Energy Fitness Professionals (EFP) was started by best friends Alan Gallagher and Rob Radford (pictured).
When the company began in 1998 the ‘office’ was a fax machine in Rob’s drinks cabinet at his flat.
Now EFP runs dozens of gyms across the country and is one of the largest privately-owned corporate fitness management companies in Britain.
The latest saw EFP secure the contract for the Royal Mail in the face of heavy competition. The company will be taking over the management of gyms in three stages over the next few months from Plymouth to Aberdeen and Belfast.
Part of the contract will involve taking over from the incumbent supplier.
Rob, managing director of EFP, said: “We are excited about this high profile contract and are looking forward to working with the Royal Mail.
“This will significantly increase our market share and take us one step closer to our goal of being the industry–preferred supplier of choice.
“Although it is a fantastic contract, we are still planning to expand further this year and target a minimum of another five club openings.”
Rob and Andrew grew up together in Aldershot and always knew they would one day have a business partnership.
They both have a strong background in health and fitness; Alan worked for FFI as a club manager and Rob was in the Royal Marines for five years and later became a personal trainer.
EFP was started by the two friends while they kept their full time jobs. It began with just one client — DERA (now Qinetiq) — but was so successful that it was soon managing several clubs.
Among the first venues was the Energy Fitness Centre which was opened by the Mayor of Rushmoor in 2000 on the top floor of the Aldershot Tennis Centre in Princes Avenue.
This club has an excellent range of cardiovascular equipment, resistance machines, free weights and areas for abdominal work and stretching.
It includes personal trainers, fitness testing, plus food testing and nutritional advice.
A series of fitness classes working on different aspects of the body are held throughout the week.
EFP also specialises in tailored employee fitness programmes through large companies.
Its main clients are blue chip companies and government departments; among its major clients are Sun Microsystems at Southwood, Nokia Farnborough, Worldcom in Reading and departments such as HM Treasury and the Office of Fair Trading.
It has captured the ethos among many bigger companies of laying on the best possible health and fitness benefits for their employees.
This not only keeps staff motivated and productive, but it makes them feel good about coming to work and helps retain quality staff.
Not surprisingly, it also reduces absenteeism.
EFP can also offer many other benefits, including an onsite concierge service to let employees concentrate on their work, sports and social events, medical services such as employee health screening and food intolerance testing. It can also arrange treatment rooms for physiotherapists, osteopaths, beauticians, hairdressers and masseurs.
When Sun Microsystems was named among the top 100 companies to work for in the UK by the Sunday Times this year, the gym was mentioned
as one of the major benefits.
The company prides itself on being privately-owned.
It believes that this gives it better control over its contracts and the ability to deliver on promises.
EFP has never lost a contract and has seen a staggering 40% year-on-year growth, based on new business and developing existing contracts.