cover a large area of difficult terrain than it was to hire five or six security officers who would be required to man properly distributed posts throughout the property.

He considers himself to have the greatest job in the world.

7. Land mapping and surveying

Drone surveying is the act of taking vast and precise measurements of the Earth’s surfaces from above in order to create maps and draw boundaries using surveying software.

It requires taking precise pictures and measurements from hundreds, if not thousands, of different angles and distances, which are then stitched together to create high-quality 2D and 3D orthomosaic maps.

Drones have aided in the advancement of the precision of these science-based fields, allowing for the creation of 3D models of land masses with otherwise limited data. They aid in the design and building of infrastructure, as well as the mapping of excavation sites and mines.

There is value in selling your drone and flying abilities for surveying and mapping reasons. While average hourly wages vary by sector, the sweet spot is generally between $100 and $200 per hour.

8. Drone Sales, Repair, Training, and Customization

Drones are delicate machines that are prone to failure and harm, especially when abused. Even though costs have dropped considerably, most drones are still too costly to discard.

Drone sales, maintenance, and customisation may be profitable enterprises for you if you are an expert with drones and are mechanically inclined with a knowledge of electronics.

Drones need knowledge and skills to operate properly, therefore professional drone teachers are in high demand. Why not offer your services as a trainer if you have the necessary UAS (unmanned aircraft system) expertise, experience, and FAA certifications?

9. Search and rescue services

Consider someone becoming lost in a jungle late at night. Sending a search team to explore the region with just flashlights may be time-consuming. This approach also exposes the search teams to various dangers when they are traveling in the dark.

A drone may be a more effective way of looking for and rescuing missing people. Some drone versions have infrared and night-vision cameras, which make it simpler to hunt down the missing party utilizing heat emissions.

You may even program a drone to carry emergency supplies as well as a message that assistance is on its way.

10. Underwater inspections

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(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Drones aren’t only for keeping an eye in the skies. Drones can also see into the depths of the ocean. You can dive 100 meters deep with submersible drones and view your aquatic environment with illumination and high-resolution pictures.

Submersible drones are sold by companies such as So Far Ocean for a variety of business and recreational purposes. You may use this technology to:

  • Keep an eye on aquatic habitats.
  • Data should be collected at distant ocean areas.
  • Examine undersea infrastructure such as tanks and pipelines.
  • Investigate prospective dive locations for leisure divers.
  • Measure the wind and wave conditions.
  • Plan ahead of time to find good fishing spots.

11. Drone delivery

This may seem strange to put on this list since drone delivery does not yet exist. Before drone delivery becomes a reality, a number of legislative and technical hurdles must be surmounted.

Notable examples are the prohibition on flying beyond visual line-of-sight and the fact that few drones are built to carry large payloads.

However, drone delivery is such an appealing possibility that major corporations such as Amazon and UPS seem to be aggressively investigating the idea. It’s simple to understand why: drone delivery can pave the way for quick, automated, low-cost, and dependable delivery options.

Delivery vehicles are no longer required to travel around cities at speeds that are often restricted by regular traffic.

Humanitarian groups are also extremely interested in drone delivery since it will enable them to transport medical and critical supplies to difficult-to-reach regions.

Every time drone delivery is mentioned, safety worries arise. The FAA’s new Remote ID proposal may be the first step toward making drone delivery a reality, but it is just the beginning of what will be a lengthy road.

However, once developed, drone delivery technology will undoubtedly be revolutionary. Drone delivery is something to keep an eye out for if you want to be the first to market.

12. Mining and construction

We’re lumping these two businesses together since they both make use of drones in similar ways. Mining and construction are both large-scale activities that may benefit from the viewpoint provided by drones.

Drones may be utilized for better planning, increased safety, and more efficient operations at virtually every step of a mining or construction project.

Creating a comprehensive map of the project site may be very beneficial during the planning phase in both mining and building. A high-resolution topographic model of the project site may be generated using a drone equipped with a high-resolution camera or a LiDAR sensor.

The model may then be used by the project to plan for any required road or excavation work. Drone technology is very beneficial to the mining sector since their operations are usually situated in regions where foot travel is both difficult and hazardous.

Drones are also utilized for quick monitoring during operations, enabling managers to check the progress of projects even when they are not physically present on the ground.

Drones with mapping skills may be used to calculate the amount of stored goods, making inventory safer and more precise. Finally, safety personnel may conduct routine drone inspections to identify possible dangers that may not be apparent to humans on the ground.

Mining and construction are both sectors that find it difficult to break away from the status quo. A proof of concept may be required to persuade the management of these companies that drone usage would benefit them.

13. Inspection and surveying

farmer spraying his crops using a drone picture
(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Because of their capacity to record pictures and video from above while being remotely controlled, drones are ideal for aerial observation and inspection.

They can scan the most challenging locations, saving man hours and avoiding human risk. Whereas expensive helicopters were formerly required for inspections and surveys, drones are reducing expenses by performing the work quicker, more effectively, and at a lower cost.

Using drones for surveying and inspection is one of the most sought-after and profitable UAV-related business ideas available today.

Aerial surveys are used in a variety of areas, including topography, digital mapping, archaeology, feature identification, agriculture, security, mining, and other GIS applications.

Aerial surveys are in high demand, and you may profit on this by establishing a private business that provides aerial survey services.

Inspection is also in great demand by a variety of businesses and organizations, including utility companies, mining companies, insurance companies, construction firms, and agricultural enterprises.

For years, utility companies have used aircraft and helicopters to check electrical cables situated in distant substations.

This technique is not only dangerous to workers, but it is also expensive.

Drones are being used for this purpose. Their high-definition cameras and ability to access difficult-to-reach areas make them perfect for inspection work.

If you want to take this path, you will need exceptional abilities in aerial photography and filming, as well as the appropriate drone and accessories.

14. Production of News Footage

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(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Drones are increasingly being utilized to report news by journalists and people alike. Small unmanned aerial systems (UAVs) have been employed in many high-profile cases to record and transmit video footage from regions of conflict, war, civil unrest, accidents, and catastrophe.

UAVs provide journalists with a safe working distance from potentially hazardous circumstances and may frequently be transported to the site of a story and deployed by a camera operator much faster and at a lower cost than a commercially flown modern helicopter.

Yes, famous photographers (paparazzi) use tiny unmanned aerial systems as well.

15. Drone rentals

If you own the drone, why not turn it into a business by leasing it or your services to others? Your technology and ability may be just what a local business is searching for to comprehend the effects of drones on their operations.

Given the high cost of drones, you may enable them to “test before they buy.” There may also be people in your community that need a drone on a one-time basis, whether for a project or an event.

Sign up for an online peer-to-peer marketplace such as Fat Lama, which rents out drones based on location, or UpSonder, which allows you to rent or sell professional drone piloting skills.

Given Edward, the founder of Jobs in Tanzania, is dedicated to assisting novices, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and developing their businesses.

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