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My franchise story: setting up a Get Ahead VA franchise

My franchise story: setting up a Get Ahead VA franchise

We knew it was the right opportunity, says franchisee Suzanne Cox

Kristy Roff and Suzanne Cox had spent years discussing how they could work together.

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Suzanne says: “In my corporate HR roles, I saw the attrition of highly skilled employees who ended up leaving because they couldn’t work flexibly around their families. Kristy and I came across Get Ahead VA on social media and loved their flexible working ethos. When the chance to buy our local franchise came up, we knew it was the right opportunity.”

Get Ahead VA franchisees recruit and manage a team of virtual assistants to support their clients. Franchisees and their teams provide business support services such as virtual PA and admin, telephone answering, event management, bookkeeping and business development.

Kristy, who spent eight years working for Global Radio in a variety of commercial roles and 10 years at a leading IT consultancy managing client relationships, adds: “We’re both passionate about flexible working and how it can benefit businesses as well as individuals.

“Joining Get Ahead VA allows us to grow our own virtual assistant team in the Berkshire and North Hampshire area, offering flexible work to other people. In turn, our clients gain access to the skills and professionalism they need, but on a flexible basis, only paying for the actual hours they need.”

On making the successful shift from employee to franchisee, Kristy says: “Being part of the franchise model enabled us to hit the ground running and get training and support from not only Rebecca Newenham, the founder of Get Ahead VA, but also from other franchisees in the network and experts delivering work for the brand.

“The branding and marketing collateral is all there for us to use and develop, yet we maintain full autonomy as franchisees to grow our own business as we see fit. Standing behind an established, well respected brand gives you an element of confidence when promoting your own business skills. The national collaboration is excellent and idea sharing means we can all benefit from multilayered experience to shape Get Ahead VA together.”

Her best piece of advice for someone considering a career change? “Think about what’s driving you to do it. Stepping away from a salary with a good benefits package is not an easy thing to do, but if you’re striving to do something that gives you that balance and satisfaction, then go for it.

“You’ll always wonder what you could have achieved if you hadn’t stepped away from the rat race.”

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