Our franchisees have a wide variety of backgrounds. Some have owned franchises before, while others have come from the corporate world in search of a better work-life balance. If you’re researching franchises, you’ll be pleased to hear that Get Ahead includes opportunities for professional development. With a Get Ahead franchise, you can continue to learn new skills and develop your experience. This professional development will always support your career, whether you pay it back into your own Get Ahead franchise or take it with you if you start a new chapter.

In this blog, we take a closer look at the career development opportunities we offer our franchisees.

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When you first started your business, you probably managed very well with basic Excel spreadsheets and even pen and paper for keeping records and planning ahead. But as your business grows, you may benefit from dedicated software, developed with businesses like yours in mind.

In this blog, we look at the importance of having the right software when you’re scaling up your business, and consider some areas you could automate to make your business run more efficiently.

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A while ago, your business was a start-up. But now it’s a scale-up. How do you know? Well, if you’re turning away clients or customers because you don’t have the capacity, it could be time to scale up your business so that you can meet demand. And if you’re already reaching your goals easily, scaling up will give you greater profits as well as a greater challenge.

To ensure a seamless scale-up, it’s a good idea to write a business growth plan. In this blog, we look at how to write an effective business growth plan and what information you should include.

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At Get Ahead, we love business exhibitions. We love the energy in the room and we love meeting people. It’s exciting to learn about the latest industry trends, and some of our most productive relationships have been started at expos.

However, expos are not for everyone. They are great marketing tools, but they are not a magic spell to double your business or become the market leader. You might get a lot out of attending an expo, or you might not. In this blog, we look at what to consider before you sign up.

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Promotions, competitions and giveaways can create a real buzz around your business expo stand, both in the real world and online. However, it’s important to put thought into your promo so it works for your business and isn’t just a gimmick.

In this blog, we look at how to plan promos and pass on some ideas that work too!

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Spring is sprung! Just seeing the daffodils come up makes us all feel better, even if the clouds can’t decide whether to come or go. If you run a business, why not tap into the energy of springtime and shake up your social media?

Our social media managers shared five of their favourite ideas:

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As we welcome the new year and make plans for the coming months, it’s important to recognise exactly where our businesses are and where they’re going. While our businesses probably offer the same products and services we created them for, our focus might have changed.

In this blog, we look at ways of identifying where our businesses are right now, and how to use our findings to plan ahead.

  1. Where is your business right now?

It may be tempting to get out last year’s plan and just reprise it for this year. But to create an effective forward plan, you need to be clear with yourself about where the business is now, and how successful it is.

You might notice you’re in a stronger position this year than last, or you might be in a weaker position. Perhaps there has been a development in your industry which affects the way you work. Suppose that you work in communications and covid homeworking has created some new opportunities for you to expand into. Or if you work in an industry that has become more precarious in the last two years, such as entertainment or hospitality, it might be time to broaden your offering in a new field.

As well as identifying where you are now, it’s also valuable to compare it with last year. If you were in a strong position twelve months ago and are now in a weak position, what has gone wrong and what can you learn from it? Alternatively, if you’re seeing a steady trend in your sector, it might suggest new opportunities to grow your business.

  1. What do you need to succeed this year?

Depending on whether you’re on an upswing or a downswing, your priorities for the upcoming year will be different.

If things have been a little slow, business growth is the obvious priority. You might consider refocusing your marketing to connect with new audiences, or review your products and services to see if they still appeal.

On the other hand, if you’ve seen a year of expansion, it might be time to bring in more pairs of hands to help you meet demand. You might choose to invest in technology that would enable you to work smarter and expand still further. Perhaps the additional revenue generated last year could be reinvested in your business to help it grow.

If it’s time to break into a new market, we always recommend doing thorough research and keeping an open mind. We’ve seen restaurants offering online cookery and click-and-collect meals. We’ve seen theatre companies offering exclusive streamings of their shows. Sometimes the new direction chooses you – if all your clients have been from the same sector in recent months, consider ways of connecting specifically with that market.

  1. Could outsourcing help you achieve your goals?

Outsourcing is a cost-effective solution whether your business is expanding (or needs to expand!).

If this is the first year you’ve seen growth, you might feel cautious about taking on a permanent staff member. However, when you outsource, you only pay for the hours they work – you can even mix and match skills to create the perfect business support package.

And if you’ve recognised that you need to make your business work harder, a virtual expert can help. They can focus on a particular area you struggle with, whether that’s admin, marketing or cold-calling to drum up more business. Again, you only pay for the hours they work so there’s no need to commit to expenses you can’t support.  

And if you’re breaking into a new area, you can work with a virtual expert who has relevant experience. For example, you might need to add some new pages to your website to showcase the additional services, or learn about a new pricing structure – the right virtual expert will share their knowledge and help your business to travel in its new direction.

Outsourcing for expanding businesses

Get Ahead has worked with countless clients whose businesses are experiencing growth. The flexibility a virtual expert offers makes outsourcing a great solution for businesses experiencing change of any sort. To find out more, visit our services page or contact your local regional director.  

PS – if you found this blog useful, you might also like:

How to do a quarterly review – four questions you should be asking – Get Ahead VA

Learning from business mistakes – why it’s important and how to do it – Get Ahead VA

Why are financial goals important for my business? – Get Ahead VA

How do you feel about January? Are you someone who likes to hit the ground running, or does it take you ages to motivate yourself after the Christmas break?

At Get Ahead, we’ve learned to start the year with a bang! As soon as the fireworks go off for New Year, we’re feeling excited about what the future has to offer. We look for ways to do better in the coming year, harnessing the power of a fresh start to raise our standards and take our business to a new level.

In this blog, we share some of our ideas for starting marketing with a bang.

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Social media management is one of our most popular services. Why? Because so many small businesses struggle to keep up with social media for the long term. Many business owners start off with excellent resolutions and invest in high-powered scheduling tools, but little by little, the social media tails off and ceases to be a priority.

So, to make life a bit easier, we thought we’d share some of our ideas for keeping on top of social media. Here they are:

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Social media is something we all know we should be using, but many of us don’t have time, or don’t really see the point. But help is at hand! We have put together some quick ideas to help you see social media differently. We hope this will lead to you using your social media time better, or help you see the possibilities of digital marketing. Read on and good luck!

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