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Price Your Drone Projects the RIGHT way..

pricing Feb 18, 2024

The Essential Guide to Pricing Your Drone Services in 2024

Navigating the maze of pricing your drone services can be daunting. With no standard rates and essential information seeming just out of reach, the risk of charging too high and turning away clients, or too low and undercutting your value, can cause real anxiety.

This guide aims to cut through the complexity, offering a straightforward framework to ensure you cover costs, pay yourself fairly, and maintain a healthy profit margin. Let’s turn the challenge of pricing into an opportunity to start from a place of leverage.


Understanding Your Pricing Structure

When determining your rates, consider offering clear hourly, half-day, and full-day rates. Here’s a suggested range to start with:

  • Hourly Rate: $150 - $350
  • Half-Day Rate (up to 4 hours): $450 - $750
  • Full-Day Rate (up to 8 hours): $800 - $1,500

These ranges are starting points. Adjust them based on your experience, the complexity of the job, and your market’s demand.


Calculating Your Costs

For every proposal, ensure you calculate your direct costs, including:

  • Travel: Fuel, accommodations (if applicable), and meal allowances.
  • Personnel Time: Both flying and editing/processing time.

This is your initial cost. From here, you can add for equipment and administrative fees:

  • Equipment: Usually 10% of travel/personnel cost to cover equipment depreciation, maintenance and repairs, and replacement of parts 
  • Administrative: Usually this is 15% of the travel/personnel cost to account for time for site verification, demos, filing of waivers, report writing, etc. 


Allocating for Overhead

Allocate 20% of every job to cover your overhead. Overhead includes the indirect costs required to run your business, such as:

  • Office Space: Whether it's a home office or rented space.
  • Utilities: Electricity, internet, and phone services.
  • Marketing: Website maintenance, advertising, and promotional materials.
  • Software: Editing software subscriptions and other tools.
  • Insurance and Licenses: Necessary for legal and safe operations.
  • Professional Services: Accountants, legal advice, and other consultants.

Understanding and covering your overhead is crucial to ensure your business operates smoothly without dipping into your profits.


Targeting a 30% Profit Margin

Aim for a 30% profit margin on each job. This means after covering your direct costs (equipment, travel, time) and allocating for overhead, the remaining income should be at least 30% of the total project cost. This profit margin ensures your business is not just sustainable but also growing.


So, let's break down a full example:

Example Project Calculation:

  1. Travel and Personnel Time: $750 (Includes travel costs and time for flying and editing)
  2. Equipment and Administrative Costs: Add 10% for equipment ($75) and 15% for administrative tasks ($112.50).
  3. Subtotal (before Overhead): $937.50
  4. Overhead (20%): $187.50 (Covers office space, utilities, marketing, software, insurance/licenses, and professional services)
  5. Total Cost (before Profit): $1,125
  6. Final Price (with 30% Profit Margin): To achieve a 30% profit margin, the price would be $1,125 / 0.70 = $1,607.14.

Now remember, pricing is negotiable, and it's about your business acumen at the end of the day to close the deal. But by using this formula method, you can be rest assured that you're starting from a position of strength, ensuring your costs are covered, and you're set for a profitable outcome.

If you're looking for a simple way to implement this, I have a Google spreadsheet I can send you totally free. DM me "PROFIT," and I'll send it over to you.

Simply plug in your numbers, and it will automatically calculate your total costs, projected profit, and suggest pricing, helping you apply this pricing strategy efficiently to your projects.





Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

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