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Thread: Aerial Video Service Rate Sheet

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    Full Blown Hucker
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    Cool Aerial Video Service Rate Sheet

    Anyone here doing professional level aerial video work and willing to share some ideas on an appropriate AV rate sheet? No others yet, to my knowledge in this area providing same services....respond here or send PM.
    Last edited by PeterLester; 06-10-2013 at 10:41 PM. Reason: clarification

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    Work out what income you wish to make.
    Then make a list of all your expenses, every single possible expense from accounting fees to postage fees to parts, building, testing and repair. Everything you can think of.
    Then make a list of how many hours of chargeable time you think you will be able to charge during the course of a year.
    From there you have a desired final total in terms of income, how much you are likely to spend and how many chargeable hours you will have to cover the costs and to fit the income.
    From there you can work out your charge out rate.

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    Full Blown Hucker SMP's Avatar
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    What should I charge? One of the most asked, least answered questions in this game. We see this A LOT in the pro/semi-pro/skilled amateur Tog world. Stacky's right of course, this is the old school method and does a great job of creating the minimum you need to get out of bed. And, if you don't know these numbers then your business is running you not the other way around! But I don't think it stops there. If you'll permit, let me add this;

    We sell Quality, Service and Dependability in that order. We get paid to produce the highest quality with the least amount of hassle, the first time, every time. We charge a premium to do that. Oh... and then we sell Pictures. LOTS of folks sell pictures, not as many the other. You're going to need to find out exactly what your product is and then decide if you're going to compete on Price or Service. There are always those who are willing to cut corners, that are willing to charge less, that are willing to do less. Price is always a race to the bottom and you'll have plenty of company.

    This is typically where the skilled amateur and semi pro enters the market. They justify the lower price while gaining "experience". Here is the danger; client expectations are the same whether it is a 300 dollar job, a 3,000 dollar job or a 30,000 dollar job. The moment you take ANY amount of money they expect you to get it right. If you are expected to get it right, there is no longer any margin for failure. If you still take the gig then you probably have developed the skills and Stackys numbers to actually do get it right, in which case at 300 you just left 2700 bucks on the table!! Heres the worst part, you will NEVER convert your 3000 dollar client into a 30,000 dollar one either! Once YOU establish a lower price point your are locked into it with that client forever.

    Here is what we tell new Pro's; Shoot everything for FREE. Yes, free. If you get it wrong they've lost nothing. If you get it right, warn them, then next one is gonna cost you and not 300 dollars either! Build the skills, Build the portfolio, Build your business processes until you can start selling Service, And THEN lay them away. Do not race to the bottom, there's no win down there.

    Here is what we tell old Pro's. Stop leaving money on the table! Do not poison your wells. We get 90% of our income from 10% of our Clients. Do not be afraid to separate your Clients into Price Clients and Service Clients, and then immediately drop price Clients. "We understand we're not a fit for every budget". We've had Price Clients come back to Service Clients after receiving dismal results from elsewhere (nothing like a good old object lesson) but if they stay Price clients we simply cannot afford to work with them! The good Clients (those who value Quality, Service, Dependability) ARE still out there. And they will and do pay as long as we (collectively) can continue to deliver. So again, stop leaving money on the table (yes YOU), charge a premium for the skill set you've legitimately acquired and the guaranteed results your client is sure to get!

    One final thought, The "aha" moment for us came during a BRUTAL Client meeting. We presented our proposal and they were OUTRAGED. Basically it was the "Anyone with a Digital Camera Can Do This!!! argument and they were pissed! I was even more pissed!! How dare they tell me what our work was worth, How dare they diminish... blah, blah blah etc, etc.. It was very confrontational and I damned near lost it. Until I realized they were right... I WAS the one with the problem! I was the one who had failed to communicate our VALUE. My fault. Not theirs. Once I got over myself and shifted into involving them into the Value process we were able to get back to a win.There are cheap clients, true, but more often than not it's a communication failure on our part. The moral of the story is, "Cheap photographers don't kill the Industry, photographers who can't communicate value do.

    Sorry for the long winded - off soapbox.
    Last edited by SMP; 06-11-2013 at 05:01 AM.
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    Good advice from SMP

    There are a lot of people out there with the will to do your job and even the means, all they have to do is pop down to the hobby shop and buy a Phantom and a GoPro and off they go 1,000 poorer but can offer a very good service to the likes of Estate Agents for 100 a shot and after 10 shots they are in profit. However, their 10 shots will have cost them time, effort and more than that their liberty: If you don't get licensed in the UK you risk being prosecuted by the CAA, if they have an accident they are uninsured so could loose their house, car and be bankrupted - They have lost everything. Their 100 a shot client could't give a fig what happens to them they will just be pissed when they come and ask for the same shots from a licensed and legal outfit who will charge them 300 - 600 or more for, what they think are the same shots. The difference is they will be around despite them because they will be licensed, insured and legal..... above all because they will be charging a rate ensuring their business is sustainable so will still be around in 2-5-10 years time still producing quality shots or video and improving their systems to cater for client needs, wishes and wants.
    I would say that anyone who charges less than 300 for a mornings work in this game is fooling themselves and their clients and will come a cropper. There is nothing to say you can't let your local church, scout group, neighbour have some free or discounted shots as long as this doesn't mean you have to give up a paying client.
    Flying is easy: It's the crashing that hurts.

