Become a Drone Pilot

Start a Drone Business

Talk to heliguy™ about commercial drones and training today.

Become a Drone Pilot

Join the multi-billion-pound UK drone industry.

So, you want to start a drone business? It's a great time to enter the industry:

  • Growing Market: PwC predicts drones will boost the UK economy by 42bn by 2030 - you could be part of that.
  • Pro-drone UK laws: Fly a Mini 2 commercially without needing drone training.
  • Advancing Technology: 4K camera drones are now available for under £500, while automated flights simplify data capture.
  • Relatively low start-up costs: Drones are more accessible these days - heliguy™ drone rental reduces large upfront investment.
  • Numerous Sectors: Wide range of industry verticals, including photography, real estate, surveying and mapping, inspection, and agriculture.
  • Proof of concept made: Drones have already shown their worth across the commercial sector.

heliguy™ has a track record of helping businesses start and scale. We can help you today.

"I wanted a drone provider that I could stick with throughout the lifecycle of my business and provide all the services I would need - and Heliguy is exactly that supplier: The training was professional, they helped me pick the right kit, and guided me through set-up once the kit arrived."

Quinton Quayle - Quayle Industries.

How to Start a UK Drone Business

What you need to know to get your drone business off the ground,

This four-step action plan is a suggested route to launching your drone business - starting small and growing over time. This isn't the only option, and for more advanced operations and use cases, larger drones, training courses and processing software may be required.

Step 1.

Sub 250g mini drones

Start your business using a sub 250g drone - like the Mini 2

  • No training required - start generating revenue immediately
  • Freedom to fly close to and over people
  • Utilise heliguy™ rentals to test the market and reduce upfront costs
  • Register with CAA and get public liability insurance

Step 2.

Making your first sale

Market your business and generate your first sale.

  • Word of mouth, referrals and social media communities can be great for lead-building
  • Talk to local businesses about your services
  • Show examples of your drone footage to build trust among your clientele
  • Build a website, target SEO keywords, and start driving traffic

Step 3.

Expand Your Drone Programme

Upgrade your drone to expand capabilities and scale your operations

  • Use your revenue to upgrade your drone or expand your fleet
  • Opportunities include mapping/surveying, thermography, or industrial inspection
  • Invest in software to maximise data collection and conduct in-depth analysis

Step 4.

Drone Training

The heliguy™ drone training ecosystem enables you to grow your drone business

  • Undertake A2 CofC or GVC drone training courses online
  • Closed-course, industry-specific training
  • OSC consultancy for more bespoke missions
  • Use our drone licence calculator to see which training is best for you

Key Considerations

Some business models will require a different approach, and starting any business involves more than just these 4 simple steps. Learn more about the key considerations when starting your drone business below.

Key Considerations When Starting a Drone Business

Key Considerations

1. Drone Business Plan

Writing a business plan is an important early step in starting a drone business, defining who are, what you want to achieve, and how you plan to reach your goals.

Key considerations include what your business will do, how you plan to use drones, pricing and start-up capital, short and long-term objectives, and drone business name.

It is also useful to profile your customers and competition, and think about how you will market your business, including building your website, SEO, and keywords.

Click here to download a sample business plan from The Princes Trust.

2. Don't Reinvent the Wheel

You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Learn from others, and build out from there.

You're actually entering the industry at a great time, where the proof of concept for the technology has been demonstrated and the best use-cases have been made.

And remember, you haven't got to go at it alone. heliguy™ offers free consultancy as standard, and our experienced team - which supports major drone programmes around the world - can share case studies, best practises and workflows with you, and advise on the best technology to meet your needs and help get your business off the ground.

3. Start Small

You are starting your drone business - dreaming big and with huge aspirations. That is fine - but remember, it is best to start small, and work up from there.

In our experience, it is best to focus on potentially one use case, or idea, master this, and then grow.

This is also true with the equipment. Consider starting with smaller drone platforms, learn how they work and master them, and then scale up. After all, the Mini 2 is a tiny drone, but has some incredible specs, especially for jobs such as roof inspection or real estate photography.

It is like building blocks. Start small and then build one on top of the other.

4. Test, Train, And Learn

Practice makes perfect. It sounds cliche, but when it comes to developing a drone business, this saying really is true.

Test, train and learn about your equipment - both hardware and software - to become effective and efficient in your chosen field.

