AS a busy working mum, Dianne Teo couldn’t find a fitness plan that suited her lifestyle - so she created her own.

Ms Teo, a lecturer in sports and fitness, knew what she was doing, and the Fatburn Extreme programme she launched in 2015 quickly became popular in the south side of Glasgow, where she lives, helping scores of people lose weight and stay fit.

Seeing wider potential in the business, the 59-year-old created a course to train fitness instructors to deliver the programme and approached fitness contacts in Malaysia, where she had previously lived and worked, about rolling it out.

This turned out to be a masterstroke; three years on, Fatburn Extreme and Game Fitness - a second programme aimed at improving sports performance - now have 2.3 million participants across the world, including a number of police forces across Asia and Europe, winning Ms Teo a string of awards.

As important the success and accolades, however, says the Shetland native, has been the self-confidence gained as the company flourished.

“When I started out, I knew my product but I didn’t know anything about business,” says Ms Teo, who initially became interested in fitness as a way to help her asthma.

“Initially, I was simply looking to create something that was cost and time effective, and results driven, that would appeal to busy mums like me. Before I knew it, I’d started a business.

“I’ve gained a lot of resilience from being an entrepreneur and businesswoman, and I’ve learned that as long as you have passion and a drive to develop your business there’s no reason why you can’t do well.”

Working from her “shoffice”, a shed/office in the back garden, Ms Teo now employs seven people to develop, market and administer the programmes across the globe.

“Marketing has been very important for us,” the 59-year-old CEO explains. “Social media has played an essential role in growing the business and it’s very important to get it right.

“Having the right team behind you is also vital. Focus on your strengths and delegate the things you’re not good at to others.

“There’s a tough point for most small businesses when you realise there is too much work for you to do on your own, but not quite enough to employ others. That is one of the hardest part of growing a company, I think. But if you can get through that phase you’ll be fine.”

Fatburn Extreme is now a family business, with Ms Teo’s son and his wife both working with her full-time. She also counts RBS as an important partner; as well as being both a personal and business banking customer, the bank’s “extremely supportive” entrepreneur accelerator scheme proved hugely beneficial in helping take the idea to market.

Over the next three years the Glasgow-based entrepreneur hopes to strengthen the core of the business, launch another fitness programme and expand into new territories. But she also wants to continue the personal journey she has found herself on.

“What I enjoy most is the flexibility of being my own decision maker,” says the businesswoman. “I like being around like-minded people who are driven by creative ideas. There are always ups and downs in business, and at first I used to worry all the time. Now I don’t worry at all, I just keep moving forward.

“A few weeks ago I won a national women’s business award in London. That was such a great moment for me – I never dreamed I could achieve anything like this.

“I felt so proud that as a working mother with four kids I’d launched and grown this international business. I’m the evidence that people really can do it – you’ve just got to get out there and make it happen.”