Business services are all of the activities a company needs to do its work, but that don’t involve delivering a tangible product. That includes advertising, marketing, consultation, logistics (including travel and facilities services), waste handling, shipping, staffing and administrative services, among others. The industry is huge, and it’s growing as companies increasingly outsource these tasks to third parties.
The biggest business service sectors are transportation and warehousing, followed by employment services, IT outsourcing, financial services, information management, data processing and legal services. The industry is a huge employer, with over 100 million employees worldwide and an annual turnover of around $1 trillion. Its value is expected to double by 2030.
For a service business to thrive, it must effectively meet the wants and needs of its target market. That means focusing on the experience customers will have, rather than the qualities of the goods or services themselves. And that requires a different approach to managing the business, one in which managers focus on ensuring all the processes are aligned with the customer’s expectations and journey.
In addition, the way a business delivers its goods and services must be designed to fit the customers’ preferences. For example, a retail store that offers extended hours of operation or friendly interactions will likely attract more loyal customers than competitors that offer lower prices or slower response times. The challenge is especially great for service businesses that offer goods and services on a subscription basis. That’s because the business may not know exactly who its customers are or what they want until it has already gotten their money.
As the demand for business services grows in developing economies, so too does the competition to provide them. This has prompted a number of innovative business models, some of which are described in this article from globalEDGE.
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Some jobs in this sector can be stressful, and if you don’t handle stress well, it might not be the best career path for you. But if you like working with people and enjoy being part of a team, it can be an exciting and rewarding career choice.