How two Edge Hill alumni make time for running a business and each other
Two Edge Hill alumni who found love at university have explained how they make time to run a successful watch review business and YouTube channel.
Ben and Phoebe Arthur (nee Harris), both 29 and living in Greater Manchester, run a successful website and YouTube business, Ben’s Watch Club.
After the working from home revolution, more couples than ever work in close quarters and side hustles are increasingly common. Ben and Phoebe offered their advice to couples who already work together, next to each other, or are thinking of going into business.
Their first advantage is their complementary skills. Ben, who studied BA (Hons) Primary Science Education said:
“I planned on becoming a teacher, I loved learning and helping others so it seemed like the perfect path for me to take. Although I’m not in a classroom now, I use my teaching skills when giving advice on our YouTube videos and the organisational skills I learnt have helped too.”
Phoebe, a BA (Hons) Accountancy graduate, had a passion for business and excelled in accountancy whilst at college:
“I knew I was passionate about accountancy and when I visited the campus at an open day, I knew Edge Hill was where I wanted to study.
These days I help out with the financial side of running the business. I also left my job to work on the business full time and we now work with two content writers for our website, an editor and a Spanish translator so our videos can be viewed worldwide.”
Together they have the presentation skills and business know-how to make their YouTube channel a success. But it takes more than just skill to make their business, and marriage, a success.
Phoebe made it clear that keeping work and life separate is vital, saying:
“Running the YouTube channel is flexible but still lots of hard work. The important thing for us is that we agree when to switch off and we don’t talk business out of the office.”
“We have very separate roles within the business, Phoebe’s work doesn’t overlap with mine, so I can be creative without worrying about the admin.”
“We definitely love what we do, which makes running the business together a lot easier.”
For anyone wondering how YouTube generates an income, Ben shared the various ways in which you can earn cash:
“One of the key ways we earn money is through YouTube advertising with AdSense, these play before and during your videos, and product affiliate links, these are links with a specific URL containing a code giving a small commission on the price of a product purchased.
Other ways are paid product endorsements in your videos, and we sometimes sell watches too. And if like us you have a website, placeholder affiliates and ads can generate a good income.”
Ben has always had a passion for YouTube. Since the age of 15, Ben struggled with undiagnosed depression and used YouTube as a way of escapism. Alongside his studies, Ben used his spare time to learn how to run a YouTube channel, and in 2016, Ben set up a men’s fashion channel @benarthur.
Explaining how his fashion channel ended up focusing on watches, Ben said:
“After a couple of years I felt like the fashion channel had run its course, I couldn’t create new content without repeating myself.
I noticed that the videos I did on wristwatches went down well, I saw an opportunity and that’s where Ben’s Watch Club was born. I took a gamble when redundancies were announced at my workplace and started to work on Ben’s Watch Club full time.”
We’d love to hear about your time at Edge Hill University and find out what you’re up to now. To keep up to date with what’s happening on campus and receive our alumni newsletter sent out via email once a month drop us a line at [email protected].
To discover more about our courses, please visit ehu.ac.uk/study.