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    Very well said SMP!

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    kopterworx aerial.jpg

    Picture sais it all.
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    RadioActive
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    Excellent feedback obtained from several already.
    To be more specific, the nature of the work I propose to do will begin with Video test shoots followed eventually by professional video shooting.
    So it will likely be a loss leader until I get all my ducks lined up and I am still at the "proof of concept" stage.
    A rate sheet would have to include initial paperwork, completed well in advance to obtain a Transport Canada SFOC - Special Flight Operation Certificate.
    THE CENTRAL ENEMY OF RELIABILITY IS COMPLEXITY.
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    Hot diggity! Bartman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMP View Post
    What should I charge? ......................Sorry for the long winded - off soapbox.
    great post SMP. Thanks for taking the time to type it all out.

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    Full Blown Hucker nicwilke's Avatar
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    SMP put it so perfectly in his response.
    There's a bloke in my area spruking $80 shots of properties. He's a hack with substandard gear, no idea for safety, laws and costs involved in both preparation of flight, travel, insurance, editing, maintenance, advertising, equipment....... How he turns any profit at all is another good question.

    There's a saying, "don't s h i t in your bed".

  10. #10
    RadioActive
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    SMP - Excellent information here.


    Quote Originally Posted by SMP View Post
    What should I charge? One of the most asked, least answered questions in this game. We see this A LOT in the pro/semi-pro/skilled amateur Tog world. Stacky's right of course, this is the old school method and does a great job of creating the minimum you need to get out of bed. And, if you don't know these numbers then your business is running you not the other way around! But I don't think it stops there. If you'll permit, let me add this;

    We sell Quality, Service and Dependability in that order. We get paid to produce the highest quality with the least amount of hassle, the first time, every time. We charge a premium to do that. Oh... and then we sell Pictures. LOTS of folks sell pictures, not as many the other. You're going to need to find out exactly what your product is and then decide if you're going to compete on Price or Service. There are always those who are willing to cut corners, that are willing to charge less, that are willing to do less. Price is always a race to the bottom and you'll have plenty of company.

    This is typically where the skilled amateur and semi pro enters the market. They justify the lower price while gaining "experience". Here is the danger; client expectations are the same whether it is a 300 dollar job, a 3,000 dollar job or a 30,000 dollar job. The moment you take ANY amount of money they expect you to get it right. If you are expected to get it right, there is no longer any margin for failure. If you still take the gig then you probably have developed the skills and Stackys numbers to actually do get it right, in which case at 300 you just left 2700 bucks on the table!! Heres the worst part, you will NEVER convert your 3000 dollar client into a 30,000 dollar one either! Once YOU establish a lower price point your are locked into it with that client forever.

    Here is what we tell new Pro's; Shoot everything for FREE. Yes, free. If you get it wrong they've lost nothing. If you get it right, warn them, then next one is gonna cost you and not 300 dollars either! Build the skills, Build the portfolio, Build your business processes until you can start selling Service, And THEN lay them away. Do not race to the bottom, there's no win down there.

    Here is what we tell old Pro's. Stop leaving money on the table! Do not poison your wells. We get 90% of our income from 10% of our Clients. Do not be afraid to separate your Clients into Price Clients and Service Clients, and then immediately drop price Clients. "We understand we're not a fit for every budget". We've had Price Clients come back to Service Clients after receiving dismal results from elsewhere (nothing like a good old object lesson) but if they stay Price clients we simply cannot afford to work with them! The good Clients (those who value Quality, Service, Dependability) ARE still out there. And they will and do pay as long as we (collectively) can continue to deliver. So again, stop leaving money on the table (yes YOU), charge a premium for the skill set you've legitimately acquired and the guaranteed results your client is sure to get!

    One final thought, The "aha" moment for us came during a BRUTAL Client meeting. We presented our proposal and they were OUTRAGED. Basically it was the "Anyone with a Digital Camera Can Do This!!! argument and they were pissed! I was even more pissed!! How dare they tell me what our work was worth, How dare they diminish... blah, blah blah etc, etc.. It was very confrontational and I damned near lost it. Until I realized they were right... I WAS the one with the problem! I was the one who had failed to communicate our VALUE. My fault. Not theirs. Once I got over myself and shifted into involving them into the Value process we were able to get back to a win.There are cheap clients, true, but more often than not it's a communication failure on our part. The moral of the story is, "Cheap photographers don't kill the Industry, photographers who can't communicate value do.

    Sorry for the long winded - off soapbox.
    THE CENTRAL ENEMY OF RELIABILITY IS COMPLEXITY.
    Modified Cinestar 8 c/w DJI A2 + Futaba T8FG Super + DJI 5.8Ghz FPV
    GoPro3+ Black + 2 Axis Martinez + Alexmos BGCs + DJI LK900 Mhz Ground Control Station

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