June 18, 2018

Momentum Mondays | The Story Behind Small Business Saturday

From the very beginning, Mac Frederick has held the same credence, vision, and ultimate belief: that small businesses are invaluable and thus deserve top notch digital media assistance in order to keep up with an ever-growing and relevant digital space.

The reality is that if a company can’t develop a strong and engaged digital presence, chances are they’re one step behind from their competition. More often than not, the ones falling behind “are the type of people who built this country”, the ones who simply don’t have the means, professional knowledge, or perhaps the courage to step into a daunting new digital world. That’s where Momentum Digital comes in.

While Momentum offers a plethora of services aimed to assist small and growing businesses in Philadelphia, it also performs a distinct service that often goes unseen. As a non-profit arm of Momentum, Small Business Saturday is an initiative where businesses in the Philadelphia area receive a professionally made promotional video as well as social media exposure, free of charge. Momentum offers this service in hopes that it lifts that company’s confidence to perform in the digital world and increases its potential to exist on many different platforms. Put quite simply, it is offering a helping hand to those deserving businesses in need. Yet by providing a new lens under which their company can operate, Momentum is showing these small businesses that they really can, and should, adapt their brand to a digital world that eventually may become imperative to any company’s success. In placing the spotlight on savvy and worthy small businesses, Momentum is gracefully fulfilling its mission of providing unique small businesses with first rate digital development, ultimately allowing some form of the American Dream to persist in a fast-paced and tumultuous corporate world.

Small Business Saturday has extended its reach towards small businesses of all kinds; cafes, pet boutiques, breweries, co-working spaces, barber shops, acai bowl shops, restaurants, jewelry shops, non-profit organizations, and more. In highlighting a diverse and multifarious set of businesses, Momentum is seeking to show off how much local entrepreneurs have to offer. Most importantly, through Small Business Saturday, Momentum is giving back to the city they love and call home: Philadelphia.

So where did this story begin? How did one entrepreneur spearhead a movement that is not only altruistic in nature but geared towards mutual benefit for both the small business and Momentum Digital? Before founding Momentum, Mac Frederick had what he thought was his dream job: Small Business (SMB) Account Strategist at Google. Mac helped businesses grow online while being represented by the largest and arguably the most influential company to date. During his time at Google, Mac realized that so many small businesses needed help with digital marketing and so he began helping them increase their SEO, adwords efficiency, online social presence, and website optimization outside the Google office walls. While Mac believed that helping businesses on his own time encompassed all that Google stood for, he stood corrected as he began getting reprimanded for offering his skills outside Google’s sphere of influence. As someone who believed in helping small and struggling businesses, not red tape and inhibiting logistics, Mac left Google in March 2015. After walking out and moving to Philadelphia, Mac began building what he believed could be his real dream job: Momentum Digital, a digital marketing startup steadfast in its mission of helping small businesses achieve success in a growing digital world.

While Mac began developing Momentum in August of 2015, he quickly realized that while so many small businesses could use his digital services and consulting, many couldn’t afford it. Lacking the resources and funds to acquire digital marketing aid, small businesses were understandably reluctant to pour the only money they have into something unfamiliar and new. As the agency grew in size and influence, Mac was still confronted with the desire to give back to those who need it most. Soon, Small Business Saturday was born.

SBS started small, with Momentum featuring one small business every year by giving them the coverage and promotional edge they deserve. A crew of videographers, photographers, and Momentum staff head out to a local business, hear their story, and post a video and blog that links the company’s website, social media handles, contact information, and location. Momentum also makes sure to promote the company through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin in order to boost their brand. Yet while the initiative was successful in its impetus, Mac knew it had the potential to become even larger, and soon Momentum began covering a small business every Saturday, every week, all year round.

Ontray, an online food ordering platform recently featured on SBS, writes: “Momentum did an amazing job putting our Small Business Saturday video together. They were very professional, made great use of our time and most importantly the end product was awesome. As a growing startup with limited resources, their ability to produce our video pro bono shows their dedication to helping small businesses”. Check out our SBS with them here. Alex from Indy Hall writes: “We were already fans of Momentum Digital’s “Small Business Saturday series so when we had a chance to participate in them making a video, it was a total no-brainer. Their team works incredibly fast, and everyone who saw the video was super impressed. They made us look so good!”. Their SBS is here!

While Small Business Saturday ultimately exists to help small businesses in Philadelphia, it gives back to Momentum Digital as well. By meeting local small businesses every week, sharing their story, and promoting their brand, Momentum is developing a network of connections that knows their name, the quality of their services, and their American spirit. In that way, Small Business Saturday is double edged in its goal and outcome.

Looking closer, Small Business Saturday serves as a model for what innovative initiatives can accomplish with limited funds or sponsors. Momentum Digital has been carrying out this service through its own pocket for three years, and it’s not simply an act of charity; Momentum ultimately believes in the success of small businesses, entities that account for an astounding 99.7% of all businesses in America. Fundamentally, Momentum aims to uncover the hardworking faces behind these businesses, those that have what it takes to continue expanding and serving the public, but just need a digital push and shove.

In the end, Small Business Saturday is setting a precedent for what sustainable and symbiotic business should look like. Ditching the self-serving model of operation, Momentum Digital has struck a balance between business and good will, company and community, and profit and promotion.

Check out the latest Small Business Saturday here! If you want to be featured on Small Business Saturday, reach out to us on our website and begin a conversation as to how you think you fit our mission — we’d love to speak with you and your small business.

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