Trying to get a banker's attention? It pays to plan ahead, as Rick Heiniger, CEO of RHS Fertilizing/Spraying Systems, a $2.6-million Inc. 500 company based in Hiawatha, Kans., has discovered. He knew back in 1987 that if his company's sales kept expanding, RHS would quickly outgrow the Hiawatha banks. But he also knew RHS was still too small to interest big banks. So he called the region's larger banks, explained his situation, and asked if his was the kind of company they might want to keep an eye on. A handful of banks responded positively, and Heiniger began sending them monthly financial statements.
"They thought it was a novel thing," says Heiniger. Today RHS has a loan from one of the banks he courted. "When we walked in with a request, it was as if we'd been with them forever."