One of the most realistic ways to start a small business and make money online is by selling digital or physical products.
Selling digital products is a preferred option for many because of its advantages, especially the passive income feature.
But building competitive, high-quality digital products requires accumulated knowledge and experience, while building a physical product often requires only capital and a smart idea.
In this article, we provide you with a solution to the capital dilemma, a simple idea to build a physical product and start a small business for only $500.
The idea is simple:
You’ll build a device—a drone payload release system—that costs you about $5.
You will start with 100 units ($500).
This device is sold on the internet for $60 to $200.
During the last four years, I bought one drone payload release system device and I built more than five devices myself for me and my friends. I used both bought and homemade devices. They have the same torque of 1.2 kg, but mine was stronger and lighter (18 grams).
The bought device works only with a drone that has a pin for tilt – gimbal socket, while my homemade device works almost with any drone.
The homemade drone payload release system device cost me about $2. It consists of three parts only:
-Plastic or wood board;
-6 cm metal rod;
-9g servo motor.
The 9g servo motor can be bought from AliExpress for about $1.3 (free shipping).
In my case, I bought six pieces of 9g servo motors from Banggood for $6.27 (about $1 each piece).
This is a demonstration of the personal version—homemade device—which cost only $2
But the homemade device can’t be sold directly to the client because you have to open the drone light cover.
For the drone payload release system commercial version based on LDR—a ready device to ship to the client, no need to open the drone light cover, no need to modify your drone in any manner, nor do you need to open it—you have to buy additional components and design a circuit. It costs less than $5 when working on 100 units or more.
The cost of production is affected by several factors, on top of which is the source of purchasing the components, of course, in addition to the number of units produced, this is obvious.
For the number of units produced to launch the project, we will consider 100 units in the first stage, which is reasonable and does not contain any risks.
Below are the prices of the components (one device) based on 100 units' price (average price on Aliexpress and Alibaba).
|9g servo motor 180 degrees||$0.8|
|Universal Electronic Circuit Breadboard||$0.5|
|3.7 volts Battery||$0.5|
|(*) 2 small plastic case + 6cm metal rod||$1|
-The price is for one piece when buying 100 pieces .
- The electronic components vary depending on the circuit design. In my demonstration, I used only a transistor and a diode in addition to the LDR and battery .
(*) Estimated price.
If you go to the Gannet website (dronefishing.com), which is one of the most well-known in this field, you will see that their device relies on the same concept using LDR that receives light from the Drone's LEDs.
Gannet's devices' prices vary between $59 and $185.
If you go to FliFli Airdrop, which is one of the best payload release systems on the market, you'll find that they have one price for all drone payload releases: $199.
FliFli Airdrop device doesn’t rely on the same concept as my device and Gannet's device, it is a stand-alone device that has its own battery, transmitter, and receiver; but it does the same work.
Apart from Gannet Pro and FliFli Airdrop, we find from time to time small stores on Amazon and eBay selling their devices for $50 to $100.
In some cases, we find cheap devices (about $40) that work only with a drone that has pin for tilt – gimbal socket.
Certainly not, at least nowadays.
Despite the great spread of personal drones in the past few years, their everyday use is still limited to photography. The use of drones in fishing or any other field that requires a mechanism to release the load is not as common as in photography.
But this small project can be launched with only $500 in a few days and does not require any additional costs such as employees, storage, etc.
Such a project represents significant additional income. If you manage to sell 1,000 to 2,000 units annually—which is a bit difficult and requires good knowledge of digital marketing—you can make profits in the range of $40,000 to $100,000 annually.
Even if your annual sales are limited to several hundred, say, for example, from 400 to 800 units, this represents an additional annual income in the range of $15,000 to $30,000.
We are talking about diversifying sources of income—multiple streams of income.
There is no doubt that earning an additional annual income in the range of $20,000 is good, especially if your business need only $500 and few days to be launched.
For more details, you can check my course on Udemy, which covers:
-How to build a drone payload release mechanism—personal use—with about $2;
-The basic idea to start a business based on drone payload release mechanism;
-The best practices to use drone for fishing;
-How to avoid drone crashing based on four years of experience and more than 300 flights.