Business services are intangible activities that satisfy the wants of consumers. They do not involve the production of any tangible commodity, and are usually delivered directly to consumers without any intermediate steps (except for the transport of some goods such as fuel or food). Business services can range from in-person, in-home and in-office personal or professional services, such as beauty services, massage therapy, home repairs, cleaning and private fitness instruction, to more traditional business-to-business services like marketing advice and financial planning, consulting, and information technology services.
As the number of service businesses grows, a growing body of research is helping to shape management techniques for these businesses. While much of the same tool kit that works well for product companies will also work for service firms, whole new areas of practice have opened up involving the roles of customers and require completely different approaches.
During difficult economic times, consumers often cut back on services and focus on the products they need to survive and prosper. This may result in reduced revenue for your service business, and you should evaluate your business to see if you are providing valuable services that customers will continue to want.
Businesses rely on a variety of business services, including information technology services, accounting, and market research. Some business services are delivered by dedicated service delivery groups within an organization, while others are delivered by a third party, such as logistics and fulfillment for online sales. A successful service business requires excellent customer service and high-quality service delivery, efficiency and productivity, and a strong focus on your target market.