Get Ahead VA Blog

Understanding eye health at work

This week is National Eye Health Week, a vital campaign which aims to “promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all.”

Eye health is a hugely important issue in the UK, and yet many people still don’t understand how to look after their sight. So, to celebrate this event, we’ve rounded up the latest expert advice to help you understand eye health and show you how to take care of your vision.

The realities of sight loss

For many of us, the thought of losing our sight is terrifying. In fact, research by the RNIB has found that 44% of UK adults fear losing their sight more than other health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or heart disease. However, sight loss is on the rise: in 2008 there were around 1.8 million people living with sight loss in the UK, and this number is projected to double by 2050.

So what’s behind this worrying trend? Modern lifestyles – and especially modern workplaces – are often cited as a contributing factor. Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Mr Ali Mearza says, “Looking at a screen requires your eyes to focus on something up close for long periods of time, and this can lead to eyestrain and headaches. Increased exposure to screens can contribute to the development of some eye conditions that intensify with age.”


More of Get Ahead VA’s favourite apps

Here at Get Ahead VA, we’re happy to let you in on some of our business secrets – the things that help our virtual assistants to be as organised and efficient as they can be. Previously we’ve told you about Get Ahead VA’s favourite apps, and today we’re back with another helping.

So without further ado, here are 5 more brilliant apps that can help you to manage your business and keep yourself informed!


Bitly is a URL-shortening app that you can install on your phone or add as an extension to your web browser. If you need to share a link with your social media followers or members of your team, just pop it into Bitly and get a shorter, more shareable version to use in its place. With this app you can also customise URLs to fit with your branding, and track the analytics for each link.


Our 8 Best Business Reads

As we are celebrate our 8th year in business, we would like to share our 8 best business reads with you – kindly compiled by one of our team – Senior Virtual Assistant, Melanie McDowell.

1.  Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker.  This will shock you into getting an early night!  Full of evidence for why we should prioritise sleep, including research about the implications of sleep deprivation on our health and well-being.  Compelling and utterly terrifying reading.

2.  View From The Summit by Sir Edmund Hillary.  I find autobiographies by people I admire to be incredibly insightful and inspiring.  This is one of my favourites, being both a New Zealander and a rock climber myself.  Find someone you admire and read their story.


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.


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.


‘Back to school’ for your business

September means the beginning of a new school year, and all the fresh starts and good intentions that go with it. But if you’ve been ironing school uniforms and filling pencil cases recently, you might be wondering how you can harness some of that new term excitement in your working life.

If you’re feeling stressed about returning to work after a break, we’re here to help. These 5 tips will help make the ‘back to school’ for your business a breeze!


Prepare your business for National Payroll Week

You may be aware that next week (3–7 September) is National Payroll Week, which is designed to “raise the profile and awareness of payroll in the UK”. But what exactly is payroll, and why should we celebrate it?

Essentially, ‘payroll’ refers to everything to do with paying employees and collecting taxes from them, and it has a significant impact on the country’s economy. According to the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP), payroll contributes £4.46 billion to the economy each year through income tax and national insurance.

Exactly what form your payroll takes will depend on the type and size of business you own: perhaps you handle all payroll matters yourself, or maybe you have one or two employees, or even an entire department, dedicated to it. Whatever your payroll looks like, it’s a vital part of your business, and next week’s celebrations are a great opportunity to recognise that. With that in mind, here are a few of the ways you can prepare your business for National Payroll Week.


Service Spotlight: Social Media Management

Get Ahead VA offers a wide range of business and marketing services. In our Service Spotlight we take a closer look at one of these, and show you how our virtual assistants can help you and your business. This month we’re looking at social media management.

What is social media management?

Social media management is a vital part of any modern marketing strategy. It involves engaging with your customers and creating a persona for your brand on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on. You can do this by creating and sharing content, and responding to questions and comments from your audience. (more…)

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.


5 tips for getting your business blog right

Blogging for business: many of us feel like it’s something we should be doing, but does it really work?

‘Content marketing’ – the official term for marketing that involves creating and sharing content, like blog posts, with an online audience – is hugely effective. Compared with paid search, for instance, content marketing can produce three times as many leads and cost 62% less. What’s more, blogging has myriad benefits for business owners: it can drive traffic to your website, generate sales and mailing lists, and help you to establish yourself as an authority in your field. When it comes to the question “Should my business have a blog?” the answer is almost always yes.

If you’re new to blogging for business, there are a few golden rules you should follow to make your blog a success. Remember, blogging is hard work, but use these 5 tips and you’re bound to start seeing results.