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The Fortune 5,000,000 is what Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson from 37signals describe as the countless small businesses and organizations that continue to go underserved by creative professionals. These small businesses (ie. local restaurants, clothing and boutique shops, bookstores, success startups, grocery stores, car dealers, film companies, etc.) make up the largest percentage of businesses in the US.

As stated in one of their posts

“It’s time to care about the Fortune 5,000,000. Forget the enterprise market. Forget the mid-sized company market. Build for the smallest of small companies and you’ll find a thirsty, neglected market waiting for you.” -37signals

However, what we read about in newspapers, blogs and magazines, and hear about on the news and radio are the successes and failures of large and popular companies. These companies make the cover of the New York Times and CNN headline news. They boast hundreds and even thousands of employees with millions and billions of dollars in annual revenue. And for decades, the overarching focus for many creative professionals has been to market their creative services to these types of companies. Why? The bigger the company, the bigger the account.

But what continues to go underserved are the Fortune 5,000,000.

After taken a mid-day stroll down the streets of downtown Atlanta, GA, I can’t help but notice countless Mom & Pop shops, local businesses, and organizations tucked in-between the towering skyscrapers of corporate Atlanta. What I notice is that there are more small businesses in Atlanta than most would think. Yet, no one seems to be offering creative services and solutions to these businesses. These companies are only a doorstep away. Yet, so few advertising and marketing agencies, brand development consultants, and designers seek to serve them. And these are the companies in desperate need of these types of services.

This is the new secret sauce for the creative professional (ie. photographer, web designer, graphic designer, consultant, brand strategist, mobile developer, marketer, etc.).

Here are 5 reasons why I think the Fortune 5,000,000 is the new secret sauce:

1. There are more of them than there are Fortune 500’s, 100’s, etc.

2. They’re in desperate need of creative services to market and develop their brand.

3. They’re more willing to give you creative control to help them advance their ideas.

4. Their budget forces you to be more creative than obvious.

5. There’s a greater possibility of measurable success and growth, plus it’s more rewarding.

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