Drone over Construction Site (002)

The market for drones is predicted to explode, says Matt Lee, but small businesses should prepare for the impact, some industries will be turned upside down.

Currently, the global drone market is valued at around $2 billion. By 2020, that number is set to top $127 billion — a growth of over 6000 per cent in just three years.

The market for drones is predicted to explode, as new applications for the technology, matched with rising affordability, result in the streamlining and automation of processes for many industries.

We’ve already seen the plans for Amazon’s drone delivery systems and a move by major telecoms companies to use the technology to slash signal blackspots. However, it isn’t just big business that will see an evolution thanks to this tech revolution.

Small businesses should also prepare for the impact of drones, with some sectors set for significant transformations over the coming years. The ramifications of drone technology are not equal for all industries, though; some will see little to no effect, while others will be turned upside down.

  1. Security
Britain is a hub of private security companies, offering services to everyone from A-list celebrities, to political figures and other businesses.

The key to successful security is not only action, but surveillance and, ultimately, deterrence. It is in these last two categories that drones excel.

Highly mobile drones fitted with cameras effectively act as moving CCTV. Their operation in military security is well documented, but plummeting costs and rising usability means small security firms will soon be able to capitalise on the tech.

Having drones in the air allows security agencies to actively monitor large scenes, while also tracking and reacting to potential problems in real time. These adaptive surveillance options not only allows for better decision making and problem-solving, but deterring of potential threats, too.

  1. Photography and Film
Photographers and film production companies are always having to stay abreast of new technological advances in order to compete — and the rise of drones is no exception.

Drones with mounted cameras have introduced a new and dynamic way for photographers and filmmakers to work. Aerial photos, long sweeping sequences, tracking shots; all previous tough and technically advanced visuals to acquire, now made easy with drones.

For photographers and production companies, drone technology is less about streamlining and more about staying in the game. Customers will soon come to expect drone expertise as part of packages, or at least look for those businesses that offer them.

  1. Agriculture
Farms in Britain have been struggling for a while and Brexit didn’t make things any easier. What they need more than anything right now is to cut costs to help stay afloat. Drones are providing an answer.

Drones have applications across the entire farming industry. The implementation of drones in agriculture speeds everything up; from monitoring large quantities of land, to looking for potential threats, such as diseased crops.

However, in the near future, drones are set to really take off in the world of agriculture, with the introduction of technology that allows for chemical spraying and even crop planting and harvesting.

Speeding up all these processes means a lot of money saved, opening the door for a future where small British farms still exist and thrive.

  1. Construction
The implications of drone use in the construction industry is so major that it is set to be a major contributing factor to the predicted market boom.

Drones in construction mean accurate and cheap land surveys, fast acquisition of data and information across large sites, efficient structural inspections and the potential for the monitoring of workforces — improving health and safety, along with efficiency.

Having remotely operable cameras that can fly around every inch of a build also means the streamlining of management processes. Key figures, such as project managers, investors and architects, can all observe builds without having to put time and energy into on-site visits.

What Can Small Businesses Do to Prepare for the Rise of Drones?

The tech wave has not yet hit the small business sector, but by 2020, it will be unavoidable.

Small businesses should prepare for the induction of drone technology into their ranks. This will not only allow companies to quickly adapt and remain competitive, but also attempt to stay ahead of the curve.

Now is the time to start planning. Look at how you can use drones to improve/offer new services, reduce costs and streamline processes, no matter what industry you are in.

A key note to take is that drones require operation — and drone operators can be expensive. Training current staff or even yourself yourself in drone operation now will save you time and money down the line, once the technology becomes more widespread and in-demand, potentially opening up another avenue of business for yourself/your company as well.

Article by Matt Lee of Uplift Drone Training.