Initial Planning

Planning is the key to a successful business and the designs and research made at this early stage can lead to success or failure.

You must have an approach as to how you plan on completing or reaching your goals within your business and you must have a rough cost for short term and long terms goals.The more time you spend in the planning stage will lead to a better understanding on how to achieve your goals.

Your competition is key and you must study and try to learn from what your competitors are doing and how you can make your buisness better. Even a companies failures must be studied because if they have failed and got it wrong along the way , if you can identify this you could save yourself work,time and most importantly money.

The key questions you must ask yourself are:

1. What is the nature of your business and what do you do? 

This is an important question because it extends beyond the simple “What does your business do?” It’s one thing to outline your business in general, describing what products you make or what services you offer, but if you want a solid business plan you have to take it to the next level.

The application using drones is huge and everyday its becoming harder and harder to think where they aren’t useful as apposed to where they are.

Try and list as many applications as possible and you should always try and think of new ways to use your service or offer something different. A few to think about are:

  • Aerial Photography
  • Aerial Filming (Companies want helicopter shots done with a drone cheaply)
  • Inspection work (remember you might not be qualified or skilled enough to notice the issue while carrying out an inspection)
  • Thermal imaging (this can be expensive and just the same as inspections, do you know what your looking for)
  • Digital mapping (this is a expanding area and the money  you can save a company is huge but convincing them to invest in new future technologies can sometime quite hard)
  • Farming and agriculture surveys using NVDI

It’s nice to imagine your drone business as providing something useful, and if you’re excited about the idea, it’s that much easier to think about people buying it. But be careful as it can be dangerous to think everyone will be as excited about your business as you are. you need to plan, be logical and critical when you consider the driving force behind your customers’ purchasing decisions: what fundamental customer need is your business addressing? You’ll want to back this up with research that shows the need actually exists.

2. What makes you different?

You must have a unique selling point (USP) It’s a big world out there, and startups are constantly coming on and off the radar. Chances are, there are multiple businesses out there who are already serving the crucial need you outlined from question one. That doesn’t mean you can’t serve it better, or serve it in a different way, but therein lies the challenge—figuring out what makes you different.

First, you’ll need to acknowledge all the major players in your space, and this is going to require some research. Acknowledge what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and how they’re going about their business. Identify the differentiating factor that will allow you to stand out, and emphasise it.

3. Who is your audience?

Its not everybody!  No matter how useful or practical your product or service is, there’s no way you’re going to be able to sell to everyone in the world. Drones and the business of using them is still a niche market and convincing someone that there is a need or necessity is going to be difficult. Think about factors like age, sex, education, geographic location, working status, marital status, and perform some preliminary market research to determine the best path forward.

While you may already be running  a successful business but your coming in to the drone industry with very little experience leave your options open and your key skill set or market may evolve over time, so don’t stay too committed to one niche at the start of the planning stage but once you have identified the area you feel you can make a difference or improve maybe focus on one market then think about expanding in the future once you have established yourself first.

4. How is your business going to make money?

This seems like an obvious question to answer, but you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs fail to elaborate on their plan. The brief answer to this question is “sell products/services,” but how are you going to sell? Where are you going to sell? How much are you going to sell for?

The other side of the question is what are your operating expenses? Who are you going to pay? What services or partners will you need to pay for? And ultimately, will the amount you sell be able to surpass the amount you owe? When will you break even?

5. How will you promote your business?

Promoting your business is just as important as creating it. While the key to advertising on a large scale and trying to reach larger audiences, google and internet search engines these can be very expensive and consider doing some free work to promote your business and most importantly your skill set.

Word of mouth is some of the best advertising and if you complete a good job to a high standard this can spread and bring in  other business opportunity. Think about local advertising (papers,flyiers etc)

6. What do you need to get started?

For many potential partners and investors, this is the bottom line. All businesses have to start somewhere, but that starting line varies dramatically from industry to industry and from entrepreneur to entrepreneur. Do you need any advanced equipment? Who will you need to hire? How much will you need for an initial run? These questions should give you an idea exactly how much capital and what resources you need initially.

It may seem counterintuitive, but answering these questions isn’t a one-time process. Your business plan should be a working  document ever evolving as you, your market and equipment changes. . Throughout your business journey, you’re going to encounter new challenges, new opportunities, and hundreds of factors you never considered as significant to your business when you were writing the initial plan. To survive, you’re going to have to revise your answers to these questions and update your business plan accordingly.

 


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