Our hands-on Managing Director established WLS in 1983. New to London, Jeremy was inspired by one man’s story of selling burglar alarms door-to-door in Windsor. Fast forward to 2022, WLS employs 55 staff, completes approximately 119 projects a year and has become West London’s leading fire and security services provider. We spoke to Jeremy about how it all began, greatest achievements and challenges, and what sets WLS apart from its peers.
Hi Jeremy, great to speak to you! Tell us about what motivated you to start WLS?
I’d recently moved to London and needed to earn some money. Looking for inspiration, I bought a magazine called ‘Business Opportunities Digest’ which was full of examples of people who’d become self-employed and how they made their money. One article, about a chap who sold burglar alarms in Windsor, stood out. He sold alarms over the weekend, door-to-door, and installed them during the week. I felt, ‘I could do something like that too’.
How would you describe WLS?
Forward-looking; Bright; Open; A nice place to work, employing the best staff we can find; A company that always tries to go the extra mile.
What is WLS’s biggest achievement since starting in 1983?
To still be here in 2022.
I’m really proud of our team and how far WLS has come. What makes us unique is our staff- we’re like a family.
What challenges have you overcome since starting WLS?
The biggest, earliest challenge was joining the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the governing body for security and fire safety services. Joining was a quantum leap and took a lot of effort.
The next challenge was deciding to move into fire safety services, in addition to security. To be approved as a fire alarm company, we needed to up-skill and take on more staff.
Moving into our offices in 2005 was a big leap of faith. We bought the building as a wreck, renovated it and moved in from our rented accommodation. I’m happy to say it’s proved to be an excellent move.
How do you stay on top of security systems trends?
Through various means: I listen to and learn from salesmen I meet; I pay attention to updates given by our approved manufacturers and suppliers; I read relevant magazine and online articles; and I rely on my brilliant team to be abreast of all the latest developments in our industry.
What is most important to WLS?
Our customers. Our number 1 priority is to be a company that puts our customers first in everything we do.
We’ve implemented systems which allow us to complete a job properly at every stage, from answering the phone to finishing the work. We keep our customers informed throughout the project, letting them know when our engineers will be there, how the work is progressing and providing them with the manuals after the job is complete.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us Jeremy! Our final question is, if you hadn’t started WLS, where would you be now?
I wanted to be a race car driver at one time…