With the festive season almost upon us, everyone is rushing around to finish the last minute gift shopping and get all the presents wrapped and hidden from those family members who like to prod gifts to try and guess the contents. Of course, there is also the last food shop to plan as well, making sure you have everything you need for entertaining over the festive period. Hopefully, this will provide a spot of light relief from all the rushing about. So sit down, kick off your winter boots, and settle down to Part Two of the Tale of Santa Claus’ VA.
If you thought you were busy trying to get all your work up to date so you can take a few days off over Christmas, just spare a thought for poor old Santa Claus. He has only 12 hours to complete the tasks for which he is famous, and has to do so come rain, hurricane or snow. He has to keep his clothes and beard tidy and clean even whilst flying faster than the speed of sound in an open sleigh through all kinds of weather, towed by Reindeer that don’t much like rain and aren’t afraid to mention this a few hundred times during the journey. He certainly earns his mince pie and whisky that’s for sure.
I reckon that the only way Santa can be ready for his one triumphant and hideously busy night is to have the support of a flexible team of Rock Star VA’s and Freelance Office administrators working to support him throughout the year. So this post looks at a few more of the tasks that Santa Claus might need completing by a VA or Freelance Administration specialist.
Correspondence VA’s answers all the letters from children, taking careful note of the spreadsheet of naughty children to ensure they don’t promise gifts to those children who don’t deserve them. The correspondence VA’s have a KPI of one week in which to reply to the letters and use template letters which they amend to show the correct gifts or to state what specific acts of disobedience have led to the child being undeserving of a gift.
Estate Management VA manages the repair and maintenance of all the workshops, offices and of course the sleighs, to ensure they are all well maintained, safe and effective.
Social Media VA manages Santa Claus and the Elves presence on various platforms and ensures that all posts are positive, brand appropriate, and effective, paying close attention to analytics and ensuring fresh content is posted regularly to maximise engagement.
Organisational VA plans sleigh routes, checks the SatNav on the sleigh, plans the most effective layout for the warehouse to minimise walking, creates filing systems for the letters and assists in the day to day management of the workshops and offices to ensure that all processes run smoothly and in a time-efficient manner.
Events management VA’s organise public appearances by Santa Claus at the North Pole as well as managing the staff Christmas party, the latter taking place in January after the big event has happened. The office party is a particularly raucous affair as everyone lets off steam after a hugely busy December. This inevitably leads to HR VA being exceptionally busy throughout January sorting out the usual fall out from office parties ranging from who snogged who, who took a photo of it and put it on Facebook, whose bottom was it on the photocopier, and who threw up in the yucca plant.
Sales and Marketing VA keeps the CRM up to date following Santa’s undercover visits to trade shows across the world. Santa visits selected shows alongside the Research VA as he finds this is the best way to deflect attention from himself. The beard seems to be a bit of a giveaway and he gets mobbed if he visits alone.
HR VA provides minute taking for Disciplinary meetings because elves can get a bit giddy and inappropriate at times and this has led to a number of complaints ranging from bullying (the elves like to play “Pin the Tail on the Reindeer” on the live reindeer whilst they sleep). Failure to follow safety rules, including the now famous ChairGate when a chair race around the warehouse had terrible consequences. Elves have a wicked sense of humour and there have been a number of cases of shoelaces being tied together, whoopee cushions being placed under staff and tools being superglued to the workbenches.
Health and Safety VA ensures that all the Elves have taken part in the mandatory training for Manual Handling, Working at Height and that the specialist elves have the relevant certification in Workshop Safety.
General Admin VA creates effective filing systems and manages Santa’s diary throughout the year to ensure that he always has a good work-life balance and can return home to Mrs Claus on time every night except, of course, THE night.
Reindeer Diary Management VA arranges the schedule for the reindeer, ensuring they have the right transport, documentation and equipment for their various pre-christmas public appearances around the world.
Research VA attends a variety of trade fairs throughout the world, including the Toy and Gift Fairs in Harrogate, to identify the ideal toys for children throughout the world. She provides detailed information to Santa Claus presented in folders by type of toy, age of likely recipient, safety record, cost, choice of colour/outfit etc. Santa Claus will then notify procurement VA to pre-order the items he has chosen.
Training Management VA tracks all the training and development needs of the office staff, elves, reindeer and of course Santa Claus himself. It is she who updates the master training plan and ensures that everyone completes their mandatory safety training at the correct time. She also tracks staff CPD courses, carries out annual Training Needs Analyses for all staff and updates Santa Claus on a monthly basis.
Technology VA tracks the latest technology throughout the year, attending all the major technology shows to find out what tech is likely to be requested by children. She reviews everything electronic and computerised, tracking the popularity of computers, laptops, mobile telephones, games consoles and AI devices to ensure the right gadgets can be purchased, in the right quantities, at the right price. This is a particularly difficult job as technology moves so rapidly, the manufacturers cannot always prioritise Santa’s order, or manufacture sufficient numbers to meet Santa’s order, and unfortunately, this is the reason why some children may not get the latest iPhone for Christmas.
Most of these are tasks that a VA or Freelance Administrator could do for a less exalted personage than Santa Claus, although there may not be much need for a Reindeer Management VA outside the North Pole. However, if you have an admin task that is taking up time that could be better spent with clients, creating revenue, or being with family and friends, then do get in touch here.
You can see the range of services that I offer here, and if you are thinking of streamlining your admin or outsourcing some of the more time-consuming elements, then go here, to see the ways in which I can help you to create more time and revenue for your business in 2018.