. . . want, much sooner, to find and buy the right business the right way. Why "sooner"? Think lost opportunity income; the money you forego by deferring your acquisition. But, what about "expansive enough"?
Sure, the larger your funnel of potential opportunities, the better (assuming your targeting is correct).
And then there are these topics, which can, way down the road, undermine some (if not most) of the business opportunities you uncover during your search.
Financing is one of the biggest omissions. My clients identify the most likely sources of financing for the deal they intend. (Not simply, "SBA" or "bank," but the name of the banker (or whatever) that has prequalified the potential transaction with "Yes, we will finance it." Savvy searchers do this before interacting with brokers, owners, sellers, etc. Why? Because of one the most costly ways to be rejected by an entire industry and by brokers is for word to get out that you wasted the seller's time and money trying to do a deal that could not be financed (by you).
Another costly mistake is to defer hiring the right kinds of advisors. You may not need to involve some of them early, but when you need the right advice at the right moment, it may be too late to scramble for help. What about backup expertise? (Last month I saw a worthwhile deal go bad because the lawyer was too busy to be available.)
Anyone want to share what else needs to fit within the definition of "search"? (There's more!)