I’ve never looked back since becoming my own boss, Fiona Ibbetson says
Fiona Ibbetson had always wanted to run her own business.
After 20 years of managing teams and delivering exceptional customer service across multiple sectors, she discovered the Get Ahead franchise and knew she had found her perfect match.
The three years since have since flown by and the last 12 months have certainly been the most memorable, as Fiona and her team navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.
Get Ahead franchisees provide virtual marketing and business support services to businesses of all sizes.
From bookkeeping to blogging, database management to design and telephone answering to Twitter, the network of highly skilled virtual specialists delivers support on an hourly, project or ongoing basis.
“When I decided I wanted to do something for myself, rather than working for someone else, I took my time to find the right solution,” Fiona says.
“I considered a few different avenues and attended an exhibition as part of my research, which was where I met team Get Ahead. I had such a positive feeling about their franchise opportunity that I joined and set up the Leeds region at the start of 2018 - and I’ve never looked back.
There have been many highlights from the past three years, Fiona says: “Exhibiting at The Be Inspired Conference in 2019 on International Women’s Day was a fantastic experience and I have also enjoyed exhibiting at other events in London, Manchester and Farnborough. It’s so valuable to speak to so many people face-to-face in one day.
“I’m grateful to have met some fantastic people through networking. Judy Parsons has been an inspiration and helped me learn so much about social media. I’ve also benefited from presentation skills and resilience training with expert Richard McCann.
“Over the past three years, I have learnt so much, particularly about networking, which is about building relationships with people and uncovering how you can help each other, not just selling to them.
“Along with my fellow franchisees at Get Ahead, those networking groups were a real support during the isolation of lockdown. In 2020 I learnt the importance of having a plan and goals, but also being able to reset them to react to major external changes, such as the global pandemic.
“Having a business coach has proved invaluable to hold me accountable for my goals and to challenge me. I’ve loved every minute being part of the amazing Get Ahead team, while having the freedom to make my own decisions and the flexibility to work around my family.”
Record number of recruits
Get Ahead VA saw a substantial rise in franchising enquiries in 2020 and appointed a record number of new franchisees, from the Wirral to West Surrey.
Rebecca Newenham, founder and director of Get Ahead, says: “Fiona has been an absolute pleasure to work with.
“It has been so rewarding to watch her develop her business and achieve her goals, even with the challenges of COVID-19. I’m looking forward to supporting her as she continues to grow her business this year.”