Service Business: Definition

Business - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Service businesses are enterprises that are established and maintained for the purpose of providing services (rather than or in addition to products) to private and/or commercial customers. The American Marketing Association defined services as "activities, benefits, or satisfactions which are offered for sale or are provided in connection with the sale of goods."

The overall service industry is regarded as an already robust one that should enjoy considerable healthy growth rates in the future as the United States and other nations continue to move from manufacturing-based economies to technologically advanced service economies. "The service sector is a most attractive arena for the aspiring entrepreneur, " confirmed Irving Burstiner in Start & Run Your Own Profitable Service Business. "Many service enterprises can be launched with far less money than the amount of capital typically needed to open a manufacturing, wholesale, or retail business. Many new service operators are able to begin at home, thus avoiding the expense of renting, buying, or constructing business premises. Moreover, end-of-year earnings in the service sector compare favorably with the profit margins enjoyed by most other types of enterprise." In addition, service businesses enjoy several other advantages over their brethren in other business areas. For one thing, they tend to be local, and they often do not have to contend with the national or international corporate giants that roam across the manufacturing, retail, and wholesale industries. Moreover, they generally do not have to make the same levels of investment in inventory, raw materials, finished goods, operations, or production management as do firms engaged in manufacturing, wholesaling, or retailing.

Of course, initial investment requirements can vary significantly from sector to sector. While some service businesses, like bookkeeping, house painting, child care, lawn care, housekeeping, and tutoring, can all be launched with a modest investment by individuals with special skills or knowledge in those areas, other service businesses require a far greater investment of money. Attorneys, doctors, and other professionals who make their living by providing their services to clients make heavy up-front expenditures (tuition), while entrepreneurs interested in launching service businesses that require extensive investments in facilities and/or equipment (hotels, laundromats, car rental agencies, nursing care facilities, medical offices, etc.) have to make big up-front expenditures of their own, albeit in different form.

Factors in Service Industry Growth

Researchers point to a number of factors that have accounted for the surge in service business startups over the last few decades. Many of these factors reflect fundamental changes in societal structure and character. W. F. Schoell and J. T. Ivy, authors of Marketing: Contemporary Concepts and Practices, cited the following as major reasons for service industry expansion in North America:

  1. Increased affluence—As consumers have raised their standard of living, they have increasingly chosen to purchase services such as lawn maintenance and carpet cleaning that they previously took care of themselves.
  2. Increased leisure time—Some segments of the population have been able to garner larger chunks of free time; this trend, coupled with increased wealth, has spurred a higher demand for certain service businesses such as travel agencies and resorts, adult education courses, guide services, golf courses, health clubs, etc.
  3. Changing work force demographics—Over the past few decades, increasing numbers of women have entered the work force. This has spurred greater demand for services in such realms as child care, housekeeping, drycleaning, etc.
  4. Greater life expectancy—Another development that has had a particular impact on certain service sectors, particularly in the health care industries.
  5. Increased complexity of products/technological advancement—High-tech products have created a corresponding increase in demand for specialists who can fix and maintain those products (computers, cars, electronic equipment, etc.).
  6. Increased complexity of life—Many service sectors have enjoyed tremendous growth because of their orientation toward helping individuals and businesses stay on top of the many facets of today's fast-paced society. Tax preparers, psychiatrists and counselors, and legal advisors are good examples.
  7. Increased environmental awareness—General trends toward increased ecological sensitivity and enlightened natural resource management practices have spurred growth in environmental service sectors (waste management, recycling, environmental advocacy).
  8. Increased number of available products—Technological advances have spurred development of service industries in such areas as programming.

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2008-01-07 09:27:10 by Tobysmom

Interesting, because the Service Dog Definition

the ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government. A service animal is not a pet. Any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards other guests or customers may be excluded from a business.
The first step is getting a letter from your therapist or doctor saying:
(Name) is my patient

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