Do you need some training wheels for your outsourcing skills?

You know how sometimes, you put off doing something that you know you need to do, or that you know is a really effing good idea? And you do that for ages, even though you know once you actually sit down and do it you’ll be kicking yourself for not doing it? 

That’s pretty much how I feel about FancyHands.

I started using them about 2-3 weeks ago and since then, I’ve heartily recommended them to other people at least three times…and I still get a thrill when I realize “OH WAIT, this is something FancyHands can handle for me!”

See, in my experience, there’s this weird niggly gray-area of tasks that are delegatable, but kind of a pain in the ass to delegate. Tasks that are so small that I feel weird handing them off to my assistant Tina, or that fall into more of a life-administrative area than a business-administrative area. Or sometimes, just questions I need a quick answer on.

Enter: FancyHands

The gist: they have a super-streamlined UI and a team of assistants working behind the scenes. It takes about 3-5 minutes, tops, to submit a task (which you can do by email, phone, from the website, or from their smartphone app). And then, they get to work and you go back to doing the important things in your day. The turnaround time is remarkably fast in most cases, to boot.

So far, for me, they’ve:

  • Called the IRS & sat on hold for me, patching me in when they actually got someone on the line
  • Rescheduled a doctor’s appointment and then called to verify it
  • Refilled prescriptions and called back to verify them until they were actually refilled (apparently, what happens is that my last name was misspelled in the pharmacy database – sigh)
  • Done apartment research for me (which I could have spent 3-4 hours on alone – with their help, I narrowed it down to two options with about 15 minutes worth of work)

That’s more of the life-type tasks I’ve sent them – here’s an example of a more business related one:

Okay, I need some payment options researched. For each of these below, I’d like to know:
-what their fee structure is
-what their application fee is (if any)
-what the application process entails
-which 1-2 seem to come the most highly recommended for entrepreneurs delivering digital products

The payment options are:
Google Wallet
Thank you!

I had an answer within an hour. I’ve had them do some other research-related tasks for me too and been fairly impressed with the results.

As of writing, they’ve spent 319 minutes on the phone for me – which is damn-sure a better deal than me spending those minutes on the phone. (I signed up for the $45/month plan, and I still have 6 tasks left this billing month.)

Other features they have that you might be interested in:

  • Integration with Basecamp so that you can assign tasks from directly within Basecamp
  • They can make purchases on your behalf (So, for example, you can say “Find me a digital camera with these specs in this price range, with the highest average customer reviews; once you’ve found it, purchase it and have it shipped to this address.”)
  •  Appointment scheduling/calendar wrangling is free. And they integrate with Google calendar. When I had them reschedule my doctor’s appointment, they automatically put in the new appointment without me even having to ask. *fans self* 

And it’s not just me benefitting – my clients are winning from this arrangement, too. The other day I was on Skype with one of my clients who was talking about how she needs to find a free or low-cost WordPress theme for a side project she’s working on, but she’s really busy preparing for a market this weekend. I tasked it out to FancyHands; I had results for the client within an hour of sending in the task (for what breaks down to $3 for the task – which is better than either of us could have done).

(In the interest of full disclosure: I’ve had nothing but a fabulous experience using FancyHands so far & I plan on keeping using them, so all links to them in this post are my referral link – which gets you 50% off your first month and gives me account credit.)

Why FancyHands is a borderline must-have for busy biz-owners:

It trains you to be really specific.

This is something I consistently see people struggle with with they start outsourcing. Instead of saying “Yes, I need a list of 3-5 WordPress themes within this price range, with these features, that have average user reviews of four stars or higher”, you say “I need some WordPress themes that’ll work for this project”. Which, depending on how much you’ve explained the project to whoever you’re delegating to, can work – but is more likely than not to just create a mess as they spend more time than necessary researching a ton of different options, since they don’t have the details & constraints they need to do a great job.

It gets you in the outsourcing/delegating mindset.

You start to see all of the little time leaks in your day that distract you from what you’re actually meant to be doing. Once you start handing them off, it’s addictive – I know for me it’s made a huge difference in the way I feel day to day and removed a burden of stress/annoyance that I didn’t even know was there. (Plus, on the more woo-woo side of things, I think it’s excellent training for the rest of your life – learning to ask for what you need, specifically, and then getting it. It’s an experience than many of us often-overworked biz owners aren’t used to, and it can definitely shift things & open them up for you.)

It frees up both you & your team’s time + energy.

Aside from it freeing up your time, it can also free up your team’s time. Delegating the little niggly gray-area things to FancyHands lets your assistant, or your coder, or your project manager spend their time on projects & tasks that’ll have a much bigger impact on your business, and helps to keep everyone in their zone of genius – not just you. Which is something that your team will appreciate, trust me.

That’s been my experience with FancyHands – I’ve loved it so much I can’t stop gushing about it, and I really think it’s a valuable tool that I’d love to see more biz-owners using. Have you given it a whirl yet?

(Note: In the interest of attempting to be unbiased, even as a happy customer, I did some research on employee treatment/wages on FancyHands to see if there was anything negative that came up that was worth including in this article – I couldn’t find anything.)

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