IT Considerations when making UAS Business

Just writing this to see what are some of the common issues that people have experienced in regards to the IT portion of their business? What are some of the areas you wish you would have considered prior to starting up your business? Anything helps.

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Hi @TNichols01, welcome to the forum. The few things I can think of, some not necessarily it related, but things that will help your program move along.

Depending on your goals, you want to make sure you have the right infrastructure to handle the data and do some of the things yourself in case you have issues with outside services or need something very quickly.

  • A photo editor would be my first suggestion. I use ACDSee to overcome exposure issues and honestly just to make everything look really good. ACDSee also allows you to do non-destructive batch editing which means that it saves a copy of the original and allows you to process many photos without much interaction from you. This will help minimize wasted trips.
  • Next would be a video editing software like CyberLink PowerDirector. you may think that your primary goal is mapping, but I think you will come across a lot of clients that want simple static progress photos and videos.
  • Pre-plan your storage directory. I like two separate mine buy control and support documents like plan sheets and overlays. Also I have separation between the images and the output from DroneDeploy. You are going to amass a lot of data quickly and it can become overwhelming before you know it.
  • From the user side I think it is good practice to include some training in your services. Don’t sell yourself short, but a pre-project training and a post-project debriefing has worked well for us. This will not only help you focus on the clients once, but it will help you improve your product when they tell you their experience. From my experience getting people comfortable with the user interface is a roadblock because it can be unfamiliar, especially in the 3D aspect.
  • Not finely, but kind of, consistency of the data that you output is important because the client will learn what to expect and become familiar with it. That is as long as you are delivering it in a simple way for them and the same way every time.

Feel free to PM me any time.

Everything Michael says plus,

Personally your internet bandwidth is crucial. You’re going to want to have as fast upload as possible. This means that sometimes you have to pay a lot more for your internet.

Also for editing software I subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud which gives you the full Adobe Suite for $50 a month.

I strongly suggest buying a NAS to store all your data on. It also benefits to have a GSuite account through Google because you get unlimited cloud storage for $12 a month if you are a single user.

Make sure you have your Part 107 and get insurance. I wouldn’t waste money on the “On-The-Go” insurance. Get a policy that you feel comfortable with. Aerialpak by Hill & Usher was only $700 for 1 year of 1,000,000 liability. If you are going to be flying a lot paying $25 for each flight is going to hit your bottom line hard.

Most importantly you will mess up. Go after little companies first until you get everything all figured out.


Could you elaborate a little more on the pre-project training and a post-project debriefing?

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When we are contracted to fly I setup a brief 30-60 minute meeting with the client explaining the types of data and familiarizing them with the DroneDeploy site. Once we have completed the project we sit down for another hour to discuss like and dislikes and anything that we could change to better serve the team.

Thanks! I thought that’s what you meant, but wanted to make sure. I usually give the client some information that I put together with information from the DD site, with links for them to further educate themselves if interested. Most aren’t.

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I feel you there. That’s why I prefer an onsite demo. Maybe even of their first map free. Once they see the capabilities of the data the jaws drop. We pick up home developers easily this way.

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I love that you said “First map free”. That is key to the drone business. “Give a little, get a lot”, the moto I live by. You can’t focus on 3 clients, you need to focus on 300 clients. Your phone wont stop ringing at this point.

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