In 2013, Frank’s Feed Mill owner, Mark Kusniesz brought his company back from the brink of near financial ruin, growing annual sales by $1.5 million. The company’s troubles started with a large unpaid customer account. After the customer failed to follow through with a payment arrangement, a colleague advised Kusniesz contact the Wisconsin SBDC at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
SBDC advisor Chuck Brys worked with Kusniesz to get his 50-year-old family business back on solid financial footing. “The farm and their bank left me hanging to the tune of about half million dollars,” Kusniesz says.
“Chuck came out, and we first reviewed the whole business to confirm that it was salvageable. Then he worked with us to put a business plan together. We changed a lot of things we were doing with accounts receivable, and with Chuck’s help we ended up keeping the business running.”
Kusniesz’s reputation of integrity and honesty among both clients and suppliers played a key part in the recovery, notes Brys. “My role was really to understand that, and to rely on it as a critical component in constructing an overall strategy to deal with the situation going forward.”
Involved in the business since age 12, Kusniesz took ownership of Frank’s Feed Mill 30 years ago, after his father passed away. The Feed Mill, located in Casco, Wisconsin, serves primarily dairy customers in Kewanee, Brown and Door counties. Kusniesz and his seven employees appreciate having access to Chuck Brys’s expert advising that showed him how to take a dire situation and turn it into a company that is adding revenue and sales.
“Chuck made a number of recommendations, and I followed every one of them,” Kusniesz says. “I just can’t say enough good things about him.”
Optimistic about the future, Kusniesz plans to expand the mill this year and is working on securing funding for the expansion with assistance from the Wisconsin SBDC in partnership with the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation.
“From 2012 to 2013 we grew our business about 1.5 million dollars,” Kusniesz says. “We hope to continue that growth.”