I was on the cusp of qualifying with my PfCO, having done the ground school theory, the exam, completed my Ops Manual (not an easy task), but, having considered all of my options I decided not to further the course by doing the flight test.
Why did I do this? Simply the initial cost and recurring annual costs. The course alone was £1300, the insurance for the flight test £60, the cost of the initial CAA application (£200 ish) and subsequent annual permission renewal costs (£150 ish), the cost of the public liability insurance renewed annually (compulsory, as with possessing the PfCO, to do paid work with a drone) cost dependent on your kit and level of cover re public liability and most companies get you to state that your kit will only be used for commercial purposes - so no recreational use!!
As Blacksails stated “as there are now a lot of operators and the prices have been driven down considerably since”. So the prospect of covering my initial and recurring costs (and I’ve not covered maintenance, servicing and replacing your high use kit) meant going full time, trying to beat the established competition, constructing business plans, financial management, taxation, etc., etc, resulted in my change of mind.