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#20 | Using Data to Find the Right SBA Lender

June 18, 2024
#20 | Using Data to Find the Right SBA Lender

It is hard to know exactly what this newsletter is.  It is an outlet for me to share about my own journey to try to acquire a business, but that journey can be slow because I don’t “have to” acquire a business by any particular deadline, I am just planting seeds with businesses that I think I might want to buy someday so that when and if the owner is willing to sell, hopefully they think of me.  

Many weeks there just isn’t much to share about that process. 

I also like to use this weekly email to share thoughts and tools and resources that I come across as I work with others as they look to acquire their own business.  

This week I wanted to share a bit about a tool that we created and share some ideas I have for future improvements.  I would love your feedback. 

SBA Lender Finder Tool

About 6 months ago we pulled together the SBA loan data from the last 5 years, cleaned it up, and then built a dashboard tool that allows anyone to sort and filter the SBA loan data by lender, state, industry, and stage of business.  You can check out the free tool here. 

I have personally used the tool to help a number of our clients find which SBA lenders make the most loans in their industry and state and stage of business.  

You would be shocked how much variation there might be in the top SBA lenders if you are looking to acquire a business, start a business, or expand an existing business.  

Lenders also operate in some industries and not others, so even though Huntington Bank makes a ton of SBA loans, they might just like to avoid laundromats altogether for example.  

I think using the actual loan data should help you find the lenders that are most likely to be interested in your deal.  


There is still a major limitation with the tool that I want to try to solve.  

The tool might suggest that Live Oak Bank is the top SBA lender for an acquisition in your state, but it doesn’t give you a name of a lender and an email to actually contact the perfect person for your deal.  

I think that would be a really amazing feature. 

But from what I can tell there isn’t really any good way to get this information other than just doing the hard work of trying to network and connect with specific people at these various banks.  

Over the coming months I think we are going to set out on a project to start going through state by state, industry by industry and try to make an individual connection with the right local contact at each lender.  

This would give us the ability to make an individualized email introduction between lenders and borrowers, not based on which lender we like the best, or which lender pays the best brokerage fee, but based on data.  

Now we don’t want to spam these lenders with bad deals, so the idea is that we would need to do some vetting of clients before making an email intro.  

If we can find good, qualified SBA loan applicants and connect them to the exact right person at the exact right bank that is most likely to be interested in their deal, I think that seems like it could be incredibly valuable.  

What do you think?  Does this seem like it could provide value and fill a gap that doesn’t already exist in the market, or am I just drinking my own Kool Aid here? 

Until next week,


Recent Emails

July 2, 2024

#21 | Riches are in the Niches

Do you have any good niche business stories that have been crushing it because they offer a very niche service? 

June 18, 2024

#20 | Using Data to Find the Right SBA Lender

Does this seem like it could provide value and fill a gap that doesn’t already exist in the market, or am I just drinking my own Kool Aid here?

June 11, 2024

#19 | Assuming Debt in an Acquisition? Don’t Assume.

I will always remember walking into my 11th grade math class and the white board just said “Ass U Me.”