Delegation Salvation.

Espree Devora, founder of and Fancy Hands client, wrote a great post on The FoundersCard blog about all of the ways she delegates. Here's what she has to say about Fancy Hands (I added two of my own notes, in parenthesis and without italics): 

"For virtual assistance helping me with short tasks, research, scheduling and reservations, I turn to Fancy Hands. I can’t talk about Fancy Hands without mentioning how absolutely incredible their dashboard is (I've attached my own here):

They really understand how to properly track task progress so that we as clients have all our questions answered without having to ask. I can assign tasks via email, phone or dashboard. Very very easy.

With this service you have multiple assistants, they pick up the tasks you assign, so you can’t plan on having the same person doing your job each time. Fancy Hands integrates with Google Calendar and various project management tools like Asana, Evernote and Basecamp so that you can simply authorize access rather than share private passwords.  Each job is limited to 20 minutes. So if I have a task that takes longer than that to complete, I need to assign it again, and the next person continues where the last person left off. Our fellow FC member Aaron Boerger, owner of DVI360 says that they also have an incredible iPhone app. Unfortunately I’m an Android user, so I have yet to experience its glory.

(Our Android app is now in beta-testing! Click here to sign up!) 

Tasks I have assigned:

  • Research events
  • Plan my birthday
  • Find out how to heal knee pain
  • Tons of scheduling
  • Create templates
  • Edit photos
  • Edit logo
  • Data entry
  • Get shoes repaired
  • Research case studies
  • Research statistics
  • Write overviews
  • Give video feedback for my website
  • Find merchandise
  • Shopping
  • Call clients
  • And the list goes on…

The biggest challenge to effectively outsource is being able to clearly write out instructions.  This is what I think leaves people who do dabble with outsourcing disgruntled.  How I  phrase and put together my instructions is where the majority of my time should be - and is - spent. Regularly I write out tasks step by step ‘1,2,3…’ and test it out myself to make sure I am not missing anything.  If there is a spreadsheet involved, I include the link or attachment right there with the project instructions so everything is in one place. I carefully title my task subject line so it is clear what type of project the worker will be dealing with.  More times than not, I also create a screencast using Snag It (very simple to use) showing a video visual of the instructions to compliment the ‘1,2,3s’ so there is absolutely no confusion." 

We like the "take care of yourself" option. 

(Graphics by Angie Wheeler)

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