Case Studies

Dianne's fitness business is in good shape for further growth

Dianne Teo set up T30 Fitness three years ago and now people across the globe are using her workouts to get in shape. Here, she shares with us the story behind her business.

6th August 2018

What is your business called?

T30 Fitness Training

Where is it based?

Giffnock, East Renfrewshire

What does it produce, what services does it offer?

We develop and deliver a range of 20 minute fitness programs. We currently have two multi-award winning products, produced after vigorous research and designed with unique formulas. These are the scientifically proven Fatburn Extreme, a rapid weight loss workout and GameFit, a cutting edge sports performance training regime. Since introducing GameFit, we’ve grown significantly. We have doubled our turnover and secured additional trainers globally with over 2000 instructors in 18 countries including the UK, Ireland, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Dubai, Japan and South Africa.

To whom does it sell?

Our customers can be individuals or clubs and gyms. Our clients also include football, netball, hockey and lacrosse teams, with the Brunei national football team and the Philippine Police Force big fans of GameFit.

What is its turnover?

We have doubled our turnover to six figures in the last two years and expect that to rise.

How many employees?

We have six employees as well as seven regional trainers, 82 master trainers and over 2000 instructors.

When was it formed?

I set the business up in 2015.

Why did you take the plunge?

I’ve worked in the fitness industry for 30 years and I’ve taught classes around the world. I had a lot of people asking me why, even though they worked out regularly, that they weren’t always seeing the best results, especially around their stomach areas. I began to research into the different ways people can get fit and lean, how hormonal changes can affect progress and from this, put together a workout. I did a 16 week trial with 40 people and I couldn’t believe the results. I began teaching the programme, which I called Fatburn Extreme and as word spread, more and more people came along and all showed positive results in just over a month. I had other instructors asking me to teach them the workout as demand was so high and it just grew from there. I wasn’t looking to set up my own business but it became apparent, especially when I started to get international interest that a massive opportunity was awaiting me if I decided to grab it and so I did.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I gained my fitness qualifications in Australia so I could work in a private gym in Malaysia where I lived at the time. I was then offered a job on the Malaysian Sports Board focusing on group fitness and did that for around nine years. When I returned to the UK I decided to do a degree in fitness then a post-graduate in teaching. I began lecturing at Reid College, becoming a senior lecturer at Glasgow Clyde College where I still work part-time. Throughout this time I continued to teach classes where the idea for T30 Fitness was formed. I decided to reduce my teaching to two days a week to focus on the business but I didn’t want to give it up completely as I want to remain at the forefront of the profession.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

I put in some of my own money which helped me to get started. The business then organically grew until I had to apply for funding. Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise were terrific in helping me secure some grants, notably from East Renfrewshire Council’s Economic Development team and last year we won a Scottish EDGE award which was a huge help. This money is being put towards our marketing and growing the brand.

What was your biggest break?

There a few milestones that have really helped the business. The first was being invited to Japan and securing a large contract, while the second was High Life Highland giving us the opportunity to trial FatBurn Extreme. This resulted in our classes being taught in all its leisure centres throughout the region. The third would be working with Business Gateway and getting strategic, marketing and social media support that allowed us to keep up with our rapid growth. My adviser is also helping me build my team and becoming investor ready which was essential if I was to ensure we developed in the correct way.

What was your worst moment?

Probably getting Dengue Fever after being bitten by a mosquito in Vietnam a few weeks before we launched GameFit in Scotland. I was in hospital for 10 days and I didn’t think I would be fit and energetic enough to take part in the launch. I trained every day in my back garden to build up my fitness and my fantastic team of master trainers made sure I could be part of it without needing to put a strain on my body.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

Learning something new every day and meeting so many other business owners. Also, feeling like I’ve made a difference to people’s lives. One of our master trainers in Philippines was from a very poor village and borrowed money to travel to Manilla to do our course. He was given a job by a big gym chain enabling him to buy his own house for him and his family.

What do you least enjoy?

Accounts. I don’t enjoy dealing with numbers and having to work out VAT. I now have someone doing it for me but I still need to keep on top of it all.

What is your biggest bugbear?

Not getting past the gatekeepers to the people that are best placed to make decisions. Our product works, is affordable and in demand, but at times we find it hard to get past that first stage when it comes to big gyms and local authorities.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

At the moment I’m focusing on consolidating our business in the UK with our next challenge to expand into Europe and the USA.

What are your five top priorities?

Build an efficient team to run the operational side of the business.To create a marketing strategy.To expand into the USA. To consolidate our business in the UK and increase our English presence. To give back to the master trainers, especially those in Asia, who have been with us from the beginning.

What single thing would most help?

A big fitness chain giving us a chance would be fantastic. But getting in front of the right people, mainly the decision makers would be a big help.

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish governments do that would help?

Improve and increase communication between the health department and people working in the industry. I have a product that works and I have ideas that I feel will help to tackle our national obesity problem. It would be great to share my ideas with the Health Minister or the First Minister and see if I can use my skills and experience for the good of the community.

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

Knowing that anything is achievable with the right focus, drive and belief in yourself.

How do you relax?

I’ve not had much time to relax recently but quality family time and a couple of spa day birthday vouchers have certainly helped me relax and unwind.

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