skip to Main Content
Donnie Hornback | Hornback Plumbing

Two reasons I sold my 18-year-old plumbing company

I never started my business with the intention of selling it. In 2005, I started Hornback Plumbing with three employees, and I started the business because I loved plumbing. I have a son who works with me, and I’ve always wanted to pass the baton to him.

While I still love plumbing and still am committed to supporting my son as he grows the company, I decided to sell the business last year after 18 years of running it because the time was right, and the buyers I went with support my family’s vision for growing and managing the company.

We’ve grown a lot since 2005. We’re now at 25 employees, and I’m looking forward to seeing the company continue to excel when I retire.

For anyone who owns their own plumbing company and is looking for insight on the selling experience, here are two reasons I ultimately decided to sell.

1) Selling has unlocked additional growth and opportunities.

Starting a family business is hard, and there is a lot of pressure to carry on the legacy. It can be challenging to find the time, money and resources to keep growing. I was so bogged down with the daily fire drills that I couldn’t focus on what really moved the business forward – things like attracting and retaining employees, improving operations, training employees and being involved with the community.

After selling to Leap Partners and joining their team, my team and I had many more opportunities for training, career advancement and growth than we had before by ourselves. The company provided a wide variety of investments, resources and networking opportunities with the other companies in their portfolio. Before, as a small business, we didn’t have other plumbing businesses we could bounce ideas off of. Now I have a group of like-minded individuals I can text or call at any time to help me improve my business. The same is true with my employees at all levels. With this help, we have improved our pricing, improved our customers’ experience and invested in tools to make our employees’ jobs easier.

2) I found a relatable company I could trust.

Many business owners can relate to receiving numerous calls about selling their business. I was no stranger to these calls. However, when I met with the owners of Leap Partners, I was impressed with how relatable, encouraging and transparent they were. They had a lot of experience in the home services industry and told me about the growth potential they saw in our company. It was the first time I felt that I had found the right partners.

They gave me the contact information to all the other owners they worked with and encouraged me to reach out with any questions or concerns I might have. It was comforting to hear testimonials from owners who have been in my position. It gave me a better insight into the proven track record and success that my owners have had. It also reassured me that they were not going to come in and change my entire business. When I joined, it was one of the happiest days in my career.

As an owner, you may wonder how you will know when you have found the right company. Aside from making sure you’re getting a good offer, my advice would be to ask yourself if you feel comfortable with them. Buyers should embody everything your company stands for and what you have worked so hard to build.

With the uncertainty of the economy, it is important to think about what your exit strategy will look like. I did not want to see my small business struggle as we struggled to keep up with our growth.

Because of my new network, I am now thinking about adding drain lining as a service. My employees are excited for the future and feel comfortable. They no longer feel isolated working for a small business. They have been able to join forces with something bigger. They now have the room to expand personally and professionally.


So, in conclusion, I recommend doing your research and finding buyers who are compatible with you. Although selling your business can be scary, it can really take a load off your shoulders. I’m glad I made the decision I did when I did, and I am grateful to have found a company like Leap Partners that will help continue to carry on the legacy my family and I worked so hard to build. Also, I am happy my son now has access to many more opportunities than I could have given him before.

Back To Top