The wife talk…

Discussion in 'MōVI M5' started by Cody Hanthorn, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Cody Hanthorn

    Cody Hanthorn Member

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    I think everyone has gone through some of the same. The same talks about what flight controller to use, what voltage, what setup, what camera, but there is one talk in the forums I don’t see a lot of and I know that mostly a man area (no offense to the smaller % of women in the area) of interest I can say that the conversation with the wife went something like this…J.
    “"
    Let me get this straight you want to buy this gimble thing and a ‘drone’ and do what with how many thousands of dollars? You are thinking of a pilot’s license??""

    The conversation sounds like a good one telling her you can pano, cinema, pictures with whoever however with a skill set you have from years of XYZ experience.”

    She comes back with its seasonal (unless you’re on a coast) and a comment of what is the return on the investment going to be (ROI), and that she would appreciate being involved in the finances and decision of this.

    So I know that many of you have had this conversation if you’re married or still want to be. Obviously we carry passion, joy, or interest for doing this in some fashion otherwise we would not be in it. So with that said how are some of you presenting any data that would point to a positive outlook? How are you going to tell your wife that next year you’re going to make x-xxk+ to pay for the new Alta, cinestar. M5, etc..

    It would be hard for me to make what I make in wages to quit my day job, and its not meant to. Not all of us are on set with a Red 3 days a week living near the coast. I have talked with some that have used Red’s, have done movies, cell phone tower inspections with thermal, etc,. In my experiences there is the Phantom , inspire guys (hobby guys) generating 2-4 jobs a year at most, then there is the Free fly system flavor guys generating more with a more professional look and appeal. I think its a part time for me, but the business model has to be solid.

    I find it hard to generate any kind of accurate marketing, income, and ROI model on any level of use with our equipment to have any kind of cognitive response to a family member. This is particularly important if you want to remain married…lol.


    I would greatly appreciate any feedback. I’m younger than many on these forums I have talked with on the phone. Wise words seem to come from more of you aged with experience. Feel free to pm me as well.
     
  2. Ryan Hawley

    Ryan Hawley Member

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    Hi Cody. What your asking - even though I can directly relate - is extremely personal in the sense that each scenario could be drastically different depending on the relationship, history, etc. That said, I can give you a bit of an overview of my scenario which may or may not help but at least is somewhat relate-able.

    I have been married for under 10 years, but have been with my wife for some time. We have three kids, two full time jobs - and a side business that focuses on film and photography. For me, her passion for photography was the key. At the time I made my original purchase from Freefly I was fortunate enough that my wife wanted a new camera for her photography. So we worked out a business plan together to get a loan, and purchase the equipment that would allow us both to pursue these dual aspects of the business. We did have to make a decision on what debt level we could afford, and set a goal for paying it off.

    In the end, all worked out and we now have our equipment paid off and are looking at what we want to do next. It started with only a few gigs a year but that is growing which is nice.

    I can say I desperately want to enter the multi-rotor market and am starting to train based on the advice of experts on this very forum. I can't say I'm jumping into anything purchase wise yet but I am making plans.

    So for advice I can only offer this: Include your wife in everything including the finances. Set a business plan and financial plan in motion to pay it off. You may or may not hit it but having a plan is a lot better than just crossing your fingers. In your marriage you are 50/50 partners and even though she may not have any interest at all in film, she has a vested interest in your financial stability so a partner in business she becomes.

    This is especially important if she has better financial skills and can separate passion from impulse. Don't rush into any heavy purchases when you can't carry it. :) I hope that helps somewhat.
     
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  3. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Cody send a chat message to Josh Lambeth here on the forum. Ask him how he got started. Great person to understand the effort, commitment and fortitude needed to really get into aerial work.
     
  4. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Hey Guys,
    I have a few messages from people now asking about this. I'm not going to go into huge details but I am going to give my honest opinion. Please be aware that this is NOT me trying to shoot you guys down or anyone else for that matter. It is strictly from my experience and what I have seen from many others in your same position.

