Business services are activities that benefit companies without supplying a physical product. Often, large firms rely on these services for marketing, production, cost and convenience reasons. The definition of business service is broad, but some examples include food services that cater to industry conferences, IT support for a company’s computer systems and engineering firm that test products to make sure they meet standards.
Some business services help improve employees’ quality of life, such as on-site day care and fitness facilities. Others save time and money, like delivery services that ship supplies directly to a company or transportation services that help companies get their products to customers. Utility services like electricity, water and gas are also considered business services because they keep workplaces running efficiently.
The business service industry accounts for about 9 percent of the economy, according to the Department of Commerce. There are about 420,000 companies that provide these services, and many offer lucrative opportunities for employment.
However, it is important to remember that these businesses are different from product and retail industries in that the value of a service is intangible. This means that it is difficult to compare the profitability of a business based on revenue and earnings. Instead, it is critical to consider four other aspects of a business—customer satisfaction, employee retention, innovation and agility. These are the factors that will determine whether or not a business can succeed.