Getting started



Guelph, Ontario, Canada, July 17, 2012 – When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and sell it! Early December 2011, Steve Finlay was overwhelmed: first with the excitement of the birth of his first child, a son, and secondly a week later, with the loss of his job. On the fateful day Steve heard the news of his layoff, he got another phone call, one that told him he had passed his Master Electrician exam, meaning he was now eligible to run his own business. After a weekend of thought and conversation, a 3 to 5 year plan to start Finlay Electric, his own business, became an immediate plan!


Working as an electrician for 10 years, Steve had often thought about starting his own business. Working in many different environments had exposed him to much of the hands on experience he would need. The business end, however, was a more difficult mountain to climb. While looking into Employment Insurance, he was directed to Lutherwood to seek assistance via the Ontario Self Employment Benefit.  Through the Guelph Wellington Business Enterprise Centre, he was accepted into the program.


Steve was accepted into the program in March, and quickly moved through ten weeks of seminars, business plan development and strategies, aided by a business advisor.

The plan was made, the logo developed, and business cards ordered – Finlay Electric was off the ground!


“I’ve never before been so excited and so terrified at the same time. Without the help of my business advisor, I think I’d be mostly just scared.”


Steve has experience working in commercial, industrial, and residential environments, wiring everything from switch yards, hotels, wind turbines, and grocery stores, to basements, new housing, service changes, and old knob and tube rework, including his own home.


Steve’s desire for Finlay Electric is to be a company that is known for clean, quality work, integrity in its employees, and respect for the client, big or small. Finlay Electric is dedicated to being an honest, hardworking company who seeks the highest satisfaction from its clients.


Electricity is nothing to play around with. According to the Electrical Safety Authority’s website, 0.2 per million electrical deaths from 2006 to 2010 were non-occupational, meaning about 200 000 people suffered electrocution who were not on the job. Safety has to be the number one priority.


“I’ve worked for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for about 8 years now. They’ve taught me to do things right the first time without compromising my safety or the safety of those around me. I have thoroughly enjoyed working for customers who put an emphasis on quality workmanship. That is how I want to do work and I practice it on every job I do.”


A bit of courage, a bit of patience, assistance along the way, and some personal risk: that is what it can take to start a business. It is not necessarily an easy path, but it is one that is worth walking… or wiring.