he traditional search fund world has the Stanford study, which is a mature and widely-cited data set in search.

But self-funded search, which actually represents the vast majority of entrepreneurs who acquire businesses, has had no such study or data set.

A big reason for this is that self-funded searchers are not a very well-defined group of people, making them hard to access and survey. They're also fluid; people dip in and out of their searches over months and sometimes years.

Well, the investment firm SIG has set out to address this lack of data.

They developed a method of identifying self-funded searchers, and then surveyed them — hundreds of them.

And in today's interview with Robert Graham and Jordan Carter of SIG, we learn what they found about self-funded search in aggregate.

This is an ambitious undertaking, which Robert & Jordan readily acknowledge, and we spend some time at the beginning scrutinizing their methodology.

But bringing any visibility to the world of self-funded search should ultimately help you, the acquisition entrepreneur, by arming you with some data to help you cross check the many decisions you make along your journey to buying a business.

I found this data from SIG both interesting and practical, and I think you will too.

Here are Robert & Jordan of SIG:


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August Felker is a 2-time successful searcher — first with a traditional search fund; the second time around, he did a self-funded search.

Today August runs Oberle Risk Strategies, an insurance firm with a dedicated practice group for searchers and acquisition entrepreneurs like you.

If you've got a business under LOI, Oberle will provide complimentary due diligence on that business's insurance and benefits program. A great, no-risk way to get to know August & team.

They love helping searchers; they've worked with hundreds. Oberle is a specialty insurance brokerage for searchers, by a former searcher.

Check out the Search Fund Team at Oberle.