What Is Business Services?
Business services are the activities that support a company but do not result in the production of a tangible product. This industry includes a broad range of sectors that are essential to all businesses, whether large or small. Examples of business services include information technology (IT), human resources, supply chain management, waste handling and shipping, administration and security services to name a few. Many of these activities are outsourced, which allows a business to focus on its core competencies while also providing specialized expertise in areas it does not have in-house.
The professional and business services supersector is one of the largest in terms of employment. The sector provides an array of essential functions, including accounting, management consulting, information technology, advertising, engineering and design services. Often, these companies work with other businesses to improve productivity and efficiency by eliminating redundancies, improving processes, creating innovative products or providing strategic guidance.
This is a dynamic and growing field that offers many career options. While some business service jobs require only a high school diploma, GED certificate or vocational degree, others demand a bachelor’s or graduate degree in their respective fields. In addition, this industry encompasses a wide variety of positions, from entry-level customer service jobs to managerial roles. The types of skills that are important to success in the business services industry vary depending on the particular field, but most jobs in this sector involve a great deal of interpersonal interaction and require analytical problem-solving.
While some people may define business services as any industry that does not produce a physical good, the term is more commonly used to refer to those activities that are an integral part of a firm’s operations but do not contribute directly to its revenue or profit. Most modern business theorists see a continuum that places pure service at one end and commodity goods at the other, with most products falling somewhere in between.
Unlike a product-based company, which must continually strive to ameliorate its output, a service-based company must focus on its ability to deliver value to customers in a manner that is difficult to measure and quantify. This approach is more akin to an art than to a science, as it requires creativity and innovation to succeed in a competitive marketplace.
The key to a successful business service is a well-designed customer experience that is differentiated from competitors’ offerings. This is achieved through a combination of factors, such as convenience and friendly interaction. Managers must also realize that they cannot simply transfer their product-based thinking to a service-based business, and must undergo a fundamental shift in perspective. This involves refocusing on the design of the offering rather than concentrating on individual characteristics that consumers will value. This type of thinking is known as design-based marketing. This approach has been successfully applied by firms in a number of industries, including banking, retail and automotive. Getting this right is critical to a business’s sustainability and profitability.