Depending on your drone, you may require a A2 or GVC drone certification. Use our drone training calculator to determine which training you need for your drone.

The more competent you are, the easier it will be to scale your business going forward.

5. Understand Rules and Regulations

It sounds an obvious one, but it is highly important. Make sure you are well-versed in local rules and regulations and understand your limitations.

Drone registration is different to drone training.

While you might not require drone training, most drone operators who are operating commercially will need to register with the UK CAA.

There are two aspects to drone registration: A Flyer ID (free, complete online test) and an Operator ID (£9) - and you might need both.

6. Drone Insurance

Drone insurance is vital if you are operating your drone commercially or running a drone business to protect your operations and your equipment.

The cost of drone insurance in the UK varies depending on the type of cover you require, your drone, and the length of the contract. Options do exist to pay as you fly.

We've partnered with Coverdrone to provide you with the best rates possible. Click here to get a quote.

7. Prepare to Scale Up

If things go well, it will be time to scale up, expand your operations, and grow your fleet.

It is a good idea to have a plan in place sooner rather than later, so you can hit the ground running when it comes to increasing your equipment and/or your team.

8. Drone Software

In most cases, you’ll need a decent computer to process imagery or other drone data.

But for some jobs, you’ll need niche computer programmes to maximise your data collection, such as drone mapping software .

As your business develops, drone fleet management and mission planning software can be beneficial.



Drone Business Ideas

Select an industry or sector below to see relevant DJI drones.

One of the advantages of the drone industry is that there are numerous business ideas across a wide range of sectors.

And there are a great collection of drones suited to each venture.

Use our tool below to help you choose your drone career. Click on a drone business to find out more about that sector and a suggested list of DJI drones.

Real Estate

A real growth sector in the commercial drone industry. Generate video tours or capture unique aerial shots for customers interested in property, providing a truly immersive and complete experience.

Drone Photography

From weddings to filmmaking, drone photography accounts for one of the largest shares of the commercial drone industry and is an exciting sector to join.

Drone Videography

Drones capture dynamic and engaging video content. It's little wonder why drone videography is an attractive career to pursue.

Building Inspection

Drones have become a great tool for building inspections, collecting highly-accurate data without needing to have people working at height - saving time and money in the process.

Commercial Inspection

This is a huge sector with lots of potential within the drone industry. Utilise drones and their sophisticated sensors to provide inspections of bridges, telecommunication towers, wind turbines, powerlines, pipelines, and even solar panels.

Mapping And Surveying

Use drones to collect topographic data from the air to create 2D maps, 3D models and conduct volume calculations. Drone mapping and surveying can be used in numerous industry verticals, such as construction, forestry, mining, urban planning, and public safety.

Agriculture

Days of farmers walking the fields are no more. Drones have become a key tool for agriculture, helping with crop inspection, livestock management, and seed spreading.

Search and Rescue

Using drones for public safety / search and rescue is a well-trodden path, but for good reason: Drones save lives.

Relevant Drones

Browse the selection of DJI drones relevant to your business idea.

DJI Mini 2

The DJI Mini 2 is ideal for real estate, thanks to its powerful camera in a tiny (sub 250g), foldable and portable frame.

The DJI Mini 2 has a powerful camera in a tiny (sub 250g), foldable and portable frame.

The DJI Mini 2 is a lightweight (sub 250g) drone which can be used for visual building inspections.

  • 4K 30fps video @ 100mbps
  • 12MP camera
  • Up to 4x zoom
  • DJI Smart Controller compatibility
  • Sub 250g - no drone training required to operate commercially

DJI Air 2S

One of DJI’s newest releases, the Air 2S has excellent camera capabilities for cinematic aerial shots of property.

One of DJI’s newest releases, the Air 2S has excellent camera capabilities for cinematic content.

  • 5.4K @ 30fps / 4K @60 fps video and 150 Mbps
  • 1” CMOS sensor
  • 20MP photos
  • 8x digital zoom
  • DJI Smart Controller compatibility.
  • A2 CofC drone training course recommended

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

The Mavic 2 Pro set the standard for aerial photography drones and will add professional touches to your real estate photography.

The Mavic 2 Pro set the standard for camera drones.

