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Get Ahead franchisee grows business by extending her territory

Get Ahead franchisee grows business by extending her territory

Fiona Ibbetson buys York and Harrogate region following purchase of Leeds franchise in 2018

A franchisee for an award winning virtual business support specialist has purchased an additional territory after taking part in an initiative designed to help company owners understand the finance options available to them.

Fiona Ibbetson bought the Get Ahead franchise for Leeds in 2018 and has now expanded into York and Harrogate.

Her company provides a range of services to local businesses, including bookkeeping, blogging, database management and telephone answering.

Fiona, who spent 20 years working for a major northern retailer, says: “The past few years have been a huge learning curve and a massively rewarding experience. 

“I know I’ve developed both professionally and personally, while creating a successful, growing business and helping over 80 local businesses.

“As part of the post-COVID 19 recovery, I identified and successfully applied for the Investment Readiness programme. The coaching I received has made a big difference. 

“Alongside the work with my ActionCoach, this helped me home in on the direction I want to take my business. 

“My ultimate goal was to have all of West Yorkshire and parts of North Yorkshire as my Get Ahead region. 

“Getting involved with the Investment Readiness Programme helped me realise I didn’t have to wait. 

“I could start making some of that goal an achievable business growth plan already, starting with the purchase of the neighbouring areas of York and Harrogate.”

Taking on the new region will enable Fiona to network with a wider audience, take on new clients from a broader area and recruit new virtual assistants to join her team. 

“Though many of my clients understand the value of outsourcing, they also value working with local people, even if it’s virtually,” Fiona says. 

“Extending my team of VAs will enable me to offer a local service to local clients, but in a virtual way that still has all the benefits for clients of not requiring them to have suitable premises for employees to work from or all of the employer obligations that go with taking on in-house staff.”

Get Ahead saw a substantial rise in franchise enquiries in 2020 and sold a record number of new territories. 

Founder and director Rebecca Newenham says: “I’m delighted Fiona has decided to purchase an additional franchise and expand her region. 

“Fiona is such a nurturing, patient and authentic business leader. 

“She’s totally focused on building relationships with a wide range of people for the greater good of the entire business community, not just to meet her own objectives. 

“She’s so generous with investing her time in developing her own team, supporting our wider franchise network and her clients.”

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