A business service is an intangible service provided by one company to another that supports a company’s core activities. This category of services includes those related to a company’s operations like finance, accounting, transportation and storage, insurance, communication and other support services. In addition, the term business service can be applied to intangible services provided by companies for the purpose of attracting new customers or expanding existing ones. In general, the goal of a business service is to improve overall efficiency and increase profitability.
Many businesses require multiple business services to operate effectively. For example, a large corporation may need to hire accountants to handle their finances, human resources professionals to recruit employees and managers to oversee various divisions of the company. Companies also need animal control and pest extermination services to address issues that might affect employee health or safety, maintenance services to fix malfunctioning equipment and technology support professionals to help employees with computer problems.
While the concept of business services is broad and encompasses a wide range of industries, some specific examples include janitorial and cleaning services, human resource management, legal services, accounting, architecture and IT. Business services are a critical component of the European economy and account for 11% of all European GDP. Additionally, these services are increasingly being used to enhance the value of goods and products through new combinations of goods and services, thus contributing to what is known as the “servitisation” of Europe’s economy.
A key aspect of business services is their inseparability from the product or service being provided. In contrast to goods, which can be stored and resold at a later date, services are delivered and consumed simultaneously. In other words, a customer who is not satisfied with the level of service received from a restaurant will probably not return to dine there again. In the same way, an architect who provides poor customer service in the course of designing a building might lose future projects.
Another important attribute of business services is their ability to be outsourced. Depending on the type of business, outsourcing certain tasks can be more cost effective than hiring an in-house team to perform the same work. It can also provide greater flexibility for companies that have seasonal output fluctuations.
A career in business services can be rewarding for those with the right skills, qualifications and training. Some jobs in this field require no more than a high school diploma or GED certificate, while others might require a bachelor’s degree or even a graduate degree. With a wide variety of sectors to choose from, there is sure to be a position that suits any skill set or educational background. In addition, many jobs in this sector are now available as part-time or remote positions, making them a flexible and rewarding option for those looking to work from home. This article originally appeared on The Motley Fool and was written by Jen Bateman and Sarah Fritsche.