Business services are activities that benefit businesses without supplying them with physical products. Companies rely on these services for marketing, production, safety, cost and convenience purposes. They can be provided by third parties or by the company itself. Examples of business services include IT support, accounting and human resources. These services can be delivered in person, through mail or over the phone. Unlike manufacturing, where the production and consumption of goods takes place simultaneously, business services require only the provisioning of the service and the payment for it.
The Office of Supply Chain, Professional and Business Services at the International Trade Administration advocates for and promotes the interests of U.S. providers of professional and business services worldwide. In addition, it oversees a number of U.S.-government funded programs that support these services, such as the Global Innovation through Technology (GIT) program and the Business Services Initiative.
Business services can be delivered to companies, end consumers or both, depending on the type of business and its needs. For example, a company can outsource its shipping needs to a business-to-business (B2B) shipping service provider or use an in-house logistics team to manage the shipping process. A company may also hire an outside service to perform its accounting functions or a firm of designers to create logos, packaging and publications.
In the B2C market, a company might offer a personal shopping service, where a company employee helps customers select merchandise or provide information about new product lines and promotions. Companies that offer business-to-business services might offer consulting and IT support or provide a database for researching markets and customers.
A business services industry is expanding as the world becomes increasingly interconnected and the demand for these activities rises. These services are in demand not only in the United States but throughout the world, including emerging economies such as China and India. For example, many companies that manufacture their own products outsource their warehousing and distribution functions to business-to-business (B2B) service providers. This way, the manufacturers can focus on their core competencies while allowing a specialist to handle their non-core business functions.
Careers in business services are a good fit for people who have interpersonal and communication skills and enjoy interacting with others. People in this field can save their employers time and money by coming up with creative solutions to problems. They often work in fast-paced environments, which makes it important that they have well-developed stress management skills.
Some of the biggest businesses in the world are involved in providing business services, so this is a great career path for those who want to make a big impact. While the benefits of a career in this field are significant, there are also some drawbacks to consider. A career in business services requires a lot of interaction with clients, which can be stressful if you don’t enjoy collaborating with other people. In addition, the demands of the job can be intense and require long hours.