“All I had was a contractor’s license and an idea.” But that was all Mike Willhite needed to approach his local Cat® dealer and begin a dialogue. And now, nearly 10 years later and countless projects completed, Willhite Grading & Excavation has become one of Santa Barbara County’s most respected small businesses.
“When I first talked to Quinn (Cat), I didn’t know if I had the credentials and experience to get their attention, but I met with a rep and completed some paperwork, and the rest is history.”
Willhite’s dad owned a roofing business, and Mike spent his high school years working on a local family farm. Surrounded by entrepreneurship his entire childhood, he always knew he’d own his own business. “I never thought I’d work for anyone but me.”
As his business grows, he continues to rely on the solutions and services Quinn Cat provides. “With the large gambit of what we do, it’s not feasible to own all the machines.” Because of that, he appreciates Caterpillar’s rental and financing options. Based on his experience, he encourages all business owners large, medium and small to approach their Cat dealer. “Just walk in and begin the conversation.”
As we continue our look at Mike Willhite and his career in grading and excavation, learn how the right business relationships have helped Mike’s business and aspirations grow over the last decade.