July 12, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Natasha Miller: Musician and Founder at Entire Productions

Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Natasha Miller. In 2000, I began managing entertainment as a solution to being continuously overbooked for my own gigs as a jazz vocalist and violinist. Today, Entire Productions is the go-to event, entertainment, and experience design agency for many Fortune 500s, our Silicon Valley blue-chip neighbors, and beyond.

Describe the process of launching the business.

It wasn’t until my daughter turned 5 in the year 2001 that I left my job as a media buyer for an ad agency, got an office, a business license, and began operating as a legal business, even though I was still a sole proprietor. Now I was responsible for things like business insurance, bookkeeping, taxes, and other “grown-up” things that I didn’t deal with much before this time. I began the business in a very rudimentary way- money in, expenses paid out and whatever leftover went back into the business or to me. I hunkered down and studied business and entrepreneurship at Babson College (the Goldman Sachs 10ksb program), MIT (the Entrepreneurial Masters Program via EO), and Harvard (Entrepreneurial Master program via EO) as well as have been taught, advised, and mentored by extremely smart, talented and dedicated leaders. Once I started applying what I had learned, I saw a 65% increase in business that same year.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

PR remains one of the top attractions for new clients. Each time we get mentioned in a publication such as BizBash, USA Today, or The Wall Street Journal, we get an uptick in RFPs. Having an in-house communications specialist to focus on gaining press and leveraging media coverage can do wonders for attracting top clients.

What works to retain customers and what we’re known for is our excellence, incredible client experience, out-of-this-world artistry and creativity, and our very sophisticated processes and systems which set us apart from others. We’re proud to provide worry-free and amazing experiences for our clients, great and well-paid jobs for our talent. That always keeps them coming back for more.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Entire Productions was quick to pivot to virtual events and we produced well over 200 in 2020. We program a faster-paced, more engaging virtual meeting event with your message, education, and team-building segments seasoned with a scintillating musical performance, master magician/mentalist, celebrity appearances, giveaways, and more. It’s our cure for “Zoom Gloom” and we’ve seen great success with this format. We’re cautiously optimistic about the future of events, but we do know that they provide endless opportunities for creativity.

For me, I’ve finished writing my memoir and it will be out March 22, 2022. It’s an extremely raw and unfiltered look at my early life in Des Moines, launching my business, and how I was able to thrive in spite of hardships. There will also be a course for those who are looking to overcome the hardships in their life to grow and scale a profitable multi-million dollar business as I have.

The future is looking bright and exciting, although sometimes I feel as if I have no idea what it holds. All I really know is that I am equipped for whatever life brings me.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Knowing how to hire and fire correctly before the need is a BIG ONE. Being able to confidently delegate tasks to top talent doesn’t just provide you comfort as a business owner, it also provides you more profit.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I’ve created a proprietary system within Salesforce that tracks almost every repeatable task in our company. We run our entire business on it- from the moment a client engages with us to contracting the talent, vendors as well as clients. It is heavily automated and is one of the biggest reasons we were able to work on over 750 events in 2018.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I read Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company every month and you can find me weekly in ClubHouse conversations with fellow entrepreneurs. Starting my own podcast, Fascinating Entrepreneurs has been extremely influential for me. I’ve been able to get to the bottom of why entrepreneurs choose to do what they do, how they do it, and how they view and approach profitability. Through discussion, we pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful and fascinating entrepreneurs. I have been able to meet and talk with the most fascinating entrepreneurs such as Chris Do, NYT Best-Selling Author, Anna David, Kara Goldin, and more!

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

My favorite quote from Nike, “Just do it.” Ask for help as soon as you can. Find mentors, advisors, classes, read books. Get as many opinions as you can. Even if you don’t agree with them they might guide you to another method. You should always be thinking and learning and engaged. Don’t wait until it’s perfect. Go out and do it and you can figure out everything else along the way. Just do it!

Where can we go to learn more?