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Ken Jacobs maintains a relationship with his bank

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“Never be a stranger to your banker,” says Ken Jacobs of Raymond Brothers Ltd. in Ontario, Canada. “It’s important to know the people at the bank so you can pick up the phone and let them know you need cash. The communication lines are already open—they know your business. They know you.”

When Jacobs purchased Raymond Bros. in 1998, he continued using the same bank as the previous owners. “They knew the business,” he says. “They knew Raymond Brothers and they got a lot of background information on [my wife and me].” Now, beyond the original financing, Jacobs says maintaining an open relationship benefits the business. “When we manufacture a large tent, we go [to the bank] for a loan and it’s never an issue. There is no dumb question,” he says. “I can ask them anything. Obviously, money is a factor, but still, business comes down to dealing with people.”

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine.

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