Drone Safe Store - The Father & Son Drone Company
Earlier this month, we welcomed Mark Boyts son Tom Boyt to the Drone Safe Store sales team. Tom has already been busy introducing himself to our customers and VIP members. He has also been supporting Drone Safe Register members with their store discounts and aiding the expansion of Drone Safe World.
A Chat With Mark & Tom
For Fathers Day, we’ve sat down with Mark & Tom to discuss all things drone-related and explore the future of this father and son drone business.
Tom, You’ve Grown Up Alongside Drone Safe Register, What Has That Been Like?
Tom: It’s been a really interesting journey. When he wanted to start Drone Safe Register our family supported his idea all the way but like with all new start-up business there was going to be an element of risk. My Dad works 24 hours a day 7 days a week and so it can be hard spending time with him as he is always sending emails or on the phone to people etc. However, it has taught me a lot about the business world and drones in general, and now that I am working with him I am spending more time with him which I am enjoying.
Mark, What's It Like Seeing Your Son Join The Business?
It’s important Tom understands that although he is working for a family business he needs to gain the knowledge, skill and respect from all the other members of the team here and I certainly won't be treating him any differently than any other member of staff. What is nice is seeing him all day but stopping him from buying a McDonalds for lunch is tough - I prefer a meal deal. I am fortunate to have a strong relationship with both of my children. My other son Toby is 15 years old and still at school so it will be interesting to see what he will do. If there is a position in the time he is ready he could very well join the team. Interesting this has been brought up as Toby is with us next week for work experience. He will be working under Frank looking after the Drone Safe World websites. Let’s hope his Minecraft and keyboard skills can be transferred into Drone Safe World skills for the week.
Tom, What Have You Done Within The Drone Industry Before Joining The DSR Team?
Tom: Apart from my Dad bringing me to drone shoots on weekends when he was a drone operator and his phone non-stop ringing talking about drones, I was on CBBC’s Airmageddon with my brother when I was 13. We came second place in the competition. The game show involved obstacle courses, popping balloons with drones, picking up objects with magnets etc to score points. It was really fun.
Tom, What Excites You About Joining The Drone Safe Store?
Tom: The thing that excites me most about joining Drone Safe Store is being able to give customers a really good service, this is what is missing with drone retailers across the U.K. I have spoken to people who can't believe our service on the phone or on live chat as no one else can give them this service. So many big retailers are box movers. Certainly seeing the store develop and it becoming 1 year old, I still cannot believe how people put money into these big retailers who offer no support and even take money with the product not being in stock. We have people who call us up because they cannot get through to big retailers from who they bought the products from.
Mark, Why Are You Excited to See Tom Join The Business?
Mark: The excitement is to see how well Tom can do and progression within the business over time and see where it takes me. Growing up I used to love the idea of a family business. Obviously, it would never be Drone Safe Register and sons. The next couple of years will be very important for Tom because of his age. He could use us for the next couple of years as a stepping stone to progress onto the next chapter but it will be interesting to see where it takes him. Obviously, Tom has been at school 5 days a week and around a year ago he started working for Sainsbury's every weekend to fund his car. Tom has missed out on quite a few family events over the past 12 months but I am proud of him for wanting to work and taking his own initiative to go out and get a job. Tom has had an unfortunate lockdown being the age he is with the delay of his driving test for 3 months and when he was 18 it was lockdown the pubs were closed. The day the pubs opened, we closed early and took the whole team down including Tom to the pub for his first legal pint. I won't tell you how many pints we all drank, but it was quite a few and we certainly didn't drive home.
What’s It Like Working Together?
Tom: It’s great spending time with him and there is no one better than my own father to teach me things. It's good bonding time and I enjoy making him proud with my work. I find we talk about work outside of the office, solving problems and brainstorming new ideas and opportunities for the store and the register. As much as we love them, it’s almost like there is no escape from drones!
Mark: It's expensive because I keep having to buy him lunch! But no I am joking it’s nice, Tom actually reports to Dannie who is currently our store manager. I remember the Monday he started and we were doing our Monday morning meeting and I smiled at him thinking ‘wow my son does actually work in the business. One thing I do need to do is make sure Tom is treated as an employee and not just my son. Tom is currently studying his A2CofC and he is doing well. Seeing him picking up phones and taking live chats is quite rewarding to see him know the answers without asking for help.
What Does The Future Hold For Drone Safe Store?
Tom: The future for Drone Safe Store would hopefully see me taking a more managerial role and keeping customers happy before, during and after the buying process. I can't emphasise this enough, this will always stay the same regardless of trading volume because we value our customers and we are extremely passionate about what we do.
Mark: We had a very successful first year. We have some fantastic reviews but I also understand the store is only a year old and it takes a good 2-3 years to see the payoff. One thing I know for sure is that the store is doing a good job. We are saving members thousands of pounds and providing a good service. I am a great believer that our online chat is answered instantly as well as the phone and if there is a problem we solve it instantly. If we keep at this level of service there is no reason why the store will not continue to grow.