Michael's photoMichael W. Kiser

Mike has spent the last 15 years advising and helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. After a fast-track career with the federal government, where he attained the position of district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Mike took early retirement to start his own small business.

Mike graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and obtained his master's degree in management from the American Technological University in Texas. He served as a finance officer in the Army, reaching the rank of captain and serving as a company commander while fulfilling his military obligation after West Point. Mike completed the finance officer basic and advanced courses as well as the military accounting course. As the director of all SBA operations in Wisconsin, Mike oversaw a portfolio of 5,000 small business loans valued at more than $750 million. Mike was also responsible for coordinating the small business services provided by the 12 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and 10 Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) offices throughout the state.

Mike's expertise lies in evaluating the financial needs of small businesses and helping the business owner develop and maintain a sound relationship with a lender. Mike has personally advised more than 250 entrepreneurs and has an extensive network of small business lenders that are ready to work hand-in-hand with his clients. Mike's knowledge of the banking industry in Wisconsin enables him to place small businesses with a lender that can best meet their needs.

Mike also stays abreast of the factors impacting small businesses. He was very active in coordinating the White House Conference on Small Business in Wisconsin, serves as chairman of a CEO Roundtable, is a board member of Positively Pewaukee (a State of Wisconsin Main Street Community), and is active with the National Association for the Self-Employed.


Mike's 10 Tips for Establishing a Good Relationship with Your Lender

  1. Use your lender as an advisor to your business.
  2. Maintain frequent (at least quarterly) contact with your lender.
  3. Keep your lender apprised of changes in your business.
  4. Keep your lender apprised of changes in your industry.
  5. Review your financing needs annually with your lender.
  6. Plan your financing needs three to five years in advance.
  7. Have your lender visit your business annually.
  8. Stay updated on trends and changes in the commercial lending industry.
  9. Provide the information that your lender wants and needs.
  10. When times are tough, don't ignore your lender.

Mike Kiser on the biggest change in commercial lending in the last 10 years:

"Growth is coming at a much faster pace for small businesses, particularly because of technology and things like the Internet. You can start a business today and get 1,000 orders tomorrow. Your banker must structure financing in a way that lets you manage growth and have enough cash available. "

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