Masters of Event Lighting, FadeUp Design Group Counts on Advantage Insights to Shine a Light on Their Finances


Masters of Event Lighting, FadeUp Design Group Counts on Advantage Insights to Shine a Light on Their Finances

Indispensable Clarity

FadeUp Design Group of Omaha, Nebraska makes an impressive variety of live events possible as the leading lighting and production company in the region. High-level live event production demands a creative vision, and  well-informed attention to detail. 

At FadeUp, that creativity and care begin with Founder, CEO, and Lead Lighting & Production Designer Heath Marrinan. Heath has been doing live event production for over 30 years, and has traveled the world working with such renowned acts as Harry Bellafonte, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, just to name a few. 

Heath’s journey in the industry placed him in nearly every production role along the way, including lighting technician, electrician, crew chief, lighting director, programmer, and lighting designer. Such a rich career allowed Heath to see production and design from every angle, and helped form his powerful creative instincts.

In 2011, Heath decided to leave the road, founding FadeUp Design Group, with the dream of applying his concert experience to lighting corporate events in and around Omaha, Nebraska. With his roots firmly planted, he began realizing his dream. FadeUp’s event clientele list is impressive, including companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Aflac, and the American Cancer Society of Omaha.

FadeUp’s long list of satisfied corporate clients tells the story of a company achieving remarkable success through the hard work, dedication, and creative vision of its members. But as Heath would tell you, not all aspects of the business were as clear and familiar to him as lighting production was.

Adding Advantage Insights to the Team

Though he understood the world of lighting production inside and out, keeping up with his company’s finances was becoming a burden. With the help of a business coach, Heath determined that hiring an accountant would be a worthwhile investment for FadeUp. 

With the time and energy he would save by hiring a professional to handle his accounting and bookkeeping tasks, he knew he could generate more income by focusing on what he’s passionate about: event lighting. After working with a few financial advisors who didn’t meet Heath’s standard’s, he met Mary Ferry of Advantage Insights.

“Mary had a consultation with me, and she was very detailed. You can tell she’s a great accountant just by talking to her.”

-Heath Marrinan, CEO, FadeUp Design Group

As Heath recalls, Mary provided a thorough consultation, laying out her wide array of financial services. These included traditional bookkeeping functions, but Heath was delighted to find that Advantage Insights could do a whole lot more for FadeUp.

Mary walked him through her process of gathering information and laying out projections for a business’s future. Heath could tell Mary’s experience using financial projections, anticipating likely scenarios and a range of possible outcomes, would give FadeUp Design Group a distinct advantage when it came to making financial decisions.

Financial Clarity that Lights the Way

Working with Advantage Insights, Heath has a whole new appreciation for the kind of confidence one can have making decisions with financial clarity. Mary’s financial projections account for future work and expenditures. Coupled with incredibly detailed financial reports, She uses these projections to help Heath make sure he’s making the right call.

Working with Advantage Insights has provided more value than a simple bookkeeper could. According to Heath, “Mary is a part of FadeUp. She gives me the insight I need before I make a purchase or a new hire.” 

Heath understands that hiring on new staff is a big responsibility, and requires confidence that the business will  continue to be profitable enough to support the new hire expenses. So when Heath wanted to add to his staff, he consulted with Mary, who was able to provide him the information and projections he needed to be confident in his decision.

“She always knows, mathematically, where I’m at with the business throughout the year, understanding my cash flow against the money I’m about to spend, so she was able to give me the confidence that I could hire this person.”

-Heath Marrinan, CEO, FadeUp Design Group

And Heath is kept up-to-date with FadeUp’s financial health, with custom reports prepared by Mary. They’re presented in a way that Heath can read and understand clearly. Advantage Insights works with clients to create financial reports, tailored to the needs and preferences of each business. 

In addition to exhaustive reports, Heath receives a written summary of FadeUp’s financial health, including actionable recommendations for how to make improvements on a month-to-month basis. This kind of awareness puts Heath in a great position as a business owner, ensuring FadeUp is fully-prepared to make changes when the situation demands it.

When unforeseen circumstances unfold, businesses have to be able to adapt. Adapting well to complex challenges requires financial awareness, and a deep understanding of the options available. Working with Advantage Insights, FadeUp would certainly be ready for anything that would come their way.

A Guide in the Wilderness

When COVID-19 became a global pandemic, events everywhere were being canceled. With no end to the cancelations in sight, FadeUp Design suddenly saw its source of revenue run dry. Heath’s business was threatened, and he relied on Mary to guide him through the situation. 

Mary helped Heath submit all the requisite paperwork to get PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans. She told him exactly how much money he needed to spend before the eight weeks were up so that the loan was forgivable. In Heath’s words, “She communicated with my bank, I’ve just signed stuff. She’s been worth every penny.” 

FadeUp still faces challenges due to the pandemic, but without the expert guidance of Advantage Insights, the results may have been disastrous. Heath will tell anyone who asks that Mary’s thorough reporting and financial expertise have been indispensable throughout this difficult time, and he has no plans to look elsewhere or hire an internal staffer to fill this important role.

“If you find somebody that works, and they’re always there for you, why would you change that?”

-Heath Marrinan, CEO, FadeUp Design Group

Find your Footing, and Know your Options

Heath knew he needed help with bookkeeping, and with Advantage Insights, he’s found an essential base of knowledge and foresight that steadies his business and lets him focus on his passion for lighting. There’s no doubt that Mary has been integral to FadeUp Design Group’s success, survival, and future prospects.

Gaining financial awareness for your business isn’t simple, but it is possible with help from Advantage Insights. 

Not only will Mary perform a thorough study of your company’s financial health, she’ll also provide continuing service options that best suit your business needs. And because Advantage Insights wants you to get the best value out of your expenses, if you decide to work with Advantage Insights going forward, the cost of your Financial Systems Health Check will go toward those services.

If you want to have the kind of confidence and flexibility needed to make business decisions and weather difficult scenarios, book a Financial Systems Health Check with Mary Ferry. 

Call (402) 281-3785 or Email today to schedule an appointment.

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