This week for my Parents in Business series I’m delighted to feature Satt of Broadway Kitchens, and wow this is a business story to read. It’s also one that I am really proud to be sharing, anyone reading this who knows me will appreciate my love of a fabulous kitchen design following our own recent house renovation. Satt has created a successful family run business here, although it hasn’t always been easy especially trying to run the business whilst looking after two small children. Both children now work in the business, which I think just goes to show how important family is for business. I know this is also one of the qualities that customers look for when choosing a business and company to work with to guarantee that personal approach.
Do have a read of Satt’s story and pop over to their Pinterest page where you can see the stunning kitchens for yourself.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
My name is Satt Sembhy and I am the CEO of Broadway Kitchens. Here at Broadway we plan, design, manufacture and install beautiful world-class bespoke kitchens across the UK. Broadway Kitchens design a wide range of shaker, farmhouse, modern, deisgner German, Edwardian and our classic Victorian kitchens. We have beautiful showrooms located in Essex and The Midlands.
The company was set up by my father back in 1974. He came from India in the 60s looking for work and by the time the early 70s came he had 5 children to feed. This is when we set up Broadway Kitchens. I then took over the business in the 80s as my father was coming on retirement and I had a newborn son. Now I am 60 and my son has a newborn along the way! He will soon take over the business. We are a family run business of 3 generations and are one of the longest surviving kitchen companies in the UK.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
Between 1974 and now in the 20s several kitchen companies have gone out of business. I think we have survived this long because we have strived to work really hard for the sake of our children. Making sure they had a bed to sleep in, a roof over their head and a warm cooked meal. We were very poor up until the late 80s, there was a time we couldn’t even afford carpet in our house! It was a matter of survival to make sure we worked hard to provide for our kids.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
I do not want to sugar coat saying that being a parent in business is easy, it isn’t. Whilst we were still poor in the 80s I had to work 7 days a week and would work until 11pm-12am. I had many doors slammed in my face, literally! When I would come home from my son would be asleep. My wife works in the business as well, however, she would always take my son with her when she had to run errands for the business, have meetings or do admin tasks. We always found if we bought our son a new toy to play with it kept him occupied. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend as much time with my son as I did with my daughter. I had to work longer hours as we couldn’t hire much extra staff.
When it came to the 90s my daughter was born and our business had improved a lot. I was able to work more flexible hours as we had extra staff members working for us. In between meetings I would come home and spend time with my daughter as well as my son when he came home from school. And I always made sure I was present for their school plays, school choir, assemblies, etc. It was a wonderful feeling. I definitely made up the time with my son in the 90s where I was financially and physically able to spend more time with now both my children. I am not a good multi-tasker, however, my wife is amazing. She can do work for Broadway or the home whilst the children are there. I definitely think women are much better at time management and project management when it comes to working with children around. It is definitely achievable as I witnessed it from my wife!
I think in any business you have to make sacrifices. My sacrifice was not able to spend much time with my son in the 80s whilst our business was still struggling, however, I can proudly say I made up for the time in the 90s and up to this date. Now my son and I do many appointments together and I see him once or twice a week. He runs the Essex Showroom and I run the Midlands showroom. Customers love the bond, respect and love my son and I have for each other. My daughter recently joined the business whilst also running her own health supplement business after being diagnosed with a health condition 10 years ago. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that your children who are now grown-up want to do the same and take care of their families and loved ones by working hard for a business that supported them for most of their lives. It also makes me extremely proud as a parent. I did not ask them to join, I always told my children to do a career in whatever makes them happy. And they chose Broadway 🙂
Since setting up your business what’s been your biggest success to date?
Our biggest success to date was probably when we reached our 7 figure goal in one year back in the noughties. That was like wow! And we were able to take our kids on extravagant, wonderful holidays such as South Africa, Australia, and New York. It was such a wonderful feeling seeing the look on their faces and knowing they will always have a safety net – they will never have to worry about money like my father and I had.
What are your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
My advice for anyone who is thinking about setting their own business is simple – work hard. I would recommend reading the book “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olsen. If you put in the work and complete your small goals and tasks every day you are that one extra step closer to accomplishing your larger goals. Hardly anyone becomes an instant millionaire in a start-up. Building a brand takes time and building reviews takes time. However, if you put in the hard work and do these small tasks daily just keep reminding yourself that you are closer that day than you were yesterday in accomplishing your dreams and spending time with those you love. It is the whole reason why we start a business right? To provide a better life for your family and spending more precious time with them.
Thank you so much Satt for taking part in my series it has been a pleasure to feature you.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Banks’ Business Solutions, Happy Sleepy Baby, and Love Lemons.