It took ten years for Josh to go from location agent to CEO, and his plans for JJ Media continue to be ambitious. He explains more about his production company.
What is it the company does?
We are a production company. JJ Media Group provides a continuous line of service, from the first point of contact, to the execution of a project. With our complete spectrum of services, we provide the toolbox for your creation. With 10 studios across two sites, a location library covering the UK and Europe as well as an rental department supplying camera, lighting and event equipment, there is nothing we cannot facilitate.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words|
I build the strategy to support the company in achieving its vision. Making sure the company is well equipped with the best technology and management skills to allow JJ Media to remain agile, challenged and rewarded ensuring change is a welcomed addition. By opening doors to explore new and diverse synergistic opportunities I ensure this culture is driving from the top, enabling shareholders to remain informed, engaged and supportive in the pursuit of success.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I joined JJ locations in 2004 where my parents ran a successful locations company from the bottom of the garden in Hertfordshire. By understanding the market we saw an opportunity to create something new and in 2007 we opened our first Locations Studio. My thirst for hospitality allowed us to combine the environment of a fully serviced studio with the design and architecture of a location.
Following the success of the first space we opened 3 more in succession, across a 3 year period. Over a 36 month period I increased sales by 220%. In 2016 I identified and acquired Three Four Digital and Snap Studios, this doubled our studio occupancy and added equipment rental to the group service. We have rebranded the JJ Media Group which has realigned and refocused our vision and growth strategy for the next 3 years, internally and externally. I joined JJ as a location agent and in 10 years, I am proud to have become the CEO of a growing media production company.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
A good leader is passionate about developing emerging leaders around them, knowing that a strong loyal team is key to reaching the company's goals by improving their emotional intelligence allowing the culture to grow throughout the business.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
My biggest challenge to date has the been the acquisition of two companies, merging them with our existing business with the goal of rebranding and pushing out one aligned vision in 12 months. For a company of our size the initial challenge was securing acquisition finance, but the greater personal challenge was understanding and combining 3 companies their people and their cultures into one company with one culture and vision.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Stress is inevitable when running a company, so by tackling situations head on and surrounding myself with my children, a supportive family and my partner, it allows me to stay focused and unwind when necessary.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child I wanted to be a race car driver, once at school I learnt more about business and was fascinated by what my father did which was very different to any career advice I could have been given.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Simple, a messy office. A tidy desk, is a tidy mind. When showing clients around there is nothing worse than some left over Coco Pops on the desks! We had an office designed with great facilities in place to help maintain our image.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
In 5 years time, I will be looking to push JJ Media Group into content creation, with all the tools firmly in place, it seems like the next steps to complete the continual line of creativity.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Be resilient and honest, listen to others but never let other people’s opinions distract you from your vision. Surround yourself with good talent and expertise, and accept that at times you will be wrong. Promote from within and nurture good talent.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Invest in your senior team early on, these will be the people that support and underpin the growth strategy of your vision.