13/08/2008 - 22:00

Limelight sorts start-up funds issue

13/08/2008 - 22:00


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When 29-year-old Tanya Steinbeck started her home business in March this year, finding the time to care for daughter Ava and manage domestic chores was not an issue.

Limelight sorts start-up funds issue

When 29-year-old Tanya Steinbeck started her home business in March this year, finding the time to care for daughter Ava and manage domestic chores was not an issue.

Despite allocating 40 hours a week to Atwell-based Limelight Communications Pty Ltd, the former Stockland Residential Communities consultant was able to combine her business and family ambitions.

"My husband is incredibly supportive of my business ambitions. I disagree when people say 'you can't have it all', I do, and I love it," Ms Steinbeck told WA Business News.

However, problems arose when the former Curtin University of Technology marketing student began using the family credit card to overcome funding shortfalls for the public relations, marketing and events management business.

"I guess the major hurdle, as I'm sure affects most businesses, was having limited start-up funds," Ms Steinbeck said.

"Although I had my major client providing an income from the beginning, it wasn't enough to pay for development of a brand identity, website, printed stationary, office equipment and furniture, laptop, etcetera.

"I was using our personal credit card to make all the major purchases, but aside from my husband not liking me using it for business, even though we were racking up frequent flyers, the interest rates were high and I really needed to keep work and personal finances separate.

"It made it difficult to pay suppliers, especially when they didn't take Visa. I wanted the flexibility to commit to larger expenditure such as the development of a website without the stress of wondering how I would be able to pay for it when the income from consulting fees was spread across the timeframe of the project and wouldn't be available at the time."

With a focus on large national corporations, predominantly in the property sector, Ms Steinbeck developed Limelight's fee structure so that the company does not receive full payment until a particular development is completed.

If the timeframe of a property project blew out, there was a delay in the business getting paid.

"It was becoming a real issue," Ms Steinbeck said. "I went to my bank and asked for an overdraft facility that would enable me to pay my suppliers on time without having to take out a loan.

"I had to put together a business plan and cash-flow forecast, which was the best thing that could have happened to me really.

"Like a lot of small businesses, the plan was in my head and although I knew exactly where I was heading and how to get there, nobody else did.

"I enlisted the help of my father, who was a business banking manager for years, to review my business plan and cash-flow forecast to ensure that I was on the right track before I sent it to the bank.

"I then went to talk to my bank and was referred to a business banking specialist who was extremely helpful."

Ms Steinbeck said with Limelight's finances now on track, her next challenge was implementing a strategy to expand her client base from four, while still being able to care for her daughter and maintain a house.


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