Voltage Managing Director

Ben Buie | 2/7/15

About 4 months ago, the owner and CEO of Voltage (Eric Fowels) asked me to go to lunch. At the time, our current Managing Director had moved to Idaho for personal reasons and could not longer fulfill some of his management duties. Eric asked me to pick up some of these responsibilities and also use my business background to drive the profitability of the company. Eric’s goal was to get the company to 30% profitability, a number that is very difficult for an agenc and which had not been reached all year.

After assessing some of the strengths and weaknesses of the company, I presented a plan to the management team that included both training and systems to help us connect our revenue to our cost. Within weeks, we did a company wide training and rolled out a system in Google Sheets where we started tracking all our products, projects, and tasks. We used this new-found visibility into the business to build more accurate quotes, track our budgets, and prevent scope creep.

We started seeing results almost immediately. We found that more than one project had been drastically under-quoted. This prompted conversations between the project managers and the clients which, in some cases, resulted in a scope adjustment and savings/revenue. One conversation made Voltage over $10 thousand.

The last 4 months haven’t been easy, it took quite a bit of training and reminding to get everyone to buy-in to the new system, but they started seeing that it helped them have more successful projects. Our efforts paid off, we hit our 30% profitability target for every month since.

The next step is to re-build the system as a web app. Google Sheets has worked so far, but it has some limitations. A web app will give us more flexibility and allow us to expand the system to include every aspect of Voltage.


About the Author

Ben currently works as a business consultant in Boulder, Colorado.

An entrepreneur from childhood, Ben has always been passionate about finding opportunities that produce value. This passion led him to study entrepreneurship at BYU where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. After two years building business systems for Payless Shoesorce, he went on to get an MBA from CU-Boulder where he again focused on entrepreneurship. Recently, as Managing Director of VOLTAGE, Ben implemented a business system that helped the company achieve 30% profitability.

To-date, he has founded or co-founded 4 companies, the most notable being MyNiceTie, the most watched necktie channel on YouTube with over 32 million views, and Spark Boulder, the first space for student startups at CU.

Read more about Ben.