Jim Martin set up Loftbox last year after running a video production business for 20 years as he wanted to use his media skills to help others create lasting memories which could be shared with future generations. Here Jim explains what inspired him, how switching off with his Cockapoo called Bonnie and why we all need to learn about Paying It Forwards What inspired you to set up your business? My mother in law died at 57 years of age, before the birth of her first grand child and my eldest daughter. She was an amazing, inspirational woman, and none of my 3 children have ever heard her voice, experienced her personality, sense of humour or listened to her words of wisdom. I watched my own mother deteriorate with dementia and my father with lung cancer, and even though I have been in professional media production and film making for 30 years, something stopped me from approaching them to capture their stories for future generations to appreciate. What a wasted opportunity. Loftbox has been created as a vehicle for other people to use so that they are never left thinking… if only we had done it. What makes your you/your product special and where are you based? Based in Wokingham, I have over 60 years of life and death experiences behind me which combined with an ability to deliver high levels of personal service and production quality at a very affordable price. I deliver a studio style experience in people’s homes – single handed, with me operating the latest cinema quality cameras, sound, lighting and my relaxed interviewing style, which has been honed over 30 years, very quickly puts Loftbox customers at ease.. How do you use social media to help promote your business? I am slowly coming to terms with using social media for the promotion of what I do, but I firmly believe that my most effective marketing will be executed by the satisfied users of my services. Twitter: @LoftboxTV Facebook: Jim Martin What’s the best piece of advice you have been given? My elder brother told me about the Paying it Forward concept, where you do things for others with no expectation of remuneration and often in complete secrecy. I love to help people where I can, and have done so over many years. And whilst there has been no expectations on my part, it is funny how, at some point in your life, people that you have helped along the way, rise to the surface when you most need help. What has been your greatest challenge? I am currently experiencing my greatest challenge… after 30 years of running a successful Marketing Communications and Video Production business, due to a change in Marketing Director with easily my largest and most long standing client, I found myself losing over 80% of our revenues. I had to close my studio and make my team of 4 redundant. At 60 years of age, I found myself in a bad place, and quite soon became depressed. I had to close my studio and make my team of 4 redundant and took some time out to consider what I did next. Loftbox was born. Becoming a new business founder in a new market place at any age is really tough, but I have re-ignited my passion for telling stories through video and I have a very clear idea of where I want to go with the service. So, yes it is very challenging right now, but I love what i do, and believe that my energy and efforts will pay off. How do you switch off? When your job is also your hobby it’s tough to switch off, but I do play guitar, golf and enjoy gardening, and with an 8 month old Cockapoo Bonnie, I have also rediscovered the joy of a daily walk. Where do you go on holiday? My wife and I love walking in the Lakes and Scotland, but for a guaranteed sunshine break, we would choose The Algarve or Majorca. One of most memorable holidays however was a Nile cruise and visiting the Cairo Museum and the Valley of the Kings. What lesson do you wish you had learnt at school? I have always been a creative and entrepreneur, but whilst there is not a lot I would change about my life, I do wonder what direction my life may have taken, if I had learned the importance of a good education. What app/website/twitter account (other than your own!) would you recommend? Lynda.com is a great site to pick up new skills, and of course TedTalks has some inspirational speakers. Where do you see yourself/your company in five years’ time? I would love to have built Loftbox to a point where personal recommendations from past users means that I can spend most of my time with customers, listening to their amazing stories, and hire someone to manage the editing side of the service. After that I have my eye on the potential to franchise the concept and/or create a DIY version in the form of an App. Let’s see what the future brings.