Business services are a recognisable subset of economic services, but differ in that they focus on the building of service systems to deliver value to customers rather than just on satisfying demand. The success or failure of a business service business depends on four things, writes James O’Reilly in this article.
The first is the ability to understand and define service as a unique offering. The second is the ability to design service for success, which requires a change in thinking from product designers who focus on the characteristics that buyers will value to service managers who think about how to provide the right service to each customer.
Examples of business services include accounting, marketing and consulting services. They can be outsourced to third parties if a company doesn’t have the expertise in-house, and it is often more cost-effective than hiring full-time employees.
These providers can also help improve productivity by allowing employees to focus on core tasks and reducing time spent on nonvalue-added activities. In addition, they can scale their operations up or down quickly in response to fluctuations in output.
Other types of business services include human resources, legal and administrative services, information technology (IT), logistics and waste management. Companies may also hire professional services such as graphic or audio/visual design, which can be outsourced to firms with specialized skills. Lastly, many companies need translation or interpretation services to deal with employees or clients from other countries or who speak different languages.