Careful determination is required when deciding to become a new franchisee. Measure’s VP of Franchising, Dan Rothfeld, has helped thousands of franchisees on this journey over the last 30 years. From his experience, Dan has refined the decision-making process for franchise investment into a number of unique decision points, including autonomy, peer support, financing, culture, and fit. In this segment of our franchising blog post series, we’ll cover one of these crucial decision points: can a franchise business model succeed in the commercial drone services industry?
The commercial drone services industry is well-suited to franchising for three primary reasons: the need for brand recognition to attract enterprise customers, customer demand for professional pilots and related technical staff, and the requirement for standardized data and service level consistency to meet enterprise-level client needs.
Branding: Measure is the first nationwide commercial Drone as a Service® company. The company was founded Brandon Declet and Robert Wolf, the former CEO of UBS Americas. Robert has been appointed by President Obama to serve on several economic and infrastructure-related Presidential committees and task forces. Starting with our executive leadership, Measure has become a thought leader for the commercial drone industry, sought after by several government agencies including the FAA to assist in developing a roadmap for the industry leading to safe, insured and legal flights. Measure’s senior management team also holds positions of leadership in several industry associations and lobbying groups. Measure provides flight and data services for name brand, enterprise-level clients in seven major business verticals all around the country.
Staffing: The fast-growing drone industry is creating significant job opportunities, as evidenced by the wealth of existing commercial pilots and those now entering the workforce as a result of the recently relaxed FAA regulations. That said, just as in all industries, adequate headcount does not always equate to a high level of quality. In addition to minimum industry knowledge requirements, Measure makes certain that all pilots, flight engineers, and related staff are certified to fly application-specific missions and are fully versed on safety, legalities, and insurability. Training and certification courses are continuously administered.
Vetting pilots and engineers internally maximizes the quality of the service provided and mitigates the concerns of Measure’s customer base. Doing so provides consistency and uniformity across the franchise network. Successfully managing the quality of staff therefore has a direct correlation to the quality of the brand. Customers want to know they can rely on a provider in any part of the country, and do not have to vet multiple providers.
Recently, many drone pilot networks have sprung up that follow an “Uber” like service model, but this business model does not appeal to enterprise level clients. This is primarily because there is no significant vetting process, training, certification, or on-going education on advances in the industry. Highly trained Measure franchisee pilots are better able to meet customer requirements than a stand-alone operator working through a slipshod network. Experienced operators like Measure have a complete understanding of the caliber of service that is required.
Additionally, franchising with a seasoned operator like Measure provides pilots with guidance on the various types of data customers are looking for, whether it’s a normalized differential vegetation index for agriculture or a 3-D point cloud for infrastructure. Measure’s team of seasoned Data Engineers performs for franchisees all data processing and analytics necessary to meet enterprise customer expectations. It then becomes possible for franchisees to easily diversify their flight portfolio, accruing expertise in multiple verticals at a rapid pace.
Service Consistency: Similar to staffing above, successfully servicing the requirements of enterprise customers is critical in developing deep-rooted business relationships across the country. Customers want to know that their service provider tailors their mission goals to specific flight and data requirements rather than administering a “cookie cutter” approach to clientele. Successful franchisors train their franchisees to serve their clientele locally, but with a national mindset. It’s the primary reason that all data processing occurs centrally at Measure, so that service quality expectations and time constraints are met 100% of the time regardless of whether the work is in Fayetteville, NC, or San Diego, CA.
The commercial drone services industry and the franchise business model are an ideal match for each other. For pilots looking to provide true value with their drone imagery and data capture services, franchising will enable them to create a lucrative business for themselves by meeting customer expectations and standing apart from the multitude of other drone pilots.
For an analysis of other drone business models, check out our previous blog post on franchising.
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