Founder & CEO • Bananas Marketing
1. Hello! Who are you, where are you located and what is your business?
My name is Andrew Peluso and I am the founder and CEO of Bananas Marketing and Pesty Marketing. Both agencies offer SEO and PPC services for businesses with local marketing needs. Bananas Marketing serves a wide range of businesses from a home care agency to a law firm to an IT support firm while Pesty marketing services only pest control companies.
2. What is your back story and how did you come up with this idea?
I started my career in direct sales and started thinking to myself, “how cool would it be if people came to me ready to buy rather than me having to cold call?” I taught myself web design and SEO and found a business partner who specialized in UI/UX design. Together, we started a web design agency and because we were showing up #1 in for “sacramento web design” (where we were located at the time), leads wanted us to do their SEO. Once we nailed down an SEO service we expanded into PPC marketing and continued to specialize in search engine marketing.
3. How did you get your first customers?
When I launched Bananas Marketing, I bought out my web design partner from the marketing side of our web design business and took all of our marketing clients with me. At the web design agency, we got our first leads from SEO.
4. Describe the process of launching your agency. What lessons were learned along the way?
The two biggest lessons I learned are 1) the riches are in the niches and 2) documentation of processes will make or break your ability to expand.
I’ve launched three agencies at this point and the process of launching each was quite different.
5. Since your early days, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
What has worked best for attracting customers has been finding referral partners - companies that don’t do what we do, but whos own customers have a need for the services we provide.
6. What were your challenges and obstacles of growing your agency?
Challenges change at different stages of agency growth. The way I think about the stages of growth are:
- Prove it - Finding the area you are best in, documenting success stories, grabbing all the low-hanging fruit, and operationalizing services.
- Sell it - Creating an aggressive and effective outbound strategy.
- Own it - Becoming the authority in your niche.
- Scale it - Doubling down on sales and operations. Investing in admin and finance.
- Exit it - Packaging your business for sale, promoting it, and exiting.
7. What has been helpful to you to grow your agency?
The sales skills I acquired during the beginning of my career. I believe the eight years of sales training I experienced gave me a huge advantage against competitors.
8. What is your advice for anyone looking to start an agency?
Pick a niche within a niche. Document your successes. Document your processes.
9. How are you doing today and what does your future look like?
We are now a team of five (not including a much larger number of subcontractors) and are looking to make two more hires by the end of the year. I’m running two agencies with the intention of never selling one and keeping it for cash flow and with the intention of selling the other in 2026. The future is looking bright.
10. What are some of the platforms or tools you use and companies you partner with to save yourself time, oney, and hassles?
- Wave Apps
11. What book or podcast recommendations do you have for agency owners?
- Built To Sell
- The E-Myth Revisited