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New Huzzah tools help entrepreneurs expand digital footprint

According to a new study released today, April 2 by Huzzah Media, almost half of small business owners believe that repeat customers are their biggest source of revenue – but less than 20 percent have a mobile app, and only 17 percent have a customer loyalty program. It’s tough for the mom-and-pop shop selling coffee to compete with Starbucks, but Huzzah plans to level the playing field. The Woodlands, Texas-based digital solutions company launched three new services to help small businesses and entrepreneurs compete with the national chains and their budgets.

 Internet Party CEO Vikram Kumar shows the sign up app on his smartphone after the Internet Party was launched by Kim Dotcom at the Dotcom Mansion on March 27, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Internet Party CEO Vikram Kumar shows the sign up app on his smartphone after the Internet Party was launched by Kim Dotcom at the Dotcom Mansion on March 27, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Huzzah surveyed approximately 300 small businesses, and 70 percent responded that cost and time are the biggest reasons why they are not expanding their online presences, according to a phone interview with Lance Brown, vice president of product development. That wasn’t surprising to him – but the fact that only 17 percent of small businesses were offering loyalty programs did.

These microbusinesses – those with less than 10 full-time employees, the mom-and-pop shop dry cleaners, hardware stores and coffee shops – view themselves as operators, not marketers, according to a phone interview with Greg Garrick, vice president of marketing.

Huzzah’s three offerings to boost microbusinesses’ online presence, unveiled today, are:

Huzzah Loyalty. The Huzzah Loyalty program comes set up for small businesses to use immediately. It uses tablets and loyalty cards, and Huzzah helps with marketing materials and provides a digital product coach. One small business owner, Dr. Frank Hernandez of Hernandez Dental, offers Starbucks gift cards as one of the rewards through his branded Huzzah Loyalty program. “It helps us compete in the big leagues - and we've seen an increased enthusiasm for our practice, as a result. Our patients are thinking about us differently and are excited to come in to get the rewards," Hernandez said in a press release emailed to the Springfield Entrepreneurship Examiner.

Huzzah Apps. The study conducted by Huzzah also found that, while more than 80 percent of small businesses have a website, not many of them offer a mobile app. Huzzah created Huzzah Apps, branded mobile apps for small businesses to deploy that allow customers to schedule appointments, pay bills, download coupons and learn about exclusive deals.

“We’ve done all the development work and are selling it on a subscription basis so small businesses can actually afford it,” Brown said.

Drue Kitchens, owner of Skyline Roofing, originally tried to build a mobile app on his own. However, he decided to use Huzzah Apps because it was already pre-built for him. “It’s driving more business and is making it easier for me to connect with customers on the go,” he said in a press release.

Huzzah Mobile Ads. Huzzah also discovered that mobile ad campaigns were at the top of small businesses’ wishlists. Huzzah Mobile Ads fills that need, providing geo-fenced mobile banner advertising on a pay-per-call basis.The campaigns are driven by post-click activities: calls, directions, offers and appointments.