Business services are a significant sector of the economy. They are one of the largest service sectors and contribute 11% of the European Union’s gross domestic product (GDP). They are used by all types of businesses as inputs in production or to enhance the value of their products. They also support the functioning of other service sectors and are at the heart of what is being called’servitisation’ of the European economy.
The term ‘business services’ is a broad umbrella that includes all activities that help companies carry out their business operations. They are distinguished from other industries and business models in that their primary value is intangible and they do not result in the sale of a physical commodity. Examples of business services include computer services like data processing and software, legal services, management consulting and temporary worker services.
Because the primary value of a service is intangible, it does not lend itself to traditional pricing mechanisms. In addition, the nature of a service is such that it cannot be stored and it must be produced on demand. This limits the opportunities for economies of scale, and it makes it very difficult to compare prices across providers.
For these reasons, the profitability of a service business is often determined by its ability to create strong customer relationships. To do so, it must differentiate itself by offering a unique experience that appeals to customers and generates customer loyalty.
This requires a significant change in management thinking and practice. It demands that managers adopt a new mindset and develop new skills, particularly in planning and design. In addition, the challenge of managing a service business is compounded by the fact that there are few best practices to guide its development.
While the challenges of a service business are complex, they can be managed with a tool kit similar to that used by product-oriented companies. However, some of the fundamental questions that must be asked are different from those that apply to product companies, such as how to define a distinctive brand image and what it takes to manage a team of employees in a highly interdependent way.
Professional and business services are a large industry that encompasses many distinct job types. The data below represents a snapshot of the number of full-time equivalent jobs in the industry, the number of jobs lost or gained and the unemployment rate for these workers.
This data is based on survey responses from employers in the industry that provide professional and business services, such as accounting firms, advertising agencies and law offices. The majority of the workers in these fields are women. These industries are expected to grow at a faster rate than most other sectors. This is due to the need for more women in leadership positions and the growing demand for these services from consumers. This growth is also driven by the growing need for these businesses to expand internationally, which can require more and more workers in different areas of the world.