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Communication is key for this franchise network

Communication is key for this franchise network

These Get Ahead VA franchisees weren’t alone despite lockdown, thanks to the support of franchise owner Rebecca Newenham and the wider Get Ahead VA team

Lockdown wreaked havoc on many franchisees and their businesses. Some were forced to close completely. Others tried to continue while juggling home-schooling and other family commitments.

Being isolated at home could have been a lonely time. But one of the benefits of buying a franchise is that you are never truly alone. The franchise owner and, in some cases, the wider business team are there to support you.

Plan of action

Once Boris Johnson issued the ‘Stay at Home’ message, Get Ahead VA owner Rebecca Newenham immediately got in touch with all her franchisees to see how they were feeling.

She listened and worked with them to create a personalised plan, understanding their individual situations and family commitments. Rebecca introduced weekly team video calls for the franchisees and wider Get Ahead VA team of over 40 virtual assistants. These regular meetings were a chance for the team to come together and share support for the week ahead.

As lockdown progressed, Rebecca kept in regular touch with each of the franchisees, including celebrating team birthdays to keep energy levels high.

What the franchise owners say

Kristy Roff and Suzanne Cox, joint franchise owners, Berkshire & North Hampshire, say: “We’ve been so grateful for being part of a franchise business during lockdown.

“It’s been a lifesaver to have regular catch-ups with the national team and the other franchisees. Just that comfort to know that your ‘region’ isn’t going through it alone has made a big difference.”

Jo Munroe, franchise owner, South Yorkshire, says: “I decided to join Get Ahead in January this year and was so excited about my new adventure and being my own boss. Then lockdown hit.

“I have seen so many of my self-employed friends suffer during this time and am so grateful I had the support of the Get Ahead family.

“We have stayed in close contact on groups and on video calls. I know there is always someone at the end of the phone if I need it. I think I would have struggled with the situation, had I not had that support.”

Fiona Ibbetson, franchise owner, Leeds, says: “Everyone at Get Ahead VA is always very supportive, so it was no surprise that when we went into lockdown we all were there for each other.

“From Rebecca putting in weekly catch-up calls, as well as having calls with the other franchisees to share ideas and experiences, we have all found ways to support our clients and networks during this time.”

Marie Peters, franchise owner, West Surrey, says: “Having Rebecca and the other franchisees there as a support has been vital.

“From casual chats and supportive WhatsApp messages to bouncing around ideas about how we can best support our clients. Rebecca even helped me deliver my first virtual expo.

“Everyone bringing their own perspective to the group has meant we have been able to stay positive and help each other.”

At a glance Get Ahead VA


2010. Franchising since 2018

Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:


Investment range:

£8,000 (plus VAT)


01483 332220

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