Business services are actions and activities that benefit a company without delivering a physical product. They comprise a large part of the commercial world, particularly for larger firms. They help companies in many areas including marketing, cost, safety and convenience.
Business service providers are a critical component of the economy and play a major role in business profitability. A variety of sectors fall under the business service umbrella, including: information technology, human resources, financial services and administrative outsourcing.
These businesses are often highly complex and require a high level of expertise in order to provide their service. In addition, they must be able to handle various operational, regulatory and legal matters that arise in the course of doing business. They must also be able to adapt to changing conditions and customer requirements quickly and efficiently.
For example, an IT department may need to deliver services to the employees of other departments as well as external customers. This requires a strong alignment of IT assets and business needs. A shared service model is a popular solution for achieving this, but it isn’t easy to implement. Shared services typically involve consolidation of HR functions, finance operations and IT processes and systems. These initiatives can be stifled by competing priorities and by revenue-generating line managers who overrule shared services managers, despite their best intentions.
In order to build a successful business, it’s important for leaders to understand how these four critical elements work together. The success or failure of a service business comes down to whether it gets these factors right, and it’s worth examining what makes a good one tick.