Proprietary search: yes or no?

If you want to buy a business in a certain industry, and the industry brokers won't talk to you... it's not really a choice.

This is what happened to Searchfunder member‌.

Patrick wanted to buy a bookkeeping/accounting business.

But he's not an accountant himself.

Industry brokers were like:

"Get back to me when you partner with a CPA."

Even though gatekeepers were blocking him, the more Patrick looked at the space, the more conviction he felt.

Not taking no for an answer, the proprietary search begins:

* Upwork contractor to build the list

* Accounting/bookkeeping businesses of a certain size

* Geo-specific search (New England)

How'd it go?

500 emails to...

20 owner calls to...

3 LOIs to...

1 closed

Turns out owners of these businesses were more open-minded than the brokers!

Also, Patrick's messaging was good:


I'm looking for an accounting firm to acquire in California, and Acquiring Minds seems like a potential fit.

I've been working with small businesses for 10+ years.

If you've ever thought about selling, I'd love to chat. Just reply and we'll get a conversation started."

Personalized & direct.

And the drip was just 3 messages over 2 weeks.

So what was the business he found & acquired through proprietary search?

Appletree Business Services

Appletree is awesome because:

1) it's north of the $1m revenue ceiling that many bookkeeping/accounting businesses never crack, and

2) the firm has a monthly recurring payment model.

In sum...

There are strong arguments for/against proprietary search.

But Patrick believes that when your search is both industry- and geo-specific, it can be a great use of time.

In fact, he'll teach you exactly how to do it.

It'll just take 10 hours of your time & 500 bucks. (For the contractor & software; Patrick's not charging, just helping.)

He only asks that you promise you'll actually use it! Hit him up: Searchfunder member

To hear the full story of Patrick's acquisition, check out this week's episode of Acquiring Minds in your podcast player.

Searchfunder member



Acquiring Minds website

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