business owner working with account

Starting vs. Buying a Service-Based Business

business owner working with account

The United States economy has seen a drastic move towards service-based businesses. If your talent can be of use to others, there may be a business opportunity knocking at your door. While there are pros to starting a small business from the ground up, buying a service-based business that’s already in existence may be a better alternative for you. Learn more about the steps you have to take when starting a business from the ground up.


One of the major advantages of becoming the new owner of an existing business is that the current owner has already completed a lot of the leg work for you. Here are four examples of steps you must take when starting your own service-based business.


There are a handful of factors to consider when deciding how to form your service-based business. Choosing the right structure is crucial as it will affect nearly all your operations, including the complexity of your legal structure, your limitation of liability, and your tax implications. Consider the following type of business structures:

  1. Sole proprietorship
  2. Partnership
  3. Corporation
  4. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Investing in a turnkey operation takes the guesswork out of determining your business’ structure. No matter the route you choose, you must adhere to your local laws for owning a small business. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to determine what licenses and registrations you need to operate within your jurisdiction.


Your initial investment will encompass all the prerequisites required to get your business off the ground and running. Registration and insurance are a few upfront costs business owners have to consider, which can range anywhere from $100 to over $1,000 depending on real estate, your business structure, and the number of employees.

If you’re operating on a low budget, you may be able to get by with just purchasing the equipment needed to perform your service. As you grow, you can invest in more official company gear, such as uniforms, company swag, and other marketing materials. Many small business owners can also eliminate labor costs at the beginning by performing the service on their own. As you scale, you may need to hire employees, but there is no harm in starting slow and building a solid reputation before taking off.


Sixty percent of people use the internet to find a professional service in their area. Local search optimization is essential for making your web presence more visible as it can help boost your website into a top Google ranking. You’ll also need to engage with followers on social media channels to further drive conversions. We often debate the role a traditional marketing strategy plays in our digital landscape. But, within the professional services industry, word-of-mouth advertising is still relevant for growing a customer base. So, make sure you’re getting the word out about your new business venture to family and friends. You can even create a referral-based program to help find new clients.


Your brand is the looking glass into all that is your business. Establishing this identity is an empowering task to take on before launching your service business. Try to decide what features tell the story of your company. As a small business, are you able to offer more customized solutions? Is your customer service top-notch? Building a brand around these values will help you land clientele and project a more unified presentation.

If you’re interested in using your talents to operate a service-based business, consider the benefits of buying a business that is already in operation. Seventy-five percent of venture-backed startups fail. Industry statistics skew against entrepreneurs who try to build from the ground up for a variety of reasons. Existing businesses offer more of a safety net to business buyers who aspire to be their own boss. Are you a prospective buyer interested in buying your own business? Contact VR Business Brokers for more information on buying an existing service-based business and to find businesses for sale.