The Business services industry encompasses a variety of areas from information technology to human resources. In addition, many jobs in this sector can be conducted remotely, providing flexibility for employees and their employers.
Companies rely on business services to handle tasks that don’t fall within their area of expertise or capability. For example, a business may need animal control or pest extermination services to deal with an infestation of rodents. A business may also hire a company to perform maintenance on its property or help it resolve technology issues.
In contrast to product businesses, where the physical reality of a product creates a strong base on which to build a business description, service businesses tend to be more abstract and less easy to describe. For example, it is difficult to tell someone what a management consultant does for a living without the person being there to experience the consulting relationship firsthand.
Another distinguishing feature of service businesses is that they cannot be stored and resold like products. The production of a service and the consumption of the service are generally simultaneous, as is the case for teaching by teachers or treatment by doctors.
Managing a service business requires a strong leadership style. For example, to ensure that competitive autonomy of service models does not erode collective value, revenue-generating line managers should be willing to overrule shared services managers in strategic distress situations. This leadership style also allows for the transfer of business knowledge between managers, which helps maintain quality in times of change.