oday's story captures a key theme in the world of buying businesses:

Weaknesses in a target business may be more opportunity than red flag.

The plumbing business that JD Beck bought had:

  • Low margins, underperforming the industry
  • Rough-around-the-edges employees
  • SDE that ranged between just 75 and $150k
  • No dispatch process to speak of
  • And no technology

But all of this meant that JD's entry multiple would be low (2.5x), and if he could fix the issues, big upside was likely.

Also, these weaknesses were a signal of perhaps the most important characteristic of all in a business you might buy: durability. That despite its many issues, the business carried forward.

It's a paradox, that weaknesses can point to underlying strength.

But it's a valuable lesson from JD's story.

JD Beck with the Mountain Valley Plumbing & HVAC team
JD Beck with the Mountain Valley team

And by the way, JD's vision has become reality.

He didn't make any changes for the first 6 months as new owner, patiently standing by to learn, learn, learn.

But the following 12 months saw him triple revenue and grow earnings even more than that.

Please enjoy this interview with JD Beck, owner of Mountain Valley Plumbing & HVAC.