Business services are a subset of economic services that support businesses rather than directly deliver goods or tangible assets. A wide range of services can fall under this category, from architecture and IT consulting to employment, facility management and legal services. Business services are used by companies of all sizes and sectors, including the smallest start-ups to global giants.
While some of these services are more clearly defined, others can be more difficult to categorize. For example, software is generally classified as an IT service even though it can be used for a number of different applications. The key distinction is that these services provide a benefit to the company and its customers in the form of increased productivity or lowered costs.
Unlike physical products, which can be stored and sold for use at some point in the future, services are provided immediately upon demand. This makes them more susceptible to disruptions. For example, a customer who dithers while ordering at a fast-food counter can slow down the service for everyone else behind him.
The service sector is an important component of the European economy. Contributing 11% to GDP, it encompasses a wide variety of industries, from technical services and architecture to employment and facility management. It also includes the increasingly common practice of adding value to traditional industrial products through new combinations of goods and services.
Providing a business with the skills and expertise it needs to function well is an important aspect of this industry. This can be done through a variety of means, from hiring employees to contracting out work to specialized agencies. Companies can improve efficiency by focusing on their core competencies and outsourcing the rest.
A service-based business can be run by a single person, as part of a small team or in a large company with multiple offices. Some of these companies offer a broad range of business services, while others specialize in specific areas, such as marketing or finance. The latter types of companies are often considered to be business-to-business, or B2B, companies.
Financial services are a key element of any business. From banking to investment, these companies help businesses manage their money. They can help a business get the funds it needs to expand, buy new equipment or cover other expenses. Some common business-to-business (B2B) financial services include merchant cash advances, invoice factoring and business loans.
As the world becomes more digital, companies are increasingly relying on business services to stay competitive. This is especially true in the tech sector, where many services are becoming digitally delivered and highly customizable. These services can include software and online data storage as well as more traditional offerings such as accounting, IT consulting and legal services. In addition to increasing efficiency, these services can lower costs and reduce risk for businesses by allowing them to focus on their core strengths.