Business services are activities that help companies without supplying them with physical products. Examples include a lawyer’s legal advice or an accountant’s financial statements. These types of services are valuable to companies for marketing, production, safety and cost reasons, as well as for convenience and productivity. They can’t be stored or sold later, as is the case with physical products. Instead, a company must provide the service to its customers immediately in exchange for payment.
There are three categories of business services: business-to-business, business-to-consumer and personal. Each of these categories has different characteristics. Business-to-business, or B2B, services are provided to businesses for a flat or hourly fee. These businesses assist their clients in operating their own businesses or reducing costs. B2B services are often intangible and can’t be stored or sold later, like a lawyer’s advice or an accountant’s financial statements.
A business-to-consumer, or B2C, service is provided to individual consumers. These consumers might be purchasing a product from the business, or might simply need information about the company’s products and services. B2C services are intangible and can’t be stored for future use, as is the case with a salesperson’s knowledge or an advertisement.
Some of the most popular B2C services are real estate services, computer repair and software development. Other common B2C services are janitorial, courier and waste removal. Unlike B2B, which is often performed at the client’s location, B2C services are performed at the provider’s location.
The professional and business services supersector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The category includes such occupations as accounting, law, human resources and information technology. It is projected to grow by 2.1% from 2020 to 2030.
Many jobs in business services can be done from home, which can make them an appealing choice for people who prefer to work remotely or have flexible schedules. However, these types of jobs can be stressful and fast-paced. If you don’t handle stress well, this may not be the right career path for you.
The success or failure of a service business depends on getting four critical elements right. The service model, the customer experience, the employees’ skills and motivation, and the supporting organizational culture all play a role in whether a service business succeeds or fails. To craft a winning service strategy, managers need to understand how these factors interact. This article provides a framework for thinking about these issues, and offers suggestions on how to get them right. The authors of this article suggest that successful service businesses focus on the experiences that their customers want to have, rather than the specific characteristics of their products and employees. This approach can be a powerful tool for designing a winning service business. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at each of these critical elements and see how they differ from traditional product-based approaches to business design.