Business services are work that supports a company’s goals but does not produce a physical commodity. They include tasks like software, shipping, finance and procurement. Businesses use these services when they need assistance from people with specialized expertise or equipment.
The sector employs a wide range of professionals, including engineers, architects, accountants, lawyers and other experts. It also includes technical and administrative support staff. Employment in the industry is dominated by males, but there are a number of women working in this field as well.
In this industry, there are more than 420,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies), with total annual sales of about $950 billion. Almost all segments of this industry have low barriers to entry, so they can be started by individuals with little capital investment.
As with product companies, the key to success in service businesses comes down to how well they meet the needs and desires of an attractive group of customers. That requires managers to shift their focus from the characteristics of an offering to the experiences customers want to have.
To craft a successful service business, managers must understand the four critical elements of service design: delivering value, building systems, leveraging employees and managing customer experience. While the first three are largely universal, what managers do in the fourth area can be difficult to pinpoint, but is crucial to the long-term health of a service business.
Whether you are launching your own consulting business or hiring a team to provide professional services, it’s important to create a strong and recognizable brand. Your business name, logo and website should all be consistent to create a sense of brand identity.
Another way to promote your services is by establishing relationships with local business associations, public relations companies and other organizations that can help you gain the attention of potential clients. You can also make a positive impression through community involvement and public events such as charity runs or festivals.
There are many ways to market your services, but the most effective is by doing your research. By understanding your target audience, you can identify their problems and pain points and what sets your business apart from competitors.
For example, if you’re a financial advisor, it’s important to know how to explain the benefits of your services to potential customers. Then you can offer advice that will help them make smart decisions about their finances.
It’s also important to have a sound business plan in place before you begin your company. This will help you keep track of your progress and stay organized. You can even use a business management software package to make things easier for you and your employees.
The business services sector is one of the largest sectors in the EU, forming 11% of GDP and contributing to European competitiveness. However, it faces persistent legal barriers and low average productivity levels. The EU’s Internal Market legislation and policy actions aim to remove these obstacles and stimulate the growth of the industry.