Marley Majcher is the CEO of The Party Goddess!, a nationally acclaimed full-service event planning and catering company, and author of But Are You Making Any Money? (a witty and lauded business guide for smart entrepreneurs just like you) and a leading small business expert in Los Angeles, California. From understated elegance to rock star fabulous, Majcher is known for creating the most talked about parties of the year for a client list ranging from top-tier businesses to A-list celebrities such as Pierce Brosnan and Sofia Vergara, but she’s quickly establishing herself as one of the best resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Heralded as a must-read for any entrepreneur, Majcher’s book, But Are You Making Any Money? simplifies – in a step-by-step process – the complicated aspects of running a lucrative business. Her profit technique and conversational style is what Forbes says, “makes you want to keep reading more.”
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
How much time do you have?! I’m a serial entrepreneur who started her first business (selling Shrinky Dinks door to door) at the age of 4. I self-published my first book on creative gift wrapping when I was 13 (and went on to write a REAL business book to solve my own problems called: But Are You Making Any Money?).
The madness, though, really started when I interviewed a chef my junior year at Georgetown for one of my classes, decided I needed to marry him (I was 19), got engaged a month after graduation, jumped into the restaurant business, started a catering company, had a baby, split from the chef and teamed up with another group so I was no longer in the restaurant business day to day.
In 2000 I rebranded and opened The Party Goddess! – a full-service catering and event planning firm in LA. To differentiate ourselves among the millions of other planners out there, I decided to try and grab some celebrity clients, and it worked! Our A-listers include Britney Spears, Sofia Vergara, and Snoop Dogg, to name just a few and we’ve been featured in The Wall Street Journal, LA Times and every major tv network.
How much research did you do on the market prior to launching The Party Goddess?
The lucky part for me was that prior to launching The Party Goddess!, I had been in the restaurant business with a catering company attached so my market research had been constant. In 2000 everyone really started having websites and the barriers to entry for event planners were low which was good and bad. At the end of the day, we needed to stand apart and we did that with a strategy to acquire celebrity clients.
Holding an incredibly diverse portfolio, you work with a variety of different clientele ranging from corporate to high-end to A-list celebrities. Is there a particular event that has been your most favourite/memorable to date?
Several favourite events come to mind, but a very special one was the Opening of The Hollywood Bowl. I remember setting up the day before and being practically alone in that giant venue when Stevie Wonder went on stage to do his run through. It was nearly heaven on earth just basking in his magical voice.
Can you tell us more about the brand DNA and ethos of The Party Goddess?
Our brand DNA is quirky, clever and on trend while still having quality execution that makes our attendees just beam with glee. At the end of the day, all we want to do is make people happier than they ever thought they could be by just going to an event.
How about the company structure and the team behind the work involved?
I went to cooking school in France for two summers and have planned literally thousands of events so, at the end of the day, our events might look carefree and breezy, but there is a very structured planning process at the core to make sure we nail all of those insanely important details. We also build a lot of our own props and sew a lot of our own linens so it’s important that my teammates be in my head to share the vision.
Can you give us 3 of the first steps you take when putting together an event for your client?
The intake process is probably the most important. We absolutely have to nail the client’s vision in the beginning and make sure we can execute that vision within their budget parameters. We can do just about anything, but everyone has to be on board with what it’s going to take to get there on time and on budget.
After asking tons of questions, in the beginning, we get our arms around the scope of the project and then present an outline of parameters with allowances to make sure the resources are allocated in the appropriate places.
Just after the outline, we present a vision board with all of the key components as well as our pitch for how we’re going to rock their world.
Where can you see yourself within the next 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself as the founder and head of a large tech company designed around helping small business owners run their companies using my streamlined community-based platform for support, solutions and all challenges entrepreneurship. (You can see more in my last answer about what we’re working on for 2019).
What outlets do use to promote The Party Goddess?
We have been very fortunate in terms of naturally garnering press for ourselves and maintaining lots of word of mouth for new and repeat business. Social media, of course, has been amazing at keeping us at the forefront of people’s minds combined with our online newsletter and blog.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Seeing people happy. With so much angst in the world, it absolutely makes my heart sing to see chaos – whether it’s a chaotic, distracted mind or a totally disorganised concept come together to just bring JOY. Our online consulting business, TheProfitGoddess.com provides the same kind of satisfaction, actually. Small business owners have more than ever to juggle these days from client acquisition to strategy and pricing and it’s totally overwhelming. Bliss for me is taking a stressed out solopreneur and unraveling all of their business knots so they can truly focus on what they love the most.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
One of the biggest challenges has always been pricing because there are no barriers to entry in the event planning business so other planners are always trying to undercut each other. This is neither good for the industry nor the consumer who can easily end up with an unskilled planner, without insurance and unable to manage the complex details of an event. A lot of times our clients just don’t understand how much time it takes to manage something properly so we are always working to communicate our value.
How do you define your own success?
I define my success by how clear my head is. If I feel totally behind with emails, deadlines, and proposals, I inevitably feel like a complete failure, which sounds dramatic, but it’s true. If I have the time to take a trip and just wonder, knowing there’s plenty of money in the bank, then I know I’m still on my success path.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
To me, #BEYOUROWN means being a free spirit, true to your gut and your vision. It means having the freedom to spend your time how you want to – by going to the kids’ performances without stressing out or getting in an extra hour to hit some golf balls on the driving range to clear my head. At the end of the day, #BEYOUROWN is about financial freedom and having your passive income be twice your expenses. When you’ve got that and assuming you’ve got the bases of faith, health and family covered, you become pretty much untouchable.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
We have been working on a massive systems overhaul for the past year in order to more effectively compete in the marketplace and service our customers. More and more our customers want speed: Faster responses, proposals, and solutions. I love technology and efficiency so we’re using this overhaul to build the next generation of the internet through our own “knowledge exchange.” Story developing on that one as it will be launched any time now!