Entrepreneurs Can Use a Virtual Assistant To Help With Gift Giving
As the holiday season approaches, you’ve probably been putting together a list of gifts to show your appreciation for your friends, family and colleagues. For the upcoming holidays — or any special event in general — you can work with your VA to simplify the gift-giving process and make it easier to keep track of important dates. Here’s how your VA can help assist you with celebrating the special occasions in your life:
Friends and Family
Since your calendar’s filled to the brim, have your VA remind you of upcoming loved ones’ events to ensure you don’t forget about them. For instance, my VAs knows the birthdays of all the special people in my life, and gives me a couple weeks’ notice when they’re coming up so I can make sure I’ve planned ahead.
Your VA can also create a spreadsheet of recurring dates (such as holidays and anniversaries) and designate what sort of gift you always like to give on that occasion (like flowers on Valentine’s Day). Another system I’ve set up is a “gift roster”: when my wife notifies me of a gift she’d like to receive throughout the year, I’ll tell my VA and she’ll add it to the roster so I have a handful of gift ideas at the ready. When you are ready to make a purchase, your VA can handle all of the shipping and logistics so you’ll never have to worry about making sure your gift gets there on time.
Every now and then, you want to give a token of thanks to a colleague for a job well done. Just as I do for friends and family, I also like to have a “gift roster” on hand of go-to items to give business partners, whether it’s a gourmet gift basket or case of wine. This way, my VA can purchase these at the drop of a dime.
At YEC, we regularly celebrate birthdays in the office, so I have my VA keep track of these on my calendar. While your VA isn’t physically in the office, they can notify the head of the employee’s department or your office manager to ensure festivities are properly planned.
Bonus: YEC member John Ruhlin conducts appreciative business training to help business leaders pick the right gifts at the right time to keep clients, business partners, employees and other important stakeholders happy.
For these “once in a lifetime” type of events, notify your VA what your price cap is, and what sort of gift you like to buy for the occasion. If there’s an upcoming baby shower, for instance, I’ll share the address of the parents-to-be, and my VA will know what to send based on baby “must haves” I have used in my own experience as a new father. For weddings, I have found that if you Google the couple’s first and last names plus the word “registry,” you can usually locate their wedding registry, and then have your VA send you some links to items within budget for your approval.
The more you leverage the help of your VA for the gifting system that makes the most sense for you, the easier it will be for them to gain a sense of your preferences, and repeat the process year after year. And most importantly, you’ll never forget an important occasion again.
This post is part of a series created by Ryan Paugh, co-founder of YEC, in which we explore outsourcing topics and offer advice on what we’ve found works best.