Business services are activities that a company requires to function but does not produce or deliver as part of its product offerings. They might include information technology (IT), accounting, marketing and other services a firm might require but does not produce itself. Examples of these activities might be providing a consultant to help with a particular project or hiring an agency to handle social media management or content writing.
Companies need business services to operate, and the industry is important for many economies. It contributes to GDP in most countries and includes services like banking, insurance, transportation and cleaning. The service economy is the dominant form of economic activity in most developing countries, where it often accounts for more than 50% of gross domestic product.
Some of the most common business services are accounting, IT, consulting, and marketing. These are the types of services that businesses outsource to third-party providers because they do not have the resources to perform them in-house. These activities can be delivered online or in person, and they may involve one or more people.
Another category of business services is professional services, which are provided by people with expertise in a particular industry. These might be lawyers, architects or marketing consultants. Unlike other types of business service, these professionals do not sell an actual product but instead sell their knowledge and ideas to clients. This type of business service can be very valuable to a company, and it can allow a company to focus on its core products and services without worrying about the supporting infrastructure.
Outsourcing a business service allows a company to get the work done at a lower cost than doing it in-house. It also allows a company to focus on its core competencies and reach new markets. Moreover, it can help reduce its overhead costs. A company that outsources a business service needs to make sure it has an agreement in place that defines what work will be performed, how much the provider will charge, and when payment is due.
A business that provides a business service must be able to provide consistency in its performance and delivery. This can be difficult because of human nature and because a client’s demands or expectations might change over time. For example, a customer who repeatedly asks for a different food item at a fast-food counter might affect the experience of other customers waiting behind him.
Unlike products, which can be mass-produced with relatively little investment in fixed assets, services are often customized and require the presence of skilled workers. For this reason, a successful service business often depends on having a solid team and a robust training program for employees. Training programs should cover everything from policies and procedures to the importance of listening to clients’ feedback. They should also cover topics like ethics and how to build trust with a client. Lastly, training programs should teach employees how to manage the risks associated with certain business services.