In a word, it’s all about convenience. When the snow inevitably falls, people often have better things to do with their time than shovel and salt their driveways. Similarly, many landscaping professionals perform snow removal services in the winter months and would prefer to avoid the hassle of finding customers, determining fees, generating invoices and waiting on payments.
Well, now there’s an app for that.
SnoHub, a free mobile phone application new to Colorado that puts snow removers directly in touch with customers in need of their services, launched on the East Coast in response to the gig economy.
“I looked around and realized that when it came to snow removal, everyone was still doing business the old way, and there was an opportunity to disrupt that model,” explains James Albis, SnoHub’s founder and CEO. “The solution was to make it easy for landscapers and other professionals who already have the equipment and skills to get out there and do what they do best.”
Free to download on Google Play and the App Store, all one needs to contract with SnoHub is their own equipment. Contractors don’t pay to use the app, and customers only pay for the jobs they order. So, no matter how small or large an operation, from a pro with a fleet of plows to the neighbor kid with a simple shovel, SnoHub all but eliminates time-consuming back-office duties.
“We really support our contractors,” says Albis. “We provide the customers. We calculate the prices and handle all the payments so contractors don’t have to haggle or hound their clients for money. Instead, they get their money deposited in just three business days.”
Registering as a contractor is fairly straightforward. After accepting terms of the SnoHub user agreement, contractors verify their phone number and contact information, take photos of both themselves and their driver’s license (used to alert customers of whom to expect), and then select the type of services they provide—pickup truck plowing, snow blowing, snow shoveling, and deicing or salting.
“It only takes about five minutes to sign up,” says Albis. “After that, all they need to do is wait for it to snow. We use GPS to show them the jobs in their area, which they can then use to direct them to the jobsite. After a snow event, that map really lights up. Contractors can take as many jobs as they want, get out there and start earning.”
Using an algorithm that evaluates the job’s ZIP code, snow depth and the number and lengths of the surfaces a customer wants cleared, pricing starts at $59 for removing a base of six inches of snow from a driveway as many as 100 feet long. Adding salt will cost $20 more, and prices can increase based on sales tax, additional or longer surfaces and extra inches of snowfall.
But what if the customer says her driveway is 100 feet long, only for the contractor to find it’s actually closer to 200 feet?
No problem, says Albis.
“We have contractors take pictures of the job before they start, as well as photos of their completed work to help verify everything. So if they show up to a job and see it’s not what they expected, SnoHub gives them the flexibility to make price adjustments. Customers will get a real-time alert to the price change, and they can use the app’s communication portal to interact directly with the contractor. It’s all about transparency.”
Currently, most SnoHub customers and contractors are in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs. However, thanks to high demand, the SnoHub team plans to expand into the ski towns and neighboring states soon.
“SnoHub really is the Uber of the snow removal industry,” Albis says proudly.