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How to make a billion dollars:
Uber for snow plowing
Winter comes along with warm fur coats, hot chocolate and beautiful snowflakes. But heavy snowfall can put our life on hold. Some take snowfall as a problem. However, we suggest considering it as an opportunity to make money. Are you thinking about buying a personal snowplow now? It is unnecessary. We suggest using this weather event as a prerequisite for establishing a large business.

The demand for snow removal services is obvious. This is as much a necessity as doing shopping. However, clients face many challenges there: where to find a contractor, how to choose a high-quality contractor, how not to be out of pocket with the services cost, how to control the execution, how to work out the issue as quickly and easily as possible and etc.

There is already an application for snow removal on the U.S. market – Shovler. It has proven its effectiveness. This Uber-like app changed the common client's perception of winter and modified the way contractors take the snowplowing services industry.

We are going to find out how you can make money on this app by suggesting market players a very useful on-demand tool.
How the on-demand snow removal app works
The snow removal app is an online on-demand service that helps solve the client's problem. Right in the app he fills out a request for snow plowing, specifies the area size and other data. Then the contractor shovels snow away from the specified territory.

On-demand business model assumes that orders are received completely online, then they are performed offline. The most popular example of such an app is Uber. Using it, the client gets not only services, but generally access to them just as they are needed. Traditionally the client makes several calls or sets up a meeting with the contractor. The on-demand app makes these actions unnecessary.
Why Uber for snow plowing succeeds
The on-demand snow removal app has the same interaction scheme. The contractor automatically accepts an order to perform on-demand services, executes this work, and then receives payment via the app or offline. The application allows clients to see commission fees, information about the contractor, for example, age, contact details, experience and other data. Also it gives them the opportunity to book service.

According to statistics provided by the Snow & Ice Management Association, nearly 70% of the U.S. population lives in the most snowy states: Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Colorado, Alaska, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Wyoming, Wisconsin.

Nowadays 73% of the U.S. is covered in snow, this snow amount is the highest since at least 2003.

The market size of the snowplowing services industry is estimated at 22.7 billion dollars. At the same time, a third of the population of the country applies for the services.

Everybody wants to live in comfort and save efforts. So apps like Uber come along with this new consumer behavior trend. They quickly take over the world, having worked out this business model in a separate state.

Thus, a typical operator usually can earn 152 thousand dollars from snow plowing services. This is even higher than the earnings of taxi drivers using apps like Uber.
Application panels and functions
Snow plowing app can function as an aggregator of various contractors' services. Any Uber-like app requires the admin panel, the plower panel, and the user panel.

Admin Panel

Admin Panel is the app's back office that manages both clients and contractors. Individual payments, total financial amounts, commissions, any contribution from the payment amounts – all these operations can be obtained by the admin panel.

Plower Panel

Plower Panel connects contractors and the app owner. It lets contractors find out about the commissions and log out from the platform. In addition, via the panel contractors can accept or reject clients' requests.

The list of functions can be expanded. But we recommend starting with the MVP version, which will have a minimal functional set for application testing in real conditions.

User Panel

This panel helps clients find a service provider: a company or a private plower. The client can attach photos of the area to make the request clearer. In the personal profile he can find out information about the cost, the estimated time of the contractor's arrival and his contact details.

In fact, the panel is more helpful for the contractor, because the panel indicates area boundaries to be cleared.

If you need to create effective panels for administrators, plowers and users, contact Omega experts. Let us know what functions you need to implement to make an app like Shovler.

1. Customization

The app has to work any way you need. Anytime, anywhere! This is not just a calculator which functions never change on any device. The app must be flexible. Today you have worked out a profitable business model, then the pandemic makes you change it, after that you create another functional set and design for certain states or countries. So, the business model and the app do not have to contradict each other – the app should be customized to users' needs.

If you want, you can immediately fill up the app with all sorts of functions that, in fact, don't go along with your current business model. But this will be inconvenient for users who do not want to store in their mind unnecessary things.

The app's success is measured by its convenience and simplicity for users, not by the number of features. The app should be developed gradually along with business growth.

For example, unlike the first version of the app, in the second version the contractor's panel can be divided into companies and individuals with different functionality. And the third version can include a smart order distribution system for companies and an intelligent pricing system. These functions are implemented depending on the business specifics without using any templates.

2. Work control

The client who requested services should receive full information about the contractor arrival time. The app must inform him about how much time is left before arrival and how long it takes to shovel away snow.

The plower panel should provide a detailed route map to the specified area and information about its size. Using the admin panel, the administrator should automatically receive data about the plower's arrival time estimation, his location, and the request fulfillment status.

3. Notifications

Let the client receive constant notifications about the request confirmation, the estimated time of arrival of the plower, payment, or any other offers that you want to send them.

The plower will receive additional information from the client, details about the app policy changes, useful updates, and other information. In the admin panel, the snow removal services provider should be able to send individual messages with offers and discounts.

4. Pre-order

Weather forecasts help to predict the weather changes. So, customers should be able to pre-book the service. This also means that they can set a time interval for both one-time or systematic snow removal. This function also allows contractors to predict their workload.

5. Reviews

Reviews are extremely effective in helping clients to find out objective information about the contractor. In fact, this function gives them a sense of control. At the same time it opens opportunities for contractors, as well as for administrators who use reviews for mobile app improvements. Reviews analysis lets the administrators and snow removal services providers to focus only on important things.

Subsequently, the reviews system can be supplemented with the option of individual feedback for each contractor.

6. Payment dividing

There can be different and unexpected options. The payment can be divided into two payments: advance payment and final payment.

Another option: the system reserves the full payment before service delivery and transmits it to the snow removal provider only after the execution of the contract.

In addition, you need to consider whether the app will offer an installment payment, as well as a subscription for systematic snow removal during the winter season.
Business plan for creating an app
First of all, creating an app is an investment that has to pay off. It is worth planning all the expenses in advance. Based on 300 projects implemented by our team, the preliminary development cost of the Shovler-like app can be estimated at a total amount of at least 140 thousand dollars. This includes all the stages from the pre-examination to the release and warranty period.

It is more important to make a clear revenue plan. The key monetization tool at the first stage will be the commission fee. Then you can offer, for example, commercial advertising and promotion services in the app.

Before creating an app, you should analyze the snowplowing market. We also recommend you finding out your target audience profile; its habits, income, and activities.

Secondly, you have to decide how you will implement your idea and what is needed for this. Each plower needs professional tools, from shovels and snow pushers to snow blowers, snowplows and bulldozers. Give plowers another effective digital tool and gain the most of your investment. All modules and functions mentioned above will help boost your business. After receiving your app development request we will work out your idea in detail.

You will need a team whose effectiveness will depend on experience, knowledge, salary level, project dynamics and psychology. We provide a professional team of programmers, analysts, designers, and other specialists who have experience in creating successful IT products from the idea to the release and support.
Thoughtful leadership in your mobile development!
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