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Marcel Petitpas’ Journey from College Dropout to CEO

The Niched Agency
Marcel Petitpas' Journey from College Dropout to CEO
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On this episode of the Niched Agency Podcast we’re joined by Marcel Petitpas, the co-founder and CEO of Parakeeto. Parakeeto is a technology-leveraged service firm that specializes in measuring and improving the profitability of digital marketing agencies.

Marcel’s career really began when he dropped out of college after one year and found his way into account management with Apple. Eventually, he got the itch to start his own agency, which he did within the real estate industry. He learned early on that the margins in this business were not going to be very profitable for him, so he walked away. Yet, this experience planted the seed for his business ventures that would come in the future.

He moved on to speaking and consulting until he was connected with a business owner who wanted to pool information and iron out the details so they could not only measure data, but also improve their performance. This highlighted a common problem among agencies, and this is how Parakeeto came to be.

As an agency owner, how do you even begin figuring out why you’re not as profitable as you could be, and then what do you do about it? This requires a marriage between operations and finance. The challenge is that bringing these data sets together highlights a gap within agencies. It’s a task that’s usually assigned to nobody, and that’s where Parakeeto comes in.

Before you can build a profitable business, you have to gain a fundamental understanding of what that looks like. Based on your current model, you should be able to see what’s possible for your business. However, you should also be able to identify potential opportunities for tweaks and see how that could further your profitability.

A lot of agencies set themselves up for failure as a result of bad hiring decisions, pricing issues, and throttling sales at the wrong time. Parakeeto will help you install feedback loops that identify areas of underperformance so you can zoom in and hit the targets that you want. It’s a cyclical process that helps agencies refine their business over time.

For the first three years in business, Parakeeto was defined as a software company. They saw profitability as a software problem. Their idea was to build a platform or dashboard to show agencies the numbers. This was based on two assumptions: One, that agency owners would be able to understand the data, and two, that the data would be clean. Neither one of these assumptions turned out to be true.

Eventually, Marcel and his co-founder realized that they needed a new approach to this problem—one that met agency owners where they actually were rather than where they are assumed to be. They decided to find a new solution that met the true scale of this problem. Today, they’re moving towards building an ecosystem around a model that sets the gold standard for measuring the success of a professional services firm.

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