Heather Frankham, the founder of this Bristol firm, began as an aerobics instructor and then moved on to managing the local fitness club. Later she started offering staff training to Marriott Hotels. Today her business, Lifetime, provides training courses for clients such as Virgin Active, David Lloyd Leisure and Fitness First. Each year its courses are attended by 12,000 fitness instructors, receptionists, sales staff and other employees who can earn nationally recognised qualifications. Growth has come largely from word of mouth because the company spent no money on marketing until last year. Helped by more work with public-sector bodies as well as long-term contracts with hotel clients Marriott and Hilton, sales grew 66% a year from £2.1m in 2006 to £9.8m in 2009.
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