The business services industry is a huge sector of the economy. Companies in this sector provide a wide range of non-financial services, such as marketing, consultation, logistics (including travel and facilities services), staffing services, waste handling, shipping, administration, and many more. In fact, it would be hard for a company to operate without using at least some of these services. Companies in this sector can be found all over the world and operate in a variety of industries. Examples of business service providers include law firms, accountants, digital marketing agencies, healthcare providers, and financial institutions.
The Office of Supply Chain, Professional and Business Services (PBS) within ITA works to promote and advocate for the interests of U.S. providers of business services in global trade negotiations with foreign governments. This includes ensuring that the provisions in the trade agreements cover the full spectrum of business services and that they are aligned with the needs of U.S. businesses and consumers. The PBS team also serves as a key source of expertise on services issues during discussions of the United States’ trade agreements with the European Union and other foreign countries.
What is the difference between goods and services?
A good is a physical product, while a service is something that can’t be stockpiled. For example, a restaurant provides food—a physical good—but also gives its customers the ambience and service, such as a waiter taking orders, setting tables, and clearing the plates. Most modern theorists define a continuum with pure service on one end and pure commodity goods on the other end. Most products fall in between these two extremes.
In general, a business that operates in the service industry is a business that doesn’t produce any tangible goods or products, and is instead primarily engaged in offering knowledge and skills to other businesses. This is in contrast to the manufacturing industry, which produces goods for sale to consumers.
Some examples of business services include business-to-business transactions, such as a car manufacturing company performing B2B transactions with a wholesaler for parts and materials, business-to-consumer sales, such as a retail store selling automobiles to its own customers, and the janitorial and cleaning services provided by businesses in their own buildings or facilities.
Some of these services are even offered remotely. For example, a company may use a virtual assistant to help manage their accounting or human resources functions. This can save on cost, and can be more efficient than having an in-house employee perform these tasks. Other remote services include childcare, pet care, and health and fitness. These services can help employees maintain a better work-life balance and focus on their core jobs. In addition, these services can help companies avoid unnecessary expenses by reducing their need for physical space. They can also help reduce their environmental footprint by reducing the amount of materials they need to use, such as office supplies and cardboard containers. The demand for these services is growing as more and more businesses seek to outsource some of their operations.