Business services are intangible activities that support the operations, infrastructure and productivity of businesses and organizations. These industries include those related to information technology (IT), finance, insurance, transportation and warehousing, as well as management consulting, advertising and marketing. These industries are essential for business enterprises, as they provide a wide range of services that help them meet their objectives. These range from providing the necessary capital for a company to manage its finances, to offering advice on top level business strategy such as mergers and acquisitions.
Outsourcing business services to outside providers allows companies to focus on their core competencies, while avoiding the cost and overhead associated with hiring and training in-house personnel. They also have the advantage of accessing highly specialized expertise and experience that may be unavailable to them in-house. Often, these external providers are more cost effective than in-house employees, as they can scale up or down their services in response to the demands of the company.
A company can outsource any of its services that it does not need to perform internally, including research and development, human resources, accounting, marketing, sales, customer service, public relations, manufacturing, design, and engineering. In addition to reducing internal costs, outsourcing can enable a business to increase its market share by tapping into the expertise of the third party supplier.
Many of the same types of people work in business services as work in manufacturing and retail. However, the responsibilities of these jobs are very different. For example, a sales professional might spend a great deal of time in the field, meeting with potential customers and providing them with a demonstration of the product or service they offer. This job requires a high degree of interpersonal interaction, and it must be performed in a way that is respectful of the customer’s time.
Another aspect of business services that distinguishes them from tangible goods is that the production and consumption of the service occur simultaneously. This is unlike the manufacturing process, in which the finished product can be stored for later sale. Similarly, a customer’s satisfaction with a business service can only be determined by the experience they have when using it.
In addition, a business service’s value can be determined by how easy it is to use and how quickly it provides the desired results. This is why it is important to continuously improve the delivery of a business service, as customer satisfaction and retention are critical factors in business success.
This section presents data on employment and unemployment in the industry, including the number of workers, total number of hours worked, average hourly earnings, gross job gains and losses, and projected occupational employment change. These statistics are derived from employer or establishment surveys, as well as from national surveys of households.