Get Ahead VA franchisee Marie Peters says flexible franchising provides a solution to that elusive work-life balance
Marie Peters joined Get Ahead VA at the start of 2020 to run the West Surrey franchise. After many years of commuting to London, she was looking forward to working closer to her hometown of Farnborough to support businesses in the local area.
With over 15 years’ experience in digital media planning, business operations and project management roles, Marie was well placed to run her own virtual team, delivering marketing and business services to small and mediumsized enterprises in Surrey. Little did she know a global pandemic was about to hit.
Marie says: “The ironic thing is, I quit my job at the start of the year so that I would have more time at home with my kids. If you’d told me then that I’d be spending 24/7 at home with them for six months, I’d have laughed.
“But actually I feel so lucky to have decided to move into franchising when I did. Both in the short term of this crisis and the longer term as things get back to normal, I know I have made the right decision.”
According to Marie, working for herself allows her to take control of work commitments and work when and how it suits her.
“But being part of a franchise means I have so much support and I’m never alone,” she adds. “Ever since lockdown, our founder and director, Rebecca Newenham, has been fantastic.
“Having her 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 times it’s been tough having the kids at home and I’ve had to get creative with our schedule, working in the mornings and evenings and scheduling some movie afternoons so I get a bit of headspace.
“But I don’t know how I
managed the commute to London to sit in the same office for nine hours every day for so long now.”
Making the leap
Marie says she’s still glad she made the leap to work for herself: “The reasons I went for it and invested in the business are more important now than ever.
“I have long been an advocate for flexible working and believe the 9-5 is outdated. By moving into franchising with Get Ahead VA, I have finally found the family friendly, flexible work solution I was looking for.”
At a glance Get Ahead VA
Number of franchised outlets:
Location of units:
Leeds, South Yorkshire, East Midlands, Berkshire & North Hampshire, West Surrey, Suffolk & Essex
Minimum required capital:
01483 332220 or firstname.lastname@example.org franchise.getaheadva.com