Wes Carver’s entrepreneurism kicked in young. Where other kids sold lemonade, his stand also had candy. Some kids had one paper route, but “I picked up the routes next to me,” he says.

By the time he was 24, Carver began to pour his ideas and eight years of hands-on electrical training into Wes Carver Electrical. He learned how to run his business “one mistake at a time,” he says, while also enlisting help from a wide network of business consultants, association peers, and key employees.

For three clientele segments — remodelers, homeowners, and designers — Carver’s company offers detailed pricing guides, projects ranging from $89 service calls to whole-house lighting controls, and a “try it out” showroom in a 100-year-old building that Carver purchased and remodeled.

“Many folks have never had a good lighting experience,” Carver says. The showroom “is an eye-opener” and a strong differentiator. So is a vibrant and low-budget marketing campaign that reaches clients through Facebook and e-mailed reminders.


  • 1,500-square-foot design center. 
  • 25-page binder of lighting and other electrical options showing retail and contractor pricing. 
  • 22-point process checklist to track jobs in progress. 
  • 26-point safety check. 
  • Active use of search engine optimization, Google ad words, and Web analytics. 
  • Facebook “fans” page. 
  • “Preferred customer” program offering $25 coupon for a service call. 
  • Online service requests.

Notable quote: “As a business owner, I’ve always been a big proponent of treating people the way you want to be treated. I try to provide that experience every day.”

- Leah Thayer