Regardless of where you live in the world, some of these strategies should uncover plenty of wealthy prospects.
1 Large landowners. Since feudal times, land has been considered a storehouse of wealth. If it’s agricultural land, food is grown and sold. If it’s urban real estate, it has buildings where tenants pay rent or the potential for a developer to build offices or apartments.
Finding them: Do you have a friend who is a real estate agent? They usually have access to a database of property ownership. Your state should have an online reference system.
Finding them: Identifying developers is pretty easy: Projects have signs.
3 Subcontractors. One of the ways governments create jobs and stimulate the economy is through infrastructure spending, like road building and other transportation projects. Big firms specialize in this sector, but they usually hire local subcontractors to get the job done.
Finding them: It can be as simple as reading the signs on trucks when you see the orange highway cones slowing traffic. Most states have a professional association for road builders. Often the membership list is online.
4 Privately owned utilities. Not everyone connects to a major power company or phone service provider. In rural areas, there might be small, locally owned utilities. These are often regulated businesses, meaning the government has a say in pricing. They want these companies to make a fair profit.
Finding them: If you live in the area, you know the names of your utilities.
1. Always read and respect legal and privacy notices on the websites.
2. Only use websites for the purposes originally intended by the site.
3. Secure permission from your compliance manager before proceeding.
Finding them: Most medical professionals need a license to practice. This is usually public information available on a state website in list format.
6 Professional associations. Many industries and professions have trade groups with local chapters. Your local area may have a manufacturing association. Doctors often gather in medical societies.
Finding them: Research professional organizations online. Many have an associate membership category for people who are not directly employed in the field yet sell a product or service members need.
7 Government contractors. The government can be the single largest customer for many businesses. Companies often compete for these contracts. Finding them: In the U.S., the list of companies certified to bid and deliver on government contracts is usually public information. In other countries, business magazines may run articles on multi-country projects such as the Airbus aircraft. In 2006, Airbus had about 3,000 subcontractors.
8 Beneficiaries of overseas trade. Countries often establish free trade zones to stimulate the local economy. This serves as an incentive for businesses to locate in the area. The managers working at those firms likely make a good living.
Finding them: There are worldwide professional associations for operations, production, even plant managers. Ideally, they have a local chapter and offer associate memberships.
9 Philanthropists. You want people with assets. Philanthropists give away money to worthy causes like museums and hospitals.
Finding them: These institutions usually publish annual reports, often called “Record of Philanthropy” or “Report to the Community.” They typically list donors by name and giving category.
10 Private foundations and endowments. Wealthy families often have a foundation or other vehicle for their charitable giving. This is often public information.
Finding them: Search online to find foundations and trusts in your area.
11 Local historical societies. The logical place to find “old money.” They are interested in preserving the heritage and fabric of the community.
Finding them: They usually have a building in the center of town. They should also be easy to find on the internet.
12 Subsidy recipients. Every government wants their country to be able to feed itself. This means having a robust agricultural sector. The government often supports this initiative through farm subsidies. In the European Union, it’s called the common agricultural policy. In the U.K., it’s estimated that one infive of the biggest recipients are billionaires or millionaires.
Finding them: In the U.S., there’s a public access database at the Environmental Working Group listing this information by county. Search online for databases in your country.
To the casual observer, there might not appear to be money in your area. Dig a bit and you’ll find a different story.
Bryce Sanders is the president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for financial services professionals.