• Dr. Anna

Service With a Smile

All enterprises require some form of staff services to survive. The primary function of any business is delivering the product to the customer on time at the agreed upon quality. Support services help to deliver the product, either physically or digitally, by monitoring financial resources, supporting labor needs, maintaining information systems, and providing contractual protection. Initial impressions of internet capabilities suggested that personal, one-on-one, support services possessed immunity to internet-based substitutes, but for service providers for small and medium-sized businesses, this is hardly the case.

Given the widespread online accessibility to templates associated with legal services and cloud-based bookkeeping applications offering step by step instructions, the potential for

local service providers to feel threatened by these competitive encroachments is significant. Likewise, free or open source applications along with free or nearly free online software training vehicles expose the development specialization to the general population with cheap and widespread access to the necessary skills. Staffing websites proliferate on the internet, and new job posting sites emerge continuously as some specialized sites grow in popularity. With these developments comes massive competitive pressure on pricing so that subscription prices fall, and new players enter the market. The local service provider consulting with small and medium-sized businesses can maintain relevancy by identifying and providing services that extend beyond both traditional and web-based models or by partnering, when available, with the web-based services seeking to replace them.