Get Ahead VA wins Highly Commended Enlightened Employer

Get Ahead VA is jumping for joy, because at last week’s Women in Business Awards we were Highly Commended in the Enlightened Employer category!

The Women in Business Awards are a celebration of businesswomen in the Thames Valley, Solent and South Coast regions of the UK. The awards are given to women who have made an important contribution to their organisations, at all levels, and Get Ahead VA was thrilled to be nominated for two awards this year.

The ‘Enlightened Employer – supporting women in the workplace’ award is given to companies “that have shown exceptional commitment to gender equality in the workplace.” This includes all areas of business, from recruitment to employee development, “or any other ways of creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture which enables women to excel.”

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Meet Regional Director: Salvatore Catania

Here at Get Ahead VA, our people are everything. We’re dedicated to growing our business all over the country, so our customers can access a wide range of highly skilled professionals wherever they are. We currently have regional offices in Leeds and Reading, and we’re pleased to announce our latest addition: Bristol.

Here’s 60 seconds with our new Bristol Regional Director, Salvatore, whose background in business consultancy makes him the perfect candidate to bring Get Ahead VA to a new region.

Name:  Salvatore Catania

Area(s) of expertise:  Experienced in selling and delivering market-leading products and services across the science and technology sectors. Skilled in: consultative sales, proposal writing and presentation, bid management, forecasting, and business strategy development and implementation.  I am an experienced team builder, coach, and manager with a keen eye for talent.

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Happy 8th Birthday to Get Ahead VA!

Get Ahead VA is 8 years old!

In September 2010, our founder, Rebecca Newenham, started Get Ahead VA after spotting a gap in the market for flexible, professional virtual assistants for SMEs and start-ups. Now here we are, eight years later, with a thriving business and a bigger team, and we’re ready to celebrate our successes.

Get Ahead VA now has three regional offices, two of which have opened in the last 12 months. As well as the head office in Surrey and our first regional branch in Reading, we’ve expanded into Leeds and Bristol this year and are always on the lookout for new regional managers. If you’re interested in this opportunity, you can contact our head office to find out more.

We’re also very proud of our growing team of virtual assistants, those hard-working professionals who are at the heart of the business. In the last year we have welcomed new team members, and said goodbye to those who have moved on to new jobs. We support all our departing VAs, and are happy to have been part of their transition.

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Get Ahead VA nominated for two Women in Business Awards

We are delighted to announce that Get Ahead VA has been shortlisted for not one, but two awards in the upcoming Women in Business Awards 2018!

The Women in Business Awards “celebrate, encourage and inspire successful and aspiring business women in the South.” This will be the event’s fifth year, and awards will be given to business women from the Thames Valley, Solent and South Coast regions across eight different categories. These awards will honour women who have made a significant difference inside or outside their organisations, at all levels of business, from start-ups to senior executives.

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Google’s new feed: Why the future is personal

Google recently announced that it’s unveiling a new feed for users – a feed that will reportedly provide people with Facebook-style updates.

The latest move comes on the back of the tech giant adding a news feed to its mobile search app at the end of last year. We explore what the new feed involves and, more importantly, what it means for users.

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VA Client Focus: Fox Davidson

Here at Get Ahead VA we are privileged to work with a wide variety of clients ranging from will writers to window cleaners and financial consultants to fashion designers.  All of our clients are motivated and driven businesses with clear plans for growth.  They recognise the value of outsourcing, passing onto others tasks that either they lack skills in, or tasks that drain their valuable time.

Here’s 60 seconds with one of our clients Wes at independent mortgage broker Fox Davidson who came to Get Ahead VA in search of some award-winning assistance:

What situation was your business in when you came to Get Ahead VA? Our business was growing strongly.  It was three years since myself and my business partner Sarah had formed the business and we were really proud of everything we had achieved.  We were keen to enter awards to gain external recognition of our success and help fuel further growth by generating good PR.

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5 tips for writing press releases that rock!

Writing press releases is a key part of PR.

Get your releases right and they’ll be published far and wide, but get them wrong, and they a) won’t generate the coverage that they deserve or b) you were hoping for.

It’s not possible to write all of your press releases in exactly the same way, but there are best practice techniques you can follow, like these:

1: THINK ABOUT HOW THINGS LOOK

Before we focus on the writing side of things, there’s just one small, but crucial thing I wanted to flag that has the potential to really impact how your press releases perform, and that’s how they’re presented.

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5 steps to franchising success

Franchising can be a great way to grow your business.  It can enable you to expand your geographical reach as well as your penetration of key markets.  It is a well-known model used all over the world by smaller companies as well as larger scale multinationals such as McDonald’s, Clarks shoes, Interlink Express and Toni & Guy. 

Franchising is also a fast-growing industry, with the latest bfa/Natwest Franchise survey revealing an industry worth £15.1bn in the UK, three times the size that it was 20 years ago.  44,200 franchise outlets employ 621,000 people, an increase of 70% over the last 10 years.

What is franchising?

Business format franchising is the granting of a license by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee), which entitles the franchisee to own and operate their own business under the brand, systems and proven business model of the franchisor.” British Franchise Association

A variety of different industries lend themselves to a franchising model, but it isn’t for everyone.  Managing a group of franchisees is completely different to running your business – and one can certainly distract from the other if not handled properly.  If you think franchising might be right for your business, then here are our five top tips to ensure your franchising journey is a success:

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Could an office dog boost your productivity?

April is National Pet Month and up and down the UK thousands of people will be celebrating life with their pets.  The National Pet Month charity aims to promote responsible pet ownership, make people aware of the mutual benefits of living with pets, increase public awareness of the role of pet care specialists and raise awareness of the value of working and assistance companion animals.

For some individuals, assistance dogs are a vital part of their life that enables them to get to work every day.  For others, pets are simply a happy part of family life. So could an office dog (or cat or goldfish?) actually boost your productivity? 

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We are celebrating! Finalist in National Business Award

Get Ahead VA selected as a finalist for mumandworking National Business Awards.

We are delighted to have been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2016 mumandworking awards in the Flexible Business of the Year category.

The national mumandworking awards celebrate and showcase the exemplary businesses, individuals and associates demonstrating that family-friendly, flexible working ‘works’ – benefiting parents and children as well as businesses and the UK economy.  We have been selected as a finalist in the Flexible Business of the Year category, in recognition of our active promotion of exceptionally family-friendly and flexible working for our team.

Our Founder  Rebecca Newenham said: “We are thrilled to have been selected as a finalist for these awards for the third year running.  We were very lucky to win the award back in 2014 and are hoping that 2016 will be able to match that success.  The fact that we have consistently impressed the judges year after year is a testament to our flexible working model.  Over the years our team has grown, with more and more virtual assistants able to complete interesting work for amazing clients from the comfort of their own home and around the demands of their families.”

The awards ceremony takes place next month on October 11th in London with a VIP celebratory reception.  Judges and speakers include Sarah Willingham (as seen on BBC’s Dragon’s Den), Caprice Bourret, Susannah Schofield OBE, Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise, Business Banking, NatWest and Debbie Bird from media partner Now Baby.  Nearly two hundred finalists, judges, press representatives and VIP guests are expected to attend.  We are looking forward to the event and keeping our fingers crossed it will be a successful night.


At Get Ahead VA we provide a nationwide virtual assistant service with the flexibility, value and performance that small businesses need in the 21st century, digital economy.  We love to take on the tasks our clients don’t have time to do, don’t have the skills to do, or simply don’t want to do.

To find out more about how we can help please get in touch on 01483 332220 or visit www.getaheadva.com.  We pride ourselves on being the staff our clients don’t see, but the difference they do.