Business services are various activities that help companies maintain their operations without supplying them with any physical products. They are often outsourced from external companies to cut costs, increase productivity and reach new markets. These services are essential to businesses in a variety of ways, and can be used by both end consumers (B2C) and other businesses (B2B).
The definition of business services is quite broad and may include any activity that helps a company improve its processes or work environment. Some examples of business services are translation and interpretation, janitorial services, transportation and delivery, and even child care. Other examples are employee training, equipment rentals, and IT support. The business services industry is a significant component of the economy, with more than a quarter of all workers employed in it.
While it’s easy to identify what is and isn’t a business service, understanding why companies use them isn’t always as clear. The answer, however, lies in how these services affect a company’s marketing, production and safety.
Companies use business services because they enable them to focus on core competencies and avoid spending resources on non-productive tasks. They also provide access to specialized expertise and experience that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to acquire in-house. Outsourcing business services can also be more cost-effective than hiring employees to perform those same tasks.
Some business services are highly regulated, and must be provided by companies that meet certain criteria. For example, translation and interpreting services must be provided by translators or interpreters who meet a specific set of requirements established by the United States Department of State. Additionally, IT support services must be provided by organizations that have been approved to do so by the United States Department of Commerce.
Other business services are less regulated and can be provided by any organization. For example, a real estate agent can assist a company in finding and renting office space. Similarly, child care providers can offer in-office day care for employees so they can maintain a healthy work-life balance and stay productive at work. Utility service providers can supply water, electricity and gas to company workspaces, allowing employees to work at a steady pace.
Business services can be categorized into four categories based on their functionality: