By Jennifer Ingham, Correspondent
Chamber member T Matthew Staten’s passion for his business is evident from the moment he begins talking about the complexities of his work. Staten is the owner and chief operating officer of TMS Aerial Solutions, LLC, a drone video and photography business he founded in 2017.
With more than 10 years of professional experience in the geospatial information industry, which includes aerial mapping and satellite imagery, he has married his love of technology, creativity, and science into a thriving business that shows no signs of slowing down. Through his work, Staten has seen a bird’s eye view of much of Worcester and the Central Massachusetts region.
Staten’s clientele portfolio includes businesses in the real estate, construction, and environmental sectors who are looking for a unique way to showcase their properties directly with their stakeholders and on digital platforms including social media company websites. Roof inspections, 3D modeling, and custom video editing are just a small sample of the versatile projects he has tackled for his clients.
Staten shares that when drones first arrived on the market, they were promoted as toys for children. With his vision and intentionality for this work, Staten is investing in consumer education around their capability and the specialized technological processes and equipment he uses. His ultimate goal is to show the value of drone technology to those who have not yet considered how drone video and photography can solve a business problem. “When I named the business, TMS Solutions, I wanted to emphasize the ‘solution’ aspect,” says Staten. “I want you to come to me with your problem and together we can create an effective and affordable solution.”
The pandemic has changed business operations in virtually all industries, and with that, Staten’s offerings have become even more sought-after because they allow teams to visually share updates with their stakeholders, while respecting social distancing recommendations and putting customer and client safety at the forefront. “Because people are not able to currently travel and visit spaces as easily, my clients are very interested in translating site visits to a virtual format,” says Staten. “I can provide a view that shows you more than a site visit ever could, like rooftops and tight spaces.”
While Staten has enjoyed seeing his business take flight, he is completely transparent that operating a full-time business has presented him with learning opportunities along the way. These “A-ha!” moments many entrepreneurs navigate on their journey have offered him insight into the best way to evolve his client profile and market directly to key audiences.
“Being able to adapt is so critical,” says Staten. “I’m working in a field that didn’t exist 10 years ago. The industry is still burgeoning and shifting, so articulating the wide-range of services I offer can still be a challenge, but I’m up for that.”
When reflecting on what keeps him motivated, Staten says one of the best things about the job is getting creative when implementing ROI-focused business solutions. He enjoys translating and refining service approaches to ensure his clients get a tailored experience.
Staten’s process requires a deep understanding of technology and a focus on efficiency, all encapsulated by his personal standards for a quality product. He is licensed and insured and follows Federal Aviation Administration legal requirements for flying drones and as a professional, adheres to best practices for privacy. “That ethical part of the job is important and I take that seriously,” says Staten. “That’s part of my integrity as a business owner.”
With so much to look forward to as he evolves TMS Aerial Solutions, Staten is grateful for the community he’s been able to access through being a Chamber member. “From the beginning, the Chamber has made me feel like a valued member,” says Staten. “Having access to like-minded, small-business folks to bounce ideas around has been an amazing help as I grow.”
Staten remains goal-oriented and is excited about what the future holds for his business. “I wouldn’t be doing this work if I didn’t find the work fascinating and fun,” says Staten. “I think you gain a new appreciation for the world when you can change your perspective on your surroundings. Being able to see the world from a different view has shown me how interconnected our communities really are.” To connect with TMS Aerial Solutions and explore their services, visit tmsaerialsolutions.com.