Business services refer to activities that help companies but do not involve the sale of a tangible product. These can include everything from human resources to marketing, but some of the most valuable business services are those that provide expert advice and support to companies. These services can improve productivity by freeing up the time of employees to focus on other tasks. They can also be a more cost-effective solution than hiring in-house experts.
Some examples of business services are human resources, legal, information technology, warehousing, insurance and transportation. While these are common services, there is a wide variety of other businesses that offer business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) services. The business service industry is growing rapidly, especially in emerging economies.
Many business service industries are specialized and require advanced training and certification. This is because they deal with sensitive issues such as financial services and the delivery of personal care. These industries often need to comply with governmental regulations and standards. Additionally, they must be able to meet customer demand while remaining profitable.
The most important characteristic of a business service is the ability to help customers achieve their goals. A company that cannot do this well will not last long, regardless of other factors such as its location or price. In addition, a successful business service will have a high level of customer satisfaction and will be able to attract repeat clients and referrals.
Most companies hire out a number of business services. For example, they might need animal control or pest extermination services to maintain their buildings, which helps ensure that the health and safety of employees is protected. They might also need tech support services to handle any technical problems that may arise, such as network failures or computer glitches.
Other business services include janitorial and housekeeping, payroll, secretarial and data entry, and printing and copying. The last of these is particularly important because it can improve a company’s image by making sure that all documents are properly formatted and completed before being sent to clients.
Companies also use business service providers for warehousing and distribution services. These help them manage and store inventory and provide faster shipping times for their clients. Additionally, they can be used for value-added services such as labeling, light assembly and marking prices.
Financial services, which includes banking and investing, are another common type of business service. Companies can also use business loans and lines of credit to cover a range of expenses, from new equipment to expanding their operations.
Unlike manufacturers, which must work to ameliorate productivity, service companies must strive for excellence in all aspects of their operation. This requires managers to change their perspective from focusing on production to focusing on customer experience. A company that does not succeed in this regard will lose market share to competitors with more convenient and friendly service. For example, a customer who dithers at a fast-food counter can delay other customers’ turns and hurt the overall experience of everyone waiting in line.