Business services are activities that benefit businesses without generating tangible goods. They cover a broad spectrum and comprise a large portion of commercial activity. Large companies rely on these services for marketing, production, safety and cost reasons.
They can be provided by a single company or an individual. Often, they are project-based, but can be long-term depending on a business’s needs. The service industry provides a significant amount of employment in many countries and is vital to the economy.
Aside from reducing the workload of employees, business services can improve overall efficiency and profitability. Outsourcing specific tasks allows employees to focus on their core competencies. It also reduces overhead costs.
Services can be intangible (advice/therapy) or physical (construction). Intangible services are more valuable than goods, as they provide a positive impact on a person’s life. For example, a psychological counselor’s advice can positively affect people’s mental health. Unlike physical goods, services cannot be stockpiled for future use. Therefore, they have to be supplied as soon as they are demanded.
Another important feature of business services is their involvement with customers. This can be in the form of direct customer interaction, or indirect customer involvement. For instance, a customer who dithers at a fast-food counter may slow down the process for everyone else behind him. Similarly, an architect’s client’s input on the design of a new facility can have a big influence on the final product. This kind of interaction is known as customer experience.