Call 0191 605 3110 |

Case Study – Get Ahead VA

Even if you’ve already started your business, there’s still a whole bunch of ways The Business Factory could help you.

Allison Wood and Karen McCulloch bought into the Get Ahead VA franchise so they already had a lot of the tools they would need to run their business,  but they were still very much on their own in terms of how they did it.

The Business Factory was the perfect ‘partner’, providing support as and when they needed it.

Allison Wood and Karen McCulloch
from Get Ahead VA

Get Ahead VA helps businesses by taking away the stress of a variety of administrative tasks, helping them to implement systems and providing support across a wide range of business activities, including PA / diary management, admin support and answering calls.

Get Ahead VA was founded in 2010 and Allison and Karen started the Newcastle franchise back in 2018.

Allison and Karen had worked together previously, indeed they both played key roles in the due diligence and sale of their employer at the time. It was quite an intense period for both of them and on its completion, it felt like a natural point for Allison to leave and take on a new challenge.

Karen stayed on to help the new business get started, but once that was done, she too was ready for a new challenge.

Allison and Karen stayed in touch; regularly meeting for a coffee on a Friday before work to have a bit of a catch up. They often talked about setting up on their own, but it was during a job interview that Karen decided it was time to do it!

During the interview, Karen was asked if she had ever thought about setting up on her own. This was the nudge they needed.


Their events are always well structured, the atmosphere is great and there’s always a good turnout.

They attended the North-East VA Collaboration, a one day event held every year in Newcastle, where VAs get to meet, chat and share thoughts and experiences and after making some enquiries, they came across Get Ahead VA and spoke with one of their existing franchisees. The match was perfect.

Allison and Karen liked the idea of buying into a franchise, having a brand to support them but with the freedom to do things their way, and in October 2018 they launched Get Ahead VA Newcastle.

Having bought into a franchise Allison and Karen didn’t need the same type of start-up support that a completely new business might, but they did need some help on how to market their business and after Googling business support they came across The Business Factory.

The Business Factory was exactly what Allison and Karen needed, offering training and events that they could dip in and out of as required, helping them to hone their skills and build their business.

Their first contact with The Business Factory was via some social media training provided by one of their advisors, Janice Ross.

Despite Janice not being assigned as their advisor as such, Janice went out of her way to be available whenever they needed her. Whether that was following up on the course she gave or indeed any other business support or guidance they might need.

The Business Factory has been invaluable in helping Allison and Karen build their skills, build relationships and ultimately build their business.

Indeed the events run by The Business Factory, in particular the networking events, have proved invaluable.

One year on and Allison and Karen still have regular contact with The Business Factory and are currently building their own list of trusted freelancers to allow them to take on more work in a wider range of fields.

Find out more about the great work Get Ahead VA do on their website.

February, 2020

If You Feel Inspired…

…give us a call on 0191 605 3110 or drop us an email on

Alternatively you can book a place at our Could I Work For Myself? online workshop. See all online workshop dates here.

Share This