Overview of the General Business Services Sector
The provision of business services to consumers or to other businesses is a huge and varied part of most economies. Business services companies do not produce, manufacture or sell products. Instead, they deliver non tangible, expertise or on-site skills to others in return for payment. A decent online business directory will categorise this sector to display business listings of firms offering hundreds of different services.
Consumers or organisations will engage the services of service providers either on an ongoing basis or as needs demand on a project basis. Skills offered by technical design agencies or desktop publishing companies may not be readily available within an organisation, and so on a one off basis, technical design service companies will be contracted to undertake a specific piece of design work, or until a project is complete.
The types of businesses in the general business service sector range from car leasing and car hire services, to makers of models, designers and landscape garden services. These everyday business service companies are generally contracted to complete work to an agreed standard, timetable and for a fixed labour or overall charge.
In the UK, many new companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs participate in the business services sector (which now fuels economic growth and prosperity). Individuals or teams of people with specific skills and experience in a particular industry may find a gap in the market.
The target markets for business to business (B2B) services is hugely diverse and ranges from large multinational companies, to small independent ‘one-man band’ business owners.
For example, a typical small shop opening will require the business services of a local sign writer, business printing and retail store designers. The would-be retailer will not necessarily have the materials, equipment or skills to undertake most business startup tasks themselves. Many rely on local B2B firms to get the shop up and running.
Common form of commercial contracts for the provision of business services will define service levels, costs, responsibilities and termination clauses. Most entrepreneurs need legal services for larger complex negotiations or contracts involving asset purchases or large leasing arrangements. Other owners will avoid legal costs and commit themselves to signing smaller valued contracts. Smaller valued agreements tend to relate to short-term, one-off and low cost general business services (such as faxing services, photocopying or PO BOX services).
Large organisations requiring skills and know how of general business service providers do so in order to concentrate on its core strengths. For example, a care home provider may not directly employ its own gardener to upkeep its surrounding gardens, and instead outsource such a relatively small activity to a local landscape business or garden services company.
Business directories have created a huge opportunity for managers and owners of general business service specialists to promote their business. Customers expect to be able to search for a phone number, website address and map at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a touch screen. A business directory that displays customer testimonials and recommendations is also particularly powerful in generating additional sales leads for members listed. Similarly, social networks have enabled fast and easier methods for reviewing companies and the service they provide.