family business

Managing and sustaining a family business can be challenging especially as it moves from one generation to the next. In this episode, the 2nd generation owner of a nearly 100 year old business shares his secrets for success.

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Show Notes

A family businesses can be challenging to manage and sustain especially as it moves from one generation to the next. According to several studies the chances of survival of family businesses decreases as companies move from one generation to the next. In this episode I interview the owner of a company that has been in business nearly 100 years.  I wanted to find out what the secret for his success has been as he moves his company into its third generation. You’ll also hear some good tips about managing seasonality in business too.

Key Points

*Henry Satt, the president of Seashore Food explains how the company started from its humble beginnings as a chicken and egg store back in the 1920’s.

*The family business has evolved into a regional food service distribution company selling 5,000 different items.

*Henry tells us about his thoughts and considerations about his business and how he decided to continue to run it for the next generation.

*He tells us how he got his experience in the family business and some aspects about running a business that school didn’t prepare him for.

*Henry shares how he trained both his son and son-in-law in various facets of the company’s operation watching for their strengths and weaknesses to determine the right positions for their skillset.

*Listen to the great advice he gave to his family members before coming into the business about support in good times and in the rough times.

*Henry tells us how his family maintains good relationships inside and outside the business and how they enjoy a very healthy balance of business and family life.

*Find out why Henry likens his family to the family on the TV show “Blue Bloods”.

*Hear how this business owner handles things like compensation, performance reviews and other potentially sticky issues that can come up in a family business.

*Since his business has a seasonal aspect to it, Henry gives us tips on how he manages the seasonality and find out how a recent acquisition is helping to manage it even more.

*Pay special attention to some common themes for success surrounding relationships in this episode.

Resources and Links

About Our Guest
Henry Satt is the president of Seashore Food, a food service distribution company located in Southern New Jersey.  As a second generation entrepreneur, he has been in his family’s business for most of his life.  He has also been involved in the hospitality industry and in real estate and served on several boards of local organizations. Henry graduated with a BS in Business Management from Farleigh Dickinson University and is married with two children and six grandchildren.

To Learn More Seashore Food

Seashore Food is a food service distribution company established in 1920 and located in South Jersey.  They market and sell products to food service operators in the Southern New Jersey region.  Check out their website  to see how their products and service can benefit your food service operation.


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Lisa Roberts is a business operations consultant who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here