A business service is an activity that involves the provision of a commercially useful task to another party. Services can include professional support such as accounting, transportation, cleaning, hospitality, traveling or maintenance, and they may be performed by a third-party provider or by an individual.
Unlike products, services are not transferable because they cannot be stored for future use and are only delivered when required. This is because a service is an intangible product that needs to be done exclusively each time it is needed and not just produced at one time.
Service providers typically sell directly to customers, rather than to end-users like manufacturers. They help their clients achieve a goal that they would not be able to accomplish on their own due to lack of expertise or resources. Examples of B2C service businesses include accountants, lawyers, computer technicians, consultants and insurance brokers.
The industry of business services consists of 420,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) that collectively have sales of $950 billion annually in the United States. The US business services industry is dominated by large, established businesses that have access to a wide range of resources.
Technology and Digitalization
In recent years, technological advances have changed the nature of business services dramatically, transforming the sector from an analog world to an increasingly digital one. These innovations have enabled businesses to provide many services through web platforms and systems, or through mobile apps.
This shift has resulted in the emergence of numerous startup companies offering innovative, flexible and sustainable solutions for organizations that have adapted to this new dynamic. These technologies have also encouraged companies to outsource their services, allowing them to focus on more strategic areas that require their skills and knowledge.
Designing Successful Business Services
Whether a service is customer-facing or internal to an organization, it must be designed to create a good experience for the customers that consume it. This means understanding the Service Value Proposition for each of your services and the business context in which they operate.
The best way to think about design is to start with the customer’s perspective. A service company can’t survive long if it isn’t attractive to customers and provides an experience they want.
Consumers usually look at services as extras in tough economic times, so it’s important to be able to demonstrate that your service is more valuable than the competition. This includes ensuring your service offers a unique set of benefits to your customer that they can’t get from other competitors, such as convenience, a friendly experience or a lower price point.
In order to create a service that will be successful, your business must be in the right location. This is especially true if you’re starting a new business that doesn’t already have an existing physical location.
You must also be prepared to invest in your service. This includes acquiring the necessary equipment and hiring employees.
Creating and managing a service-oriented business can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding and profitable. In addition to the traditional advantages of a service business, you also have a number of other unique benefits, such as a lower barrier to entry, a lower overhead and less risk than a product-oriented business. You can also benefit from a better work-life balance and a more productive workforce.