Business services are a wide variety of services that are primarily sold to businesses or organizations. Examples include a utility service like a solar panel installer that bills commercial customers based on their power consumption, facility management services, professional services such as legal advice or IT consulting, and even work as a service where an independent contractor develops software for a firm.
Technology and digitalization have transformed the business services sector in recent years. Many services are now delivered over the Internet, via cloud computing platforms or through mobile business apps. Business applications can also help companies automate processes and manage data faster, which frees up valuable resources for other business priorities.
In addition to new technologies, the success or failure of a business service often comes down to how well the core elements of service design pull together. This article outlines an approach to crafting a profitable service business based on four critical components:
Service businesses differ from other types of companies because they don’t produce tangible goods or sell directly to consumers. Instead, they provide intangible value to other companies and individuals in exchange for payment or the right to use the company’s facilities, products or brand. This distinction makes them an important part of the tertiary sector in economic theory and includes industries such as transportation, staffing, waste management and information technology. For example, a client might hire an architectural firm to design the interior of a new office, but the real value created by this work comes from how well the architect communicates the purpose of the project to the clients and other team members.