Abraham Kiswani is President of WSA, a security firm, which opened in 2004. He’s been in the security industry for over 20 years and a security contractor for 13 years. Along with being a taser instructor for 7 years, Abraham brings vast knowledge and experience to his business. Abraham went through his training and passed the state exam, before applying for and getting his licensing needed.
After working for others, Abraham and his brother decided it was time to branch out on their own, and they haven’t looked back since. They believe in a hands-on approach to the services they provide their clients so you won’t find either just sitting in an office.
When Abraham isn’t working, you can find him enjoying as much time as possible with his children. He also enjoys rebuilding classic cars and Chicago team sports.
How did you get started with WSA and what inspired you to begin it in the first place?
We, my brother and I, felt we could do things better than what was being done, and we are. We give our clients a better service and product. We have the ability to relate to the client better than our competitors do, and we work with our clients more.
How do you make money?
Simply by providing the different services that our clients need. Whether that be security guard service, or investigation services.
Did it take you long to become profitable?
I would say it probably took about 5 years to really see that it was profitable.
When you were first starting out on this venture, did you doubt that it would work at any point? If so, how did you handle it?
No, I don’t think there was any doubt. I just stayed confident. I knew that if we kept giving excellent service and holding the belief that it would work, that eventually, it would.
How did you find your first customer?
I used a lot of door-to-door and revisiting people. There was someone who was unhappy with their current service provider and took a chance with us.
What is one marketing strategy that you’re using, besides referrals, to generate new business?
Website. Everyone is online and using technology. I also still go place-to-place and leave information packets about the company. We have a great team of salespeople, too.
What do you do that sets WSA apart from other security companies?
We care about our clients. Our office staff, everyone, we’re more like a family, one big unit. We believe in giving back to the community. We work with our clients to resolve issues and keep things deescalated. We also stay within the budgets that our clients have and not bankrupt them.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I had given someone a chance because he had lost his job. Things went well for about the first year, but then it just went sour. I had to let him go, and I found that tough to do.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think it’s probably just our business strategy, the way we operate. We genuinely care about our clients and listen to their needs. I work with the guys, you will see me out with them, all times of the day or night. Our clients notice and appreciate all that. Staying Humble, no matter how successful you are has also been another key to our success.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
It’s always satisfying and nice to hear a client say that they’re really happy with the service we’re providing them. I listen to it often, and it never gets old.
What does the future hold for your WSA, and what are you most excited about?
Hopefully, we will be in another three or four states soon. Expansion of the business, going nationwide.
What business books have inspired you?
The Art of War by Sun Tzu and I love Steve Jobs. The other one that has to do with marketing is Blue Ocean Strategy by Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim.
What is a recent purchase that you’ve made to help with your business?
We’ve recently expanded some offices, so we’ve bought some office furniture and computers to go along with that.
If you could eliminate one weakness in your life, what would it be?
I’m actually trying to stop smoking. It’s going to take some patience and time, but I’m working on it.
You mentioned giving back to the community, what ways do you do that?
Every year around the holidays we donate turkeys to charities for low-income families. It’s nice to know that we’re helping someone have a decent meal, especially at holiday time.
Is there anything that you would consider to be unforgivable in life?
Probably cheating in life. Don’t cheat, do the work, stay the course. Don’t be foolish.