Our winters here in New Mexico aren’t half as bad as the ones that some drone pilots have to deal with. Sure, there are some snowy areas and it gets cold. Overall, though, we’re pretty lucky when it comes to winter.
We know plenty of drone business owners, however, who live in areas where winter presents a big challenge. The cold weather, after all, isn’t exactly friendly to drone pilots. Those who work with golf courses, for example, usually find that their work dries up.
In turn, we often talk to drone pilots who just don’t know how to spend their winters. They can’t find work, don’t bring in enough business and feel that living the drone life is impossible during the cold months.
So, what do you do if the winter puts a damper on your drone business?
Winter is a huge challenge for people working in many industries. Real estate agents talk about it all the time. However, some of the most successful people in real estate are those who see winter as an opportunity.
One of our closest friends in real estate talks about winter as the time to pick up speed. Whereas other agents kick back, complaining that no one buys houses during winter, he sees it as a time with less competition. While everyone else is sitting in the office, he’s out there networking, marketing and selling houses. The competition is dwindling, so he takes an aggressive stance toward the winter months.
This tactic can work for drone pilots, too. If everyone else in your area has put the drone away for winter, you have a great opportunity to hoard potential clients for yourself. Think of winter as a time to accelerate, not hibernate.
Just because your the golf course pilot in your area doesn’t mean that you can only shoot golf courses. If you’re truly going to live the drone life, you should be as flexible as possible.
Construction might die down a bit during the winter, but contractors still need progression reports and site management. Law enforcement still needs crime scene reporting. Wind turbine inspection never stops.
Additionally, some industries actually pick up speed during the winter. Have you considered shooting aerial photography for ski resorts? What better time is there to take video of a winter lodge than during the snowy months?
Consider your options. Think about the people who depend on winter for business and try reaching out to them.
If you live in a particularly snowy area, you actually have a leg up on some other drone pilots. Remember, winter is beautiful. By shooting stock footage of snowy landscapes, you can actually offer something that people in tropical climates can’t. We’re sure that plenty of people search “winter landscape” and “snowy mountain” on stock footage sites all the time, which means you have something important to offer.
Think creatively about what you can provide that drone pilots in warm places can’t. Get as much footage as the winter will allow and figure out a way to put it out there.
If nothing else, winter provides a time to hole up at your desk and take care of all the other tasks you put off while it was warm out. Take some time to update your demo reel. Get your website together. Find some new clients, make cold calls and start building connections. Being stuck inside can be a blessing, so use the time to your advantage.
Of course, we’re not trying to idealize winter too much. It can be a real bummer, particularly when the snow inhibits your ability to fly. However, running a drone business is about versatility and you can stay pretty busy during winter if you work hard for it.
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