On-Demand Snow Removal Rises in Metro Detroit

By Amanda Lewan on December 3rd, 2015 / Comments

The snow hasn’t arrived yet, but the on-demand services are here.

Two new startup companies are providing Metro Detroit residents with an easy way to rid your house of snow. Using either the Lawn Guru app or Plowdd you can order snow removal anytime.

What’s prompted the rise of these on-demand services in Metro Detroit? An area that’s known for it’s vast, suburban size and lack of public transportation makes having driveways and streets clean in the winter a must. Technology and the rise of Uber have shown customers an easier way to receive services.

Here’s a look at what entrepreneurs are saying about the on-demand market and their approach.

Lawn Guru Launches Push to Plowpushtoplow

We met Lawn Guru founder Skye Durrant last summer when they launched their on-demand lawn mowing service. Now the company has added a “push to plow” feature of the app, and the startup has entered the prominent 500 Startups accelerator program.

“It’s all still on the same, simple native ios app,” said Durrant.”You have one button to push to request a plow. Then you can add sidewalk, pathway, and see a cost estimate.”

They first launched serving 12 zip codes and now serve 150, with an expansion plan including Metro Detroit, Grand Rapids, Chicago, and Cleveland this winter. The plow feature was approved by the app store during our first Metro Detroit snowfall, and they saw their first 100 requests come in. But why enter the on-demand marketplace?

“Our industry has been dated. When a storm comes in you can’t often get a hold of the snow plow removers,” he said. “We’ve built a platform that gives customers easy ways to request services and pings them to accept their jobs. We’re improving their business and cash flow, and delivering a great customer experience.”

Plowdd Focuses on Pricing & Providersplowd

Dan Ebert is a serial entrepreneur from Port Huron, Michigan. He first entered the on-demand market earlier this year launching “Poopster” an on-demand pick up service for pet poop, that he’s seen traction and sales with. Trying a new service seemed like a natural next step.

“I was already thinking about on-demand. Then, I started thinking about doing an on-demand snow removal service,” he said.

Plowdd has focused primarily on engaging and building a stellar community of snow plow service provides. He talks to them daily, offers a strong pricing point to pay them for their work, and has now gathered 95 service providers in 7 states. Dan believes the pricing he offers is more valuable to the providers. The market will have to show us which price point will pan out.

Why head into on-demand services?

“I think the economy is moving towards on-demand right now. I just think it’s a good idea no matter what, and saw a need for it here in Metro Detroit,” said Dan. 

Plowdd has seen its traction on the service provider side, but Dan jokingly says they now need more snow. The app is free to download and in both the iPhone and Android store.

“Just right now, with our marketing launch coming up, we’re hoping to see more traction. We’re also seeking investment,” he said. “But we really need snow to showcase our service.”

Let the snow fall and let your household be better equipped with these two Michigan made products.

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.