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“I’ve gone from furlough to franchisee”

“I’ve gone from furlough to franchisee”

Sarah Yandell decided to join virtual agency Get Ahead VA after 30 years in the travel industry

Essex businesswoman Sarah Yandell had spent many years working in the travel industry. But when she was put on furlough in March, she knew it was time to look for something new.

After years of commuting and managing business teams, she wanted to work flexibly and from home, yet still feel part of something.

Sarah began researching franchising options online. She recognised that franchising could be a successful way to launch her own business quickly and effectively by using an established brand.

After weeks of searches, Sarah discovered award-winning virtual agency Get Ahead VA on - it sounded like just the opportunity she was looking for.

Part of a team

“I worked in the travel industry for 30 years and absolutely loved it,” Sarah says. “But it was clear that travel was going to take some time to recover from COVID-19. I wanted to work flexibly and locally, but I also wanted to feel part of a team and not just go it alone.

“Becoming a Get Ahead VA franchisee has enabled me to have the flexibility I wanted by working for myself, but to also be part of the wider team, with access to the fantastic experience of our team of virtual assistants.”

Running her own territory in Essex and Suffolk, Sarah will be working with businesses across Chelmsford, Colchester and Ipswich, providing marketing and business support services through the Get Ahead VA network.

Taking charge

“Being placed on furlough or made redundant can leave you feeling lost and unsure of what to do next, particularly in a challenging jobs market,” she says. “That’s why I turned to franchising. I knew I could be in charge of my own destiny, not dependent on others.

“Get Ahead VA founder Rebecca Newenham impressed me right from the start by her professionalism, but also her friendly, supportive and down-to-earth approach. I loved her collaborative ethos and commitment to helping and supporting other businesses, not just selling to them.

“My fellow franchisees have all been so supportive as well. I feel lucky to be able to learn from their experience, enabling me to fast-track my business.”

Flexible services

Get Ahead VA’s team of over 40 virtual assistants delivers nationwide marketing and business support services, enabling businesses of all sizes and from all sectors to save time, save money and get ahead.

With established franchisees from Wakefield in the north of England to west Surrey in the south, its team of highly experienced professionals provide flexible business services on an hourly, project or ongoing basis.

At a glance Get AHead VA

Established: 2017
Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:

Leeds, South Yorkshire, The Wirral, East Midlands, Berkshire & North Hampshire, West Surrey, Suffolk & Essex

Investment range:


Minimum required capital:



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