    I was lucky enough to get into the aerial business when it was first starting. When I started Birds Eye almost 4 years ago there were only a small handful of guys doing this to the level I wanted to and there wasn't a single company in the whole state of Arizona. Because of this it made it a lot easier to market myself and build a solid customer base. This is the key!

    In the area pertaining you your wives, when I started I was just starting to date my now wife. She has stood by my side on every shoot we have done and work as a team. I fly and she operates the camera. It has been tough at times but I wouldn't have it any other way. We are now expecting our first child in February and I am now forced to find another camera op which I am not happy about. Ha!

    From what I have seen with others attempting to get into this business is there is to many people trying to do it. Like I mentioned earlier, there was the any other companies in AZ when we started BEP and now there are over a dozen just in Phoeni . Because of this we are having to continously find new things to keep us one step ahead of the competition. We currently are the only company in AZ that can fly a heavy lift AND has our 333 exemption . The biggest issue is now we have all these young companies who have Phantoms or similar who are offering to go out and shoot for a full day for $400. It's absolutely killed the industry and now we are having to convince clients why they need to hire us instead of Joe Schmo who has a phantom a 1/8 of the cost for the same job. Yes we still get called out for the bigger jobs buy we have pretty much lost out on all the small ones. (We do own an Inspire now which we use on occasion for smaller jobs but because I have insurance and other fees instill can't charge what they can and come out ahead).

    I have watched about 6 companies buy big rigs just to turn and sell them withing 4-8 months due to not being able to find enough work to support it. Unfortunately one of the down sides of how fast the technology is growing this means you take a HUGE hit on your investment.

    The other big issue now is all the regulations to get legal. It's a massive undertaking and will cost you a lot of money in the end (getting your pilots license isn't cheap). Yes you can try and get away with operating without the 333 but then you will have to turn down all jobs that require a 333, which is increasing drastically right now, and you will have a hard time getting insurance. You can find it but they will charge you a rediculous amount (before our 333 it was almost $7k/year for general liability and hull for all our rigs, after the 333 it's just under $2k).

    I hope this is some good starting infor to think about. Sorry it may not be exactly what you wanted to hear but this is my honest opinion.

    Feel free to ask any questions if you would like.

    Josh

    P.S. I should have used a computer to type that out... my hand is sore from doing this on my phone! :)
     
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  5. Wolf Schiebel

    Wolf Schiebel Active Member

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    I can say this is absolutely true also for Europe and Germany. I made the same experiences and and despite of starting aerial imaging very early (2009) i quit it two years ago. I am working with a big company now for the aerial work, mainly using Inspires, because not many jobs get paid for a big setup.


    Best,

    Wolf
     
  6. Derek Cooper

    Derek Cooper Active Member

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    I would concur with the observations above - and the main reason our business plan has basically zero revenue from the photo / video side of drone usage. It has become a commodity.

    I just got off the phone with a prospective client looking for some quality work - this company runs a high-end cruise line. Our team would go out on one of the cruise ships in an island setting and take aerial photos for marketing purposes. When I asked what budget he had in mind, the dollar value suggested was pathetic.

    I'd hate to be flying drones to take aerial photos and video for clients - the market is saturated with cheap drones doing "Good enough," work with crews who mostly fly without the proper knowledge or permits. I wish them well!
     
  7. Cody Hanthorn

    Cody Hanthorn Member

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    I think all we can do is our best. The people that want to run a Phantoms around town without a 333 will eventually be caught. Im in hope that this will help weed out some. I think there is some things we can do to distance our self from the lower crowd. Posting high end pictures with good stabilized video for anyone looking should have our work speak for itself. Showing a bad stabilized video then showing yours. Showing a bad picture then showing yours. The issue I wonder though is what income models are we using. If someone wants to pm me a % of their work in certain areas I would gladly look at it. I spent lots of time researching different areas as well as how it applies to my area. Id be interested in what some of you are doing that is working.
     

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