Business services are the specialized activities that support the core operations of companies yet do not create or deliver any tangible products. These include IT support, accounting and marketing services. Outsourcing these services can save businesses money and allow employees to focus on more important tasks.
The business services sector is an essential part of the European economy, contributing 11% of GDP in 2014. It is a subset of economic services and shares many of their characteristics, including intangibility and inseparability from the physical product. Business services are also increasingly being used to enhance the value of products through new combinations of goods and services.
In the business service industry, the customer is often directly involved in operational processes and may influence how the service is delivered, for example, when an architect consults with a client to better understand their needs, this can affect the efficiency and quality of the final building design. Additionally, customers may be able to influence the cost of a service through their own choices and preferences (e.g., a company that buys fewer marketing services will probably have lower operating costs).
Establishments primarily engaged in providing business services are not included in other industries but instead classified in the professional and business services supersector. This category includes a wide range of businesses, such as: