Business services are the supporting activities that help the core business operations. These activities include consulting, property management, software, information technology, waste handling, shipping and administrative services. Companies use these services to improve productivity and efficiency. In addition, businesses may also outsource some of these services. Outsourcing helps businesses focus on their core competencies and reduce costs. Some common service business trends include virtual services, sustainable services and mobile services.
A successful service business depends on four critical elements: customer-centric design, a culture of continuous improvement, efficient and effective processes, and the ability to measure and manage performance. The business model for a service business differs from that of a product business, and managers must adopt new thinking and techniques to build successful service-based enterprises.
As the global economy continues to shift from a manufacturing-based model to one based on services, more and more firms are choosing to run their operations as service businesses rather than product companies. This trend is driven by many factors, including the lower costs associated with running a service business and the fact that it can be easier to adapt to changing market conditions.
Unlike a product business, which requires large investments in factory equipment and materials, a service-based firm can be launched with very little capital. This enables more small entrepreneurs to enter the marketplace and compete against larger competitors. In addition, a service business can be more easily adapted to meet changing demand and to satisfy unique consumer needs.
The key to a successful service business is to focus on what the consumer values and provide quality services that go above and beyond expectations. To do this, it is important to train employees in the best practices of customer service and create standard operating procedures that must be followed. In addition, a service business should focus on a niche market to differentiate itself from competitors and attract more customers.
Another crucial characteristic of a successful service business is to ensure that the services are delivered at the right time, and this means responding to changes in the market quickly. This is because unlike the production of physical products, which can be stored and sold at a later date, service production and consumption occur simultaneously.
The service-oriented approach to enterprise architecture provides a way to structure automated business logic in a manner that enables it to be efficiently re-modeled in response to change. This is achieved by modeling business processes as orchestrations, which can then be composed of other services. In the Web services world, this is accomplished through the use of service composition languages such as WS-BPEL. By abstracting process logic, highly agnostic business services (agnostic in that they do not contain logic associated with any particular business process) can be created and shared across multiple orchestrations.