If you live in Southeastern Michigan you most likely spent this morning shoveling snow and battling the roads to get into work, or if your office is like ours, you sent an email first thing saying you were working from home today. Winter is definitely coming, and we were reminded of just how disruptive the weather can be for businesses everywhere. Given the pelting of snow, we thought it would be worthwhile to discuss a couple apps that might just help you get out of your driveway the morning after a winter blast like the one last night. Although this is a little more focused on individuals, the impact on business for things like snowstorms is very real.

LET'S AVOID THIS! photo credit: Michigan State Police

LET’S AVOID THIS! photo credit: Michigan State Police


If you’re not familiar with Nextdoor, it is a community platform you can access through the Interwebs, or via mobile app. Each neighborhood can setup their own community-based site, and each person living within a neighborhood can join to share information. You must either be the first to start a community site, be invited, or verify you live within a neighborhood to join, but once a member, there are a number of valuable things you can do.

For starters, you can use the app to find recommendations for home services, like shoveling snow, or buying a used snow blower.  But there are many other real-world uses that make this a no-brainer for anyone living in a subdivision. Personally, I have seen individuals create posts to warn people of suspicious cars in a neighborhood, posts to find lost pets, and even posts to find a lost parent with Alzheimer’s disease. Next time you are looking for help, especially when getting your car dug out of the latest snowstorm, give this app a try. It is pretty powerful.

Photo Credit: The Next Web

Photo Credit: The Next Web


Another app that will work in a quick pinch is LawnGuru. The app is specifically built to help people find a person to either cut their lawn, or shovel snow. It is an on-demand service similar to that of UBER, and, if available in your area, can help simplify the process of coordinating a service when in a pinch. Additionally, on-demand services can be very cost-effective given the unpredictability of snowfall throughout the season. Instead of committing to a full season regardless of the number of days it snows, you can decide when and if you would like a person to help shovel. This trend of on-demand fulfillment is not going away, and services that rely heavily on contract-based work, will soon feel the impact. But for the consumer, it is a long overdue service delivery model.



Productivity Is Key

Whatever the weather challenge, assuming of course it’s not a natural disaster, there is a way to battle through it. For the mobile savvy businesses, working from home is completely acceptable. For the businesses that need their people in the office to be productive, services like Nextdoor, LawnGuru and UBER (if you can’t drive in bad weather) offer ways to solve the problem. If you are one of the businesses that need people in their seats, consider promoting these types of services, and even covering the cost for employees that take advantage of them. When half of your office goes missing after a big snowfall, it does take its toll on the company.