Business services are the activities that support a company’s operations but do not produce a physical commodity. They can be as general as IT-related work or as specific as designing a logo or improving employee communication. Business services can also include a wide range of supplemental labor that enables a company to focus on its core expertise while hiring outside firms for other needs.
A good example of a business service is a third-party logistics firm that handles fulfillment for eCommerce sales. Another example would be a consulting firm that helps a business plan its future growth or implement new strategies. In addition to completing these types of tasks, a business service can also be as specific as providing anti-virus protection or updating software applications.
The biggest category of business services is financial services which includes everything from banking to insurance. Many businesses require this type of support to grow and thrive. Whether it’s a business loan, line of credit, merchant cash advance, or even a payroll processing service, the financial services industry is an essential part of every economy.
The most important part of running a business service is having an effective leadership team in place. A successful service business requires a balance between the competitive autonomy of individual service models and the shared value created by the system. Without strong centralized management, revenue-generating line managers will often overrule shared services managers, and this can undermine the performance of the overall model.