Wilson Rutherford [Belgrade]

Wilson Rutherford is living his dream of being successfully self-employed. After years of being employed as a skilled mechanic at car dealerships and large car repair businesses, he  was laid  off.   He saw it as an opportunity to finally start his own  business and put into practice the quality workmanship and customer relations he  had come to feel  was needed in  the industry.  The  Unemployment Insurance program signed him up for  the Maine Enterprise Options program and directed him to WWC’s  New Ventures program (in the fall of 2008) so  he  could get some guidance with his business idea.

Wilson liked the way the course was laid  out in steps. He was able to get on  top of the financial aspects which came in  very  handy once he  started having customers.   Finishing the class with a complete business plan, he  was able to find  financing to renovate his garage.

Wilson opened his auto repair business  in  the spring of 2009.  He  is  able to do  all  aspects of vehicle repair including brakes, suspension, electrical systems, and engine work. He has computer diagnostic equipment that helps pinpoint problems with newer models of cars.  While  the business started slowly, it has grown every year to the point where Wilson is  no  longer advertising—he has more than enough customers.    Wilson says, “I feel so  lucky that in  this economy, I am  doing so  well.   It has taken a lot of hard work, but now  I am  so  busy, I can hardly keep up.”

One  of the side benefits of being self-employed is  that Wilson can schedule his work around his other favorite activity—bass fishing.  Because he  is  in  the middle of the Belgrade Lakes region, he  is  able to participate in  competitive bass fishing tournaments  and spend time outdoors in  a beautiful region of the state.

“The course was awesome. It
helped me put all my ducks in
a row and plan my business,”
Wilson says. “It was a lot of
effort, but it helped me to figure
out if the business was going
to work.”