Business services are intangible products that businesses sell to other organizations (B2B) and end consumers (B2C). These businesses offer a wide range of services, including advertising, consulting, logistics (including travel and facilities), waste handling, staffing, shipping, and administration.
Service-business management is a key topic in the field of business strategy. Unlike product companies, service businesses often have more diverse strategic management requirements.
The first challenge for a service business manager is to develop a working plan that incorporates all four elements of service design: the offering, the people and processes, the experience, and the system. Traditional techniques have proven durable, but whole new areas involving the roles of customers have opened up that demand fresh approaches to management.
A service business must also build a strong relationship with its customers and use it as a source of competitive advantage. It can do this by focusing on the needs of its customers and by providing a high-quality, value-added experience.
Many business service companies operate with low barriers to entry, as they can be operated in-house or with little capital investment. This has made them an attractive target for competition.
The EU has launched several policy initiatives to stimulate the growth of business services in the European Union, with the aim of removing legal obstacles and stimulating competition. These include the Services DirectiveEN***, which allows businesses to more easily establish in other EU countries or provide services across borders. Moreover, there is a EU Internal Market for services (web archive), which aims to reduce regulatory and administrative barriers for the industry.