  • Hasselblad L1D-20c camera
  • 1” CMOS sensor
  • 20MP camera
  • 10-bit Dlog-M color profile: Ideal for low-light environments.
  • Adjustable aperture
  • DJI Smart Controller compatibility
  • A2 CofC drone training course recommended

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Zoom by name, zoom by nature. The Mavic 2 Zoom is perfect for real estate photographers who want to get more dynamic footage.

  • 1/2.3” 12MP sensor
  • 4x zoom, including a 2x optical zoom (24–48 mm).
  • Dolly Zoom
  • Hybrid autofocus for higher focus accuracy.
  • Smart Controller compatibility
  • A2 CofC drone training course recommended

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2

The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a high-class content creation tool for professional real-estate marketing.

The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 grants filmmakers absolute creative freedom.

The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a high-class content creation tool.

The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0’s quality camera makes it ideal to capture detailed visual inspections.

  • 1” CMOS sensor
  • Mechanical shutter removes rolling shutter blur
  • 4K/60fps videos
  • 20MP photos
  • A2 CofC drone training course recommended

DJI FPV Drone

Capture super-immersive content and benefit from unrivalled agility to whizz, duck and dive around objects during a scene.

  • Super-wide 150° FOV
  • Low-latency HD video transmission at up to 120fps
  • Record 4K/60fps video at up to 120Mbps
  • Top speed of 87 mph and acceleration from 0-62 mph in just two seconds
  • GVC/A2 CofC drone training course, dependent on operation

DJI Inspire 2 Drone

The ultimate filmmaking drone, the Inspire 2 is trusted by professional filmmakers around the world.

  • Upgraded CineCore2.1 image processing system
  • 6K video in CinemaDNG/RAW and 5.2K in Apple ProRes, with X7 camera
  • Spotlight Pro flight modes for dramatic shots
  • Stream video from an onboard FPV camera and the main camera simultaneously
  • 58 mph (94 kph) top speed and accelerate from 0 to 80 kph in 5 seconds.
  • GVC drone training course recommended

Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced

A compact, foldable and powerful inspection tool with thermal, visual and zoom capabilities.

Not an agricultural drone by nature, but ideal for thermal or visual crop inspections.

Powerful and portable drone for public safety and search and rescue.

  • 640 x 512 px radiometric thermal sensor;
  • 48MP visual camera;
  • 32x digital zoom, and 16x thermal zoom;
  • RTK Module for CM-level positioning and greater flight stability;
  • Create up to 240 waypoints for automated inspection;
  • Integrate with extra accessories, such as a bright spotlight
  • GVC/A2 CofC drone training course, dependent on operation

DJI Matrice 300 Drone

DJI's most powerful commercial drone platform.

  • Up to 55 minutes of flight time
  • Carry up to three payloads at once
  • IP45 rating
  • Wide payload compatibility, including H20T, Z15 bright spotlight, U10 methane detector, L1 LiDAR and P1 photogrammetry cameras
  • Advanced safety and redundancy features.
  • GVC drone training course recommended

DJI Phantom 4 RTK

A compact and dedicated low-altitude mapping tool. Plan flight paths to conduct automated drone mapping missions.

  • 1”CMOS sensor; 20MP; mechanical shutter to avoid rolling shutter blur
  • 1cm+1ppm RTK Horizontal Positioning Accuracy, and 1.5cm+1ppm RTK Vertical Positioning Accuracy
  • RTK module for real-time, CM-level positioning data for absolute accuracy on image metadata
  • RTK for greater flight stability.
  • GVC/A2 CofC drone training course, dependent on operation

DJI Agras T30 Drone

A compact and dedicated low-altitude mapping tool. Plan flight paths to conduct automated drone mapping missions.

  • 1”CMOS sensor; 20MP; mechanical shutter to avoid rolling shutter blur
  • 1cm+1ppm RTK Horizontal Positioning Accuracy, and 1.5cm+1ppm RTK Vertical Positioning Accuracy
  • RTK module for real-time, CM-level positioning data for absolute accuracy on image metadata
  • RTK for greater flight stability.
  • GVC drone training course recommended

DJI Phantom 4 Multispectral

Similar to the Phantom 4 RTK, the P4 Multispectral is a dedicated and compact agricultural drone.

