If there’s one thing Casey Swistun knows how to do, it’s take a risk.
That’s why in 1984, he left a comfortable management position in Poland and came to the United States… without speaking English.
That’s why, after just one year as a contractors helper, he struck out on his own. That’s why he picked an industry with one of the worst possible reputations--- aluminum siding installation--- and made it his specialty. And why he offers one of the most ridiculously comprehensive guarantees in the roofing and siding business.
“I’ve gotten used to people telling me I’m out of my mind,” says Casey, owner and President of Swistun, Inc., an exterior contractor based in Prospect Heights. “It’s a good thing.”
But there are other things that Casey also knows how to do--- like asking questions, then using the answers to create strikingly original business strategies. And it’s paid off: over the last 17 years, he’s not only developed a very profitable business, but an intensely loyal customer base.
“You have to ask your customers what they like--- you can’t assume,” he says. “You have to meet or exceed their expectations.”
Casey looks for knowledge in many places. He reads voraciously (he often quotes marketing guru Jay Abraham). Early in his career, he’d call builders out of the phone book and ask them for advice.
“I’d call them in my very broken English and ask how they do things. And because they thought I was dumb, they’d tell me,” he says. “And then I’d put all the pieces together.”
And in 1993, Casey joined PRO. In fact, he is PRO’s second oldest member.
“If you come to a PRO meeting and do not share any problems, you’re not gaining much,” he says. “Put your worst problem on the table and ask for help--- and you will get it. Often, you get more than you need.”
“I believe in learning anything I can get.”