Business services are activities that benefit businesses without supplying tangible goods. They are an integral part of the commercial world and encompass a significant portion of the industry’s work. Large companies in particular rely on these service providers for their marketing, production, safety and cost control needs.
Services are usually provided by employees in the form of knowledge or expertise rather than products, and they can be delivered either face-to-face or remotely. Unlike goods, which can be stored for future use, services are consumed immediately when they are delivered. For this reason, they can be harder to manage than products.
There are three main types of service businesses: business-to-business, business-to-consumer and personal services. Each type of service business has a different set of challenges when it comes to creating and managing its operations.
Business-to-business, or B2B, service businesses provide assistance to other companies for a flat or hourly rate. These kinds of companies help businesses operate more efficiently, reduce costs or generate more output. Examples of B2B services include an architectural firm providing advice to its clients, a financial services company offering loans and lines of credit or a graphic design firm producing logos, publications and other materials for their client’s business.
A key challenge facing service businesses is the need to incorporate the four core elements of service design: customer, employee, value and physical environment. Although these areas have been studied and analyzed for decades, new questions continue to arise about the role they play in creating profitable service businesses.