From furlough to franchise as Get Ahead VA welcomes new franchisee for Cheshire

When Cheshire-based Sophie Birley-Brown was placed on furlough back in March, she knew the time was right to look for something new. With many years of Operations and PA experience, she was keen to realise her ambition of running her own business.

Sophie began researching franchising options online, as she thought franchising could offer her the best of both worlds; the flexibility of being her own boss as well as a support network that she could lean on. She focussed on VA franchisees, to build on her operations, administration, HR and event management expertise. After searching several websites, Sophie came across award-winning virtual agency Get Ahead VA which felt like the perfect fit.


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 down to West Surrey in the south, their team of highly experienced professionals provide flexible business services on an hourly, project or ongoing basis.

Sophie says: “At the beginning of furlough I could see that coronavirus was going to have a massive impact on the recruitment company I was working for. I knew that if I was ever going to take the plunge to work for myself, this was a perfect time. I spoke to a few different VA franchises but found the Get Ahead VA model the most exciting. I love the flexibility of being able to build a team around me to provide top quality VA work for our clients.


From the outset, Get Ahead VA founder Rebecca Newenham was so supportive and refreshingly honest. Talking to other Get Ahead VA franchisees really helped me to get the full picture on the opportunity and they were so generous with their time and support. Everything just made sense, from the company branding right through to the shared values of the team. I felt straight away that I could be part of this vibrant team.”

Running the Get Ahead VA franchise in Cheshire West and The Wirral, Sophie will be working with businesses across Chester, Wrexham, Warrington and Northwich to provide marketing and business support services through the Get Ahead VA network.


Rebecca Newenham, founder and director of Get Ahead VA says: “Over the past few months we’ve seen a massive increase in franchise enquiries with people rethinking their employment options after being furloughed. I am delighted to be able to help ambitious and motivated individuals like Sophie to realise their dreams of running their own businesses. Sophie is the perfect fit for our brand and I look forward to supporting her over the next few months as she establishes her franchise in Cheshire West and The Wirral.”


To find out more about franchising opportunities with Get Ahead VA visit orcontact Rebecca on or 01483 332220 for a copy of their free franchise prospectus.

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