Business services are a major industry segment and encompass a large portion of the commercial world. They are activities that help a firm to operate, but do not result in the production of a tangible good. These activities range from providing translation and interpretation to cleaning and maintenance. Large firms rely on business services to perform work that they cannot do internally.
Business-to-business services are a type of business service that takes place between businesses rather than with consumers or governments. For example, a car manufacturer may perform business-to-business transactions with wholesaler companies that sell the tires and rubber hoses used to make cars. A tax preparation service is a business-to-business service that prepares income taxes for individuals, families or entities at an affordable rate.
The term “business service” is a broad one and includes many different types of work. Some of the most common business services include marketing, accounting, consulting, logistics and administrative support. Other popular business services are cleaning and maintenance, security, transportation and data management. The business services industry is a vital part of the economy, and it is constantly growing.
It is important to note that services do not always produce a physical commodity, and this is what distinguishes them from goods. Unlike goods, which can be stored for future use, services are consumed as they are provided. For example, a car rental is considered a service because the vehicle is not being purchased; it is simply being leased for a period of time. Other examples of services include teaching by teachers and medical treatment by doctors.
Creating a profitable service business requires a solid plan and consistent execution. Successful service businesses have a strong working model that incorporates four critical elements:
1. Customer Experience: Make sure your employees are trained well and have clear standards to follow when dealing with customers. This will allow you to provide quality customer service and maintain a positive company image.
2. Productivity: Incorporate processes that encourage teamwork, collaboration and communication. This will improve efficiency and reduce costs. 3. Customer Value: Focus on what matters most to your customers and deliver on your promises. This will increase customer satisfaction and boost your bottom line. 4. Operational Excellence: Develop and implement best practices in your daily operations. This will ensure your business is efficient, effective and cost-effective.
Having a comprehensive business services strategy is essential to the success of any organization. The more you understand the concept of business services, the easier it will be to create a competitive advantage for your organization. By incorporating these four key concepts into your strategy, you will be well on your way to becoming a business services leader. For more information on how to create a successful business services strategy, contact me today! I look forward to speaking with you. —John L. Brown, PhD, CMC, CPIM, is an associate professor of technology management and director of the business services research group at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.