“Most tradesmen just want to go and work, running a business is hard and customer acquisition is a pain in the [you know what]”
But with Phyxter you can go from working on your feet, to working at a desk if you wish! Step up Jake Gibson, the co-founder and CEO of Phyxter. Jake was previously an ice hockey scholar in college and a minor league hockey player in the US, coincidentally Workhaus’s commerce court has an array of former ice hockey players, maybe getting hit in the head makes a good entrepreneur?
Jake knows the skilled trades industry like the back of his hand. Both his dad and his brother are tradesmen, a road technician and carpenter respectively. Jake pursued a career as an HVAC engineer and while working for a major company in Utah, came across multiple problems which he began to think of solutions for. While managing the sales and service department, Jake became frustrated that the profit margins were extremely low even though there were hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of revenue. The problem was with inefficiencies in management, and not in the product being offered. Out of these difficult circumstances the blueprints for Phyxter were born.
“I ended up writing a business plan as a passion project”.
So, what is Phyxter? Phyxter is a service designed to simplify and manage the business operations of skilled tradesmen. They do everything from GPS based materials acquisition, service pricing, customer acquisition and invoicing. Need some equipment while you’re out on the road? Jump on Phyxter and not only will they tell you exactly where to get it with a list of prices, but they will even order it for you. In addition to the operations application, Phyxter also plan to offer customer relations software and a website building service geared specifically towards the trades industry.
“I thought it would be cool to have a virtual business partner”
There are currently three full time employees at Phyxter, and they have over 1200 members using the first stage of the application. The app is currently free in order to build up a loyal base of followers, however, they have promised to only charge a monthly fee when the full repertoire of services are on offer. By the time they start charging, everyone in Canada with a trade will be using the app to simplify their life. According to Jake, this gives them more time to spend eating poutine, going fishing, or spending time at the cottage. You know, typical Canadian activities.
“When my father beat cancer some days his energy levels were so low, he didn’t know whether he could go to work on any given day, he didn’t want the extra issues of running your own business and he ended up retiring. He has more time for himself but misses working. I would ideally like to help those older people who don’t have the means to run their own business.”
Jake also has advice to other entrepreneurs. Start networking! Facebook and LinkedIn have been invaluable to building the customer base for Phyxter allowing the company to understand the target market and advertise. They have over 5500 connections on LinkedIn and over 120,000 followers on Facebook. The Phyxter trick to social media success? Memes and Jokes. Turns out if you’re not funny nobody pays much attention to you, hence why I will end this paragraph with a construction joke. It’s not done yet.
Despite their rapid internet fame, Phyxter aims to be here for the long run. Like many economists and business leaders, Jake believes that in the future everyone will work for themselves and be their own business. Essentially becoming an economy of private contractors. A partner like Phyxter will be indispensable to this rapidly changing economy. Gone are the days of turning up to a job in the pouring rain with the wrong parts, a hungover apprentice and an angry customer that wants an invoice that you accidentally binned. Phyxter has you covered.
Visit Phyxter.ai for more details