(Photo: Message Agency at work, courtesy of Message Agency.)
Message Agency is a communications firm that focuses on serving charitable organizations. Unlike other businesses that have grown recently, Message Agency has a long, rich history as a startup in Philadelphia. To investigate Message Agency’s success over the years, we chatted with founder Marcus Iannozzi.
How’d you get started?
I started as a solo consultant in 1995—before the Internet Age. My practice grew up with the Internet boom. I started designing websites for nonprofits, universities, and local businesses. I’ve been involved in several initiatives including the Mayor’s Transition Team for Economic Development and the Community Small Business Advisory Group. Message Agency is also a B Corp certified business, which I’m really proud of.
*Ed note: B-Corporation certified businesses may be eligible for the City of Philadelphia Sustainability Tax Credit. Stay tuned to this blog for upcoming changes to this program!
Can you point to any city services or programs that helped jumpstart your business?
In 2000, I had a solid staff and business, but my growth steadied and hit a plateau. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program was an awesome experience that fostered smart growth of my business. Since I’ve completed the program, my revenue has doubled, and my staff has tripled! I was skeptical of the program at first, but it ultimately taught me how to effectively grow my business while maintaining my core values.
Any words of wisdom for new startups?
I try to maintain my values while thinking about my long-term legacy and social responsibilities. Owning a small business is a major commitment—not a career choice, but a life choice. It’s not a 9-5 job.
I got my undergraduate degree at Penn, and always loved the City. I knew there was potential here to grow a thriving small business that could positively impact economic development. It’s important to me that I invest in the community—I’ve been heavily involved in the revitalization of the South Street West corridor.
Plans for the future?
Continuing to serve sectors and solve major problems one day at a time!
Have you taken advantage of a City program and want to share your story, reach out to us. We may feature your business here!