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