Working with your Spouse

A brief history of Voltage New Media

Berkley (our dog) and the two of us (Sarah & Matt) live in a 1000 sq ft live/work place in Dragon Alley. We live, breathe, eat, sleep, work and participate in activities together 24/7; we are literally attached to the hip. But we wouldn’t change it for the world.

We are blessed to be doing what we love each and every day. In the last 8 years, I think we’ve been apart less than 30 days. Some may call us crazy, or say we’re nuts, but we have so much fun together; both running our business, and in our personal time.

When we first started dating, we would stay up late talking about running our own business, but little did we know, it would be Web Design. Sarah always wanted a retail shop for vintage items and Matt loves Scandinavian designed furniture so we thought our future business might be a retail store. We ended up going in the complete opposite direction.

Voltage was created, when Matt left his position at an electronics store, setting up home theatre systems and while Sarah was in school for Business Administration and finishing up her Degree in Marketing. We had a cute little place in Oak Bay. Matt had been developing sites since he was 14 years old and has always been great with the internet. He posted an Ad on UsedVictoria for Web Design in hopes of covering his share of the rent. He had a couple of inquires, and from there Voltage began to grow.

Our views on working with your spouse

When potential clients meet us for the first time, some of them are quite surprised to find out Matt and I are dating and running our own business. Even our parents were surprised at us living and working together. It works for us. We have our days, like every couple, but for the most part we have A LOT of fun! We’ve been together for 8 years and both of us always wanted to be entrepreneurs so we decided to partner up and start Voltage New Media Inc. in 2009.

We both have our strengths and weaknesses; this allows us to make a great team. Matt is our developer, he is more technical but when it comes to billing, or remembering appointments and meetings he stinks at it. He will ask throughout the day “Who am I meeting again? What time is that call at?” That’s where Sarah comes in; she has always been the organized one, with a great eye for creativity. As a combination this is the perfect fit, as we both have our roles that allow Voltage to be a success.

Something that has saved our business relationship we have invested in hiring professionals. For instance Matt hates doing taxes, it stresses him out like nothing else, lets be honest…we also don’t really know what were doing. Most importantly our time can be spent elsewhere. We have an accountant, bookkeeper and lawyer who help us when we need it. This saves the stress of dealing with these tasks, and allows us time to work with our clients or on personal projects.

One very important lesson we learned is to leave the dishes, laundry and any mess upstairs, alone, until our workday is complete. It’s easy to get distracted by daily chores when your working from home, but having an office that you can delegate as an actual ‘office’ is very important. In your office the goal is to focus on work, and only work. We have learned to leave any personal arguments or disagreements up stairs and not bring them into the office. It’s hard but it makes everything so much more productive. Also by the time you’re done work chances are that you’re over whatever disagreement you were hung up on before you started into the office.

All in all, we love working together. Its exciting to see our business grow and to support one another. Meeting new clients and helping other businesses succeed is such a great feeling. It’s great to know that as a team you built a business and without each other’s support we wouldn’t of achieved our goal.

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