  • 1”CMOS sensor; 20MP; mechanical shutter to avoid rolling shutter blur
  • 1cm+1ppm RTK Horizontal Positioning Accuracy, and 1.5cm+1ppm RTK Vertical Positioning Accuracy
  • RTK module for real-time, CM-level positioning data for absolute accuracy on image metadata
  • RTK for greater flight stability.
  • GVC/A2 CofC drone training course, dependent on operation

Heliguy End to end support

Complete access to the heliguy™ ecosystem for all customers.

Starting and running a drone business isn't just about buying your drone. It's a multi-layered operation which can involve training, on-going support, repairs, and a trusted supplier.

This is where Heliguy comes in, our value goes beyond a one-off quick sale. Our deeply-integrated ecosystem of services ensures we can support your drone business at every step, from start-up to scale.

We will be your pillar of support, offering advice, hardware, and training when you need it. This isn't a one-off transaction, it is an ongoing relationship.

Drone Supply & Logistics

  • Vast inventory of stock for instant supply, scaling and immediate swap outs
  • Drone rental
  • Global network of industry partners
  • Service level agreements
  • Finance options
  • Next-day delivery
  • IATA Certified to globally ship high-power batteries by air

Repairs

  • In-house DJI-approved repair centre, offering crash support and repairs management
  • Instant replacement of dead on arrival products, including over-the-phone fault diagnosis with one of four technicians, and free returns/replacements of faulty items
  • Warranty repairs/replacements at no extra cost, including access to repairs infrastructure in the UK from our Repair Centre
  • Firmware upgrade and set-up support
  • Data analysis, premium customer support, and resolution with the manufacturer.

Consultancy and Lifetime Support

  • Free consultancy is built-in as standard
  • Our experienced team will share case studies, best practices and help build the right drone package for you
  • Over-the-phone support when you need it, even if you're out in the field.
  • Lifetime support. Our help extends after the transaction is completed.
  • Learn from our team: A DJI Gold Partner with experience of supporting drone programmes of Network Rail, Balfour Beatty, BBC, National Grid, and the UK emergency services.

Drone Training

  • CAA-approved courses - A2 CofC and GVC
  • Online training
  • Experienced training team, including former military personnel, with multi-rotor and fixed-wing experience
  • 3,000+ candidates taught, including pilots from Network Rail, National Grid, London Fire Brigade, and Phillips 66
  • Closed courses, industry-specific training, and fixed-wing
  • Industry-application training: Surveying and mapping, thermography, photography
  • Streamlined Operations Manual creation and renewal
  • OSC consultancy: Operate beyond Standard Permissions

heliguy™ Lab

  • R&D lab, product development and design
  • Rapid prototyping
  • CAD and 3D printing
  • Accelerated lead times
  • Robust and strong products in a range of materials
  • Custom integrations for bespoke missions
  • Individual consultation service

Who We Support

Take a look at some of the brands and business who trust heliguy™.

"I would like to thank everyone at Heliguy for their support over the years. Heliguy understands what most companies have failed to – that it’s not just about selling stuff, but a genuinely human and caring approach to every aspect of aftersales, service and support."

Chris Boyes - 5kdigitalfilm.

Drone Rental

Drone hire to prove your business idea without huge upfront costs

The heliguy™ drone rental service is perfect for new businesses.

Hiring our equipment on a weekly basis has numerous benefits, including:

  • Try before you buy
  • Prove the concept of your business before committing to a large investment
  • Prevent bigger upfront costs
  • Hire as and when you need the equipment: Particularly useful for business start-ups
  • Access the latest technology to impress clients
  • Easily add drones/cameras to your fleet at time of high demand

Top Rental Products

"Renting allows us access to the latest and biggest variety of equipment without investing a huge amount of money. Heliguy is the best partner to our drone operations - giving us the trust that they will never let us down."

Cesar Hoyos Franco - Land Surveyor for NPS Group.

Full Rental Catalogue Commercial Clients: How Drone Hire Has Helped

Frequently Asked Questions

Tips and advice on how to start a drone business




Related Blog Posts

Read blog posts and related articles on the heliguy™ blog.


Book a Meeting

Speak to our team to start your drone business today.


Public Safety & Media

Matty Cairns

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Counter UAS, Construction & Infrastructure

Ruairi Hardman

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Technical Support Lead

Jack Bishop

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Head of Training

Ben Shirley

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Media & PR

James Willoughby

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Drone Rental

Jamie Lowes

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Drone Surveying & GIS Expert

Ben Sangster

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Custom Integration

Ross Embleton

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Head of Sales

Michael Smith

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