I first came across FYXER back in 2016. CharlieHR was growing and I was looking for some external support who could help with admin tasks, but wouldn’t disrupt our carefully-honed company culture. As soon as I started reading about the FYXER model, it struck a chord. Both CharlieHR and FYXER were tech-powered businesses designed to help other businesses grow. Both help business founders cut costs and save time. Both make running a company easier. I decided to give it a go and almost four years later I’m still a client.
In that time, I’ve also learnt how to get the best out of the service. Here are my top tips:
1. Develop a system - For a team to function smoothly, you need to design a solid system, agree set ways of working and establish distinct responsibilities; working with your Fyxer is no different. Although it may seem like an effort at the start, if you take the time to set up a system, you're 100% more likely to notice the impact on your day-to-day.
2. Make rules - I've found the key to a good system is making a set of rules. Whether it’s deciding that all external calls should be made in the morning or determining which emails are ‘urgent’, setting up a list of rules and procedures with your Fyxer is going to make everyone's lives easier.
3. Go slow, so you can go fast - Take time at the beginning of your working relationship to explain context, establish what’s important to you and work out the do's & don'ts. Initially, this will feel like it’s taking more time than it’s saving you, but don’t fret: you have to go slow at the start, to go fast in the long-term. Think of it like planning an essay, so when it comes to writing it, you do it quicker, more efficiently and to a higher standard.
4. Learn to delegate - Delegating well is a real skill. For many people, especially business founders, it’s hard to let go, but accepting that someone will complete a task in a different way to you or address an issue with another approach is crucial to efficient team working. Coming to terms with this will enhance your FYXER experience.
5. Optimise for downtime - Having more time to spend on real ‘value-add’ tasks is an obvious benefit of working with an assistant, but it also provides more time to switch off. Downtime used to make me stress about all the things I could be doing, but now I have the peace of mind to relax when it's time to do so, which often makes me more effective when I need to be switched on.
6. Iterate - Once you've got a system set up and working, review it regularly and consider how you could improve or add to it. If left untouched, these things end up becoming less fit-for-purpose.
7. Open up your personal life - When I started with FYXER, I didn’t think I would use my Fyxer for personal support, but it’s been hugely valuable. From booking holidays and paying house bills to even helping me set up a new mortgage, my Fyxer has helped me gain more time on weekends and evenings.
8. Don't be shy - I used to be pretty shy about admitting to working with a virtual assistant in the first couple of months. However, over time I've come to realise that was completely in my own head: no-one has ever challenged or questioned the value that they bring.
9. Don’t be shy 2 - At the start, I was also afraid of asking my Fyxer to complete certain tasks as I wasn’t sure if they were part of the Fyxer remit. But, by speaking to my Fyxer, we quickly worked out which tasks I could hand over that would have the biggest long-term impact on my life.
10. Be thankful - Take the time to thank your Fyxer and congratulate them on a job well done. Be kind and treat them with great respect... you're a team after all.
Ben Branson-Gateley, CEO & Co-Founder, CharlieHR