From growing the company and leading the next fundraising round to maintaining culture and avoiding hiring stress, these are the five key benefits of external support for CEOs.
Despite their leadership being central to company success, CEOs have one of the least-defined roles in a business. A Harvard study found that CEOs’ time was taken up by diverse work streams with people, business functions, company organization and strategy accounting for 87% of their time. Unsurprisingly, the study also found that time is a CEO’s scarcest resource. It’s the classic ‘loads of things to do, not enough time to do them’ quandary, which external support is ideally suited to solving. Here’s how.
Be it international expansion or launching a new product, CEOs are responsible for thinking about the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of growth opportunities. But that’s easier said than done when your attention is being pulled in different directions.
Executive support can not only act as a gatekeeper to a CEO’s time, ensuring capacity for high-level company strategy, but also help establish guidelines and working rules to help CEOs achieve their ‘perfect’ week, every week.
For example, FYXER helped Duedil CEO Justin Fitzpatrick regain control of his work week and block out two hours each morning for priority work whilst at his most productive. “I used to get bogged down in urgent, non-critical issues that meant I missed the things that mattered most. Now, my Fyxer makes sure I always have the time for them.”
CEOs lead investor relations when it comes to closing investment rounds, no matter if it’s moving from Series A to B or looking for that big exit. On top of the usual daily workload (the Harvard study found CEOs work on average 9.7 days per weekday and 3.9 hours per weekend day), gearing up for a financing round is a time-intensive drain on CEO resources.
From organizing meetings and arranging international travel to taking on all non-critical tasks and managing comms between the various departments, external support can lighten a CEOs’ load when fundraising.
For instance, FYXER helped ClearScore CEO Justin Basini lead a £275 million exit by taking on tasks from the whole senior leadership team and helping to orchestrate a coordinated approach throughout the company as the sale was going on. “I was so taken with the impact that expanding the service to the whole senior leadership team was a no-brainer and the results speak for itself.”
Hiring is expensive, but not as expensive as bad hiring. So, whether it’s doing their own networking, analyzing the must-haves on a hiring scorecard or creating a new role to accommodate someone's skill set, even CEOs with well-functioning people departments think about finding and retaining the best talent.
External team support can help avoid the hiring stress as the company becomes the client, not the employer. In other words, it’s on-demand expertise without the time, costs or risks associated with full-time hires.
For example, FYXER built an experienced, proactive and scalable support team to suit La Fosse Associates’ needs without La Fosse having to spend time hiring, onboarding, training or developing full-time employees. “From Day 1, their high-quality team is providing answers, not questions, while their HR processes are efficient and hassle-free.”
Culture and company organization stem from the top-down. For CEOs in a hybrid world, that means maintaining the company’s workflow, culture and hierarchy as you grow.
External team support helps in two ways. First, CEOs can delegate admin tasks externally (not to someone else in the office) and avoid disrupting the personal CEO-employee relationship with others in the company. Second, hiring an external team enables companies to keep their carefully-honed culture without fear of disruption from new full-time hires.
For example, FYXER took on administrative and organizational responsibilities for & Rising’s CEO Jonathan Trimble and other senior executives, who feared more office management hires and receptionists would threaten the vibrancy of their 50-person office. “We were concerned that our rapid growth may impact our approach, but hiring FYXER has allowed us to maintain this mentality and grow.”
Executive stress is understandably high. From employee wellbeing to investor pressure, market battles to exits, hiring well to firing well, CEOs have to make daily decisions with reverberating repercussions. In fact, a 2021 National Bureau of Economic Research paper in the US found that industry-wide distress (such as a downturn) can knock 1.5 years off a CEO’s life.
Your team of Fyxers can reduce the stress by not only giving CEOs more headspace, but also by acting as trusted confidants. Everyone expects a CEO to know everything (but they don’t, which is ok) and FYXER provides an external sounding board for ideas.
For instance, as Secret Escapes grew to over 50 million members, 500+ staff and £100 million+ of investment, the pressure on CEO Tom Valentine increased. FYXER not only offered advice based on working with other high-growth executives, but also provided Tom with a confidential outlet to road test new business ideas and share personal information.“My team of Fyxers is an invaluable resource. I trust them fully with all the projects they take on and some of the information that I share, I don’t feel I could share with anyone else.
Ultimately, CEOs are selfless with their time. It’s a mentally demanding, time-intensive job, done exclusively in the best interest of the company (only 3% of a CEOs working day is spent on professional development according to the Harvard study). External support simply makes that job easier - helping CEOs manage their company without limitations.
“It feels as if I’m getting 15-20 hours of my personal time back, giving me back my sanity. Do I feel less stressed? Yes, one million percent.”
After an initial discovery call, we will put forward a proposal and ask for you to give us the go-ahead. Once the contract is signed we can deploy your bespoke team of Fyxers within 24-72 hours.
After our discovery call we create a team from our pool of talent that is matched to your particular needs. One advantage of working with FYXER is that you gain a team with multiple skill sets, experiences and capacities, working across different time zones.
In your kick-off call with your Account Director and lead Fyxer we will discuss current priorities and urgent tasks, also confirming the style of communication and working that best suits you. Once we are set up on your systems your Fyxers will start owning tasks on day 1.
You will have a dedicated Fyxer who leads the day to day delivery of work for you, supported by a team of Fyxers, matched to your specific needs. Our account management team will be your main point of contact and trusted advisors at every stage of working with FYXER.
Because you will have a team supporting you, it means when your AD or any Fyxers are away, there is always someone that is familiar with your needs and the specific support you receive from FYXER. This ensures you receive a consistent level of service.
We create a communication and management structure tailored to what works best for you. You will have regular and open communication channels to confirm tasks and priorities with your Fyxers, this usually involves a combination of Slack, email and calls alongside more structured weekly stand ups. Each month you have a monthly meeting with your Account Director to cover strategic priorities, feedback and any new projects or areas you need help with. Once onboarding is complete, your Fyxers use your systems so will be executing tasks and owning workstreams in the background whilst you get on with the important stuff.
Data security and confidentiality are of the utmost importance to us. We use secure, encrypted software which gives you the ability to share sensitive data, whether personal or business, safely and securely with FYXER. A fundamental pillar of your relationship with FYXER is having total trust that any confidential information you share with us will be treated as such.
We do meet clients in person regularly, however we pride ourselves on our ability to work remotely and the majority of our relationship will be remote.
We have working hubs in cities including New York, San Francisco, London, Manchester, Cape Town and Doha and local partners who can deliver in person tasks in other major cities across the world.
Our support extends across executive, business and personal tasks. Read more on our services page. However, if you need help beyond our regular services you can discuss this with your Account Director and we will create a bespoke solution.