Business services are activities that benefit companies without delivering a physical product. They can help with marketing, production, safety and cost issues, but they often go unnoticed because they are hidden from view. In the broadest sense, any activity that supports a company’s core business should be considered a business service, including IT, HR and even janitorial services. However, many business services are more subtle than that and can be difficult to categorize.
Most modern theorists see a continuum with pure service on one end and pure commodity good on the other, with most products falling somewhere in between. For example, a restaurant delivers food, but also provides service in the form of ambience and the setting and clearing of the table. In a narrower sense, service is often associated with the quality of customer assistance and support provided by businesses. This particular usage is known as the service industry, and it is a large and growing part of the economy.
Examples of business services include IT services, which are usually outsourced to other firms, telecommunications services that provide the infrastructure for data transmission and internet connections, management services such as a facility management service and professional services like legal and employment services. These are often called the “service sector” of the economy, and they contribute to a large percentage of many countries’ gross domestic products (GDPs).
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Outsourcing is a common practice for companies looking to save money or improve their overall efficiency. Hiring external providers for business services allows internal employees to focus on important and value-adding tasks rather than spend time on non-critical duties. For instance, hiring a delivery service can save a company the trouble of purchasing and transporting office supplies, while a tech support service can fix problems with a computer or network instantly.
Engineering services are another type of business service. These firms can provide design, construction, testing and operation of projects in many different industries. They are usually project-based, so the type of work performed will depend on the specific needs of each client.
Other types of business services include environmental, real estate and utility services. Utility services, for example, may offer water and electricity to companies that need them. They can also provide janitorial and waste management services to keep workspaces clean and safe. Real estate services can include finding workspaces and negotiating rental agreements. Employee-related services are also included in this category, and they may include child care or medical services.
A successful business service business requires all stakeholders to get on board with the concept of providing a value-adding, high-quality experience for customers. This means that not only must the provider deliver on the promises they make, but they must do so at a profitable price for the consumer. In addition, service providers must be able to respond to any changes in demand quickly and effectively.