Meet the MD: Joseph Waite of Henry Charles Bedrooms

Meet the MD: Joseph Waite of Henry Charles Bedrooms

Having followed in his fathers' footsteps, Joseph Waite of Henry Charles Bedrooms, has grown up in the industry. He took some time out to tell BQ a little bit about what its like to run his own company.

What is it you do?

At Henry Charles I take on a central role within the company, managing a lot of the day to day activities.

I love to interact with our customers so being involved in the sales process as well as fitting is an important part of the job for me.


What is it the company does?

Henry Charles is a luxury fitted bedroom furniture manufacturer based in Keighley. We take pride in the fact that we’re always trying to innovate with new products and materials and we’re at the cutting edge of interior design style.


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I was raised in the industry, as my father runs a similar company.

It’s always been an ambition of mine to have a business of my own so as soon as I felt confident I took that step, and here we are.

I have now been running the business since 2009 and couldn’t be happier with the direction we’re headed in.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

I think, in business at least, a good leader is someone who wants his team to work with him, not for him.

We’re a professional company but we try not to be too serious when we don’t need to be, ultimately the buck stops with me but getting caught up in hierarchy is an easy way to stifle innovation, and that’s what we’re all about.

It’s also important to be passionate about everything you do in your business, as no business can succeed without a passionate leader.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

I think most directors will agree with me when I saw that striking up a good work life balance is the hardest challenge for anyone.

Delegation is important, particularly when a business is doing well and expanding, but it’s hard to let go of things sometimes when you built the company from scratch.

Teaching yourself to pass on responsibility is essential or you can end up with too much on your plate very easily.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

I think just because I am busy at work does not necessarily mean that I am stressed, but there are times when you need to step back and unwind a bit.

I like to spend time with my family and I’m grateful to live in a beautiful area where I can take in my surroundings and relax.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a firemen when I was little, but I think I grew out of that when I was quite young!

I’ve been deeply involved in the industry ever since I was young so I think it was always in the back of my mind that I would grow up doing something like this.


Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

I think my biggest pet peeve at work is a lack of communication. It’s important that those who need to know things know things, whether they be good or bad.

Organisation is key as well, I don’t like it when we are disorganised because we’re a very busy company and it’s important that everyone works together so we can be as efficient as possible.


Where do you see the company in five years time?

I hope we continue the growth that we’ve seen over the past six years into the next five.

There is a real demand for high quality furnishings from homeowners at the moment and we’d like to firmly establish ourselves as market leaders in Yorkshire on that front.

I’d like to open more showrooms across the county as well as moving into wholesale to help those who are in the same position I was in a few years ago.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

There are a lot of decision and purchases you’ll have to make as a business leader, but the most important thing to invest yourself in is people.

A passionate workforce can do a huge amount of good for a company, and make you enjoy your job even more.