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“The #1 Question(s) I get from Business Owners: What is the difference between Mobile Apps and Mobile Websites and why do I need both? Well the answer is simple: Mobile Websites drive customer acquisition and  Mobile Apps drive customer retention. Both are critical for businesses in our Mobile world.” – Mike Ficzner

The Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber Mobile App is new and offers Members a way to keep up with what events are happening, and guide local residents in shopping local. This free App is available on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. App features for member and guests include:

+ Events and Registration

+ Push Notifications

+ Member Directory

+ QR Code Scanner

+ Coupons

+ Referral Chat Wall

+ Social Media Integration

+ And Much More!



529 Mobile is committed to connecting Communities to local businesses.  Small businesses are a very large group, and it can be hard to generalize about them. When it comes to adoption of new technology, this is certainly true.


On the one hand, you have traditional local business owners that are reluctant to try new things, and that prefer to stay the course. On the other, you have energized entrepreneurs that are looking to gain an edge on the competition by shaking things up, like building a Chamber of Commerce App for Willoughby Western Lake County Community.


Well, when it comes to mobile apps, small businesses are unified: they can’t get enough of them. According to a recent study issued by Research and Markets, small business mobile strategies, especially use of apps, are at all-time highs and still continuing to climb. Let’s look at a few figures:


• 11-20% of the average small business’s tech budget is now devoted to mobile technology.

• 68% of small business owners expect mobile spending to increase in the coming year.

• A whopping 91% of small business owners are using mobile solutions.


With mobile apps, chamber members, residents and visitors are able to interact with small businesses in dozens of ways, no matter where they are. They can provide referrals using social media platforms, submit online orders, participate in loyalty programs, check up on event calendars and submit RSVPs, submit photos to online photo galleries, hear about promotions . . . the list goes on and on.


As you can see, some of these features are supplemental ways to do things business owners were already doing, while other features are opening up new functions that weren’t possible without mobile technology. Despite this wealth of features, however, we also think that small businesses are just beginning to explore what is possible with mobile apps. In the future, we imagine that businesses will request the development of inventive features and functions that support the specific needs of their industries, and we can’t wait to help lead the way as the world of small business mobile apps continues to grow and evolve.


-Mike Ficzner, 529 Mobile Solutions 

Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.  For our upcoming Coffee Networking on July 15th, here are some tips to help prepare you to get the most out of this networking event:

  1. The Elevator Speech—Describe yourself concisely and impressively.  Differentiate yourself by what you say.  We remember the unique things that others say so be unique or say something unique!
  2. Ask open-ended questions when networking. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that are answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion shows listeners that you are interested in them, and facilitates a richer connection with people.
  3. Help Others—What goes around comes around!  We are all in the Chamber together not just to make one business strong, but to make all businesses strong so that we have strong communities.  Helping others may be buying a service from another Chamber member, introducing someone to other Chamber members or just simply giving them a referral.
  4. Integrity—Your integrity, trust and reputation are very important and impact your business and the ability to sell your product/service.   That says it all!
  5. Follow-up—Following up on conversations with new acquaintances and referrals are important to building your success!   Don’t procrastinate.
  6. Be positive—Let’s face it.  We all are immediately attracted to a positive person, not a negative person, so be positive regarding what you say about others and anything!


These are just a few tips to help you polish your networking skills!  We look forward to seeing you at the July 15th coffee networking at Holden University on Lakeland’s campus!




Karen Tercek