Business services are work activities that assist organizations but do not produce a tangible commodity. Often, businesses rely on business services to perform tasks that require specialized expertise or equipment that isn’t available within the company.
Some examples of business services are accounting, consulting, transportation, cleaning, hospitality, travel and maintenance. These services are often referred to as professional services because they are specialized and performed by professionals with a commercial purpose.
Service-based industries are a growing segment of the economy that generate revenue from providing services to companies and consumers. These businesses help other businesses in a variety of ways, including operating more efficiently, reducing costs or generating more output.
The business services sector is the largest in the European Union (EU), contributing 11% of EU GDP, and a major driver of European competitiveness. They also play a key role in’servitisation’ of the economy, by enabling the use of new combinations of goods and services to enhance value.
When a large corporation consolidates its support functions, it can benefit from shared services, which operate as a business within a business and utilize a well-defined infrastructure to deliver higher value service delivery. This allows for a more centralized management of the support functions and provides employees with opportunities to develop careers in their area of expertise.
A centralized management of support functions, like a shared services organization, can create efficiencies and cost savings for the entire company. It can also increase employee satisfaction by allowing them to work on projects that require their expertise, rather than relying on other employees to do their jobs.
Software is a critical business service that enhances features and upgrades security for computers and other technological devices. These services are important for ensuring that a business’s technology works properly and keeps its employees productive.
Information technology is a critical business service that supports many other business services, such as procurement, shipping and finance. A good IT service aligns IT assets with the needs of a company’s employees and customers, supporting business goals and facilitating profitability.
B2B services are a form of international trade where a business carries out transactions with another company for a fee. These transactions take place between a wholesaler and manufacturer, or a retailer and a supplier.
‘Other business services’ is the largest of the twelve main service categories of the Extended Balance of Payments Services classification, with 25 % of total exports and 33 % of imports in 2021.
‘Other business services’ include a wide range of sectors, from research and development (R&D) services to professional and management consulting services. The ‘Other business services’ category is also a significant contributor to the international trade in services in the EU, with the United States and the United Kingdom being the main partners for exports and imports in this sub-category.