Colin Young of North East Drone Services

Colin Young of North East Drone Services

Starting up takes entrepreneur to new heights

A newly launched North East business is off to a flying start with the help of the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).

Colin Young, 51, from Sunderland, visited the BIC’s business start-up advisers after he was made redundant late last year and he has since launched North East Drone Services.

Colin, who has a passion for photography, was considering starting his own business alongside his employment and participated in various courses and carried out market research in preparation of starting a commercial drone company.

However, in December 2016, Colin was made redundant which gave him the push to start the business sooner than anticipated.

Now using the latest drone technology, Colin is helping businesses gain aerial views and video footage, he explains: “After working as a TV and photography technician at Sunderland University for 13 years, I wanted to use my transferable skills and saw the potential for the use of drones for aerial photography and video footage.

“I decided to invest in myself, purchased my own drone and undertook the 4 day Permission for the Commercial Operation (PfCO) course, accredited by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).  The assessment included a written examination, a practical flight test and the writing of an operational manual. This qualification enables me to fly a drone for commercial work.

“Drone usage is on the increase not only within the media, but other sectors are starting to make use of drone footage too. It’s an affordable, safer and time saving solution for businesses.

“Potential customers could include the likes of agricultural firms who require aerial footage of their crops, construction and insurance companies that need to carry out inspection work, and also wedding venues.”

Before launching the business, Colin attended the BIC’s start-up workshops and met with a business adviser. He adds: “The workshops were very informative and a real eye opener showing what’s involved in running a business.

"I also met with an adviser who not only helped me with my business plan for the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) Scheme, but also to plan for any pitfalls which I would have not otherwise considered.

“I have also recently attended some networking events as I have found it to be the most cost effective way to promote my business, and would advise any new business to do the same.”

Shirley Hermiston business support manager at the BIC commented: “Being faced with redundancy often motivates people to start their own business and I am pleased to see that Colin’s journey has had a positive outcome.

"He has worked hard to ensure he follows the correct laws and has the relevant skills to run his business.  I wish him all the very best with his new venture.”