The business services sector in the Netherlands is back on its feet. Growth stagnated in 2013, but today a tentative upward trend is evident. This is due in part to the ever better and more effective application of ICT, which is creating lower costs, greater flexibility and better service provision.
Business services is a big sector in the Netherlands; the sector represents more than one-fifth of the economy. Expectations are that this share will only increase. Not that every sector can benefit from this, however. “The diversity within the sector is great, and so the turnover prospects vary greatly from subsector to subsector,” says accountant Jorrit Koops of Schuiteman. The temporary staff sector is performing well because it can profit from an increased level of activity in various subsectors, as well as a long-term shift to flexible employment.
Agile and flexible
“The flexibilisation of the employment market, the rise of robotisation and automatisation and the sector’s internationalisation are having a great impact across the board,” says Koops. “The developments are so great that it is difficult to look far ahead. To nonetheless respond properly to the volatility, you would be well advised to make your business agile and flexible,” says Koops.
Product to service
Another important development in the sector is the shift from products to services. “Increasingly, even physical products are being offered as a service. This is interesting for providers and purchasers. For providers it generally involves increased profit; for purchasers it offers flexibility and more effective product use.”
According to Koops, in transitions like these, it is extremely important not to lose sight of the client. “On each occasion you have to ask yourself the question: how should I offer my services? How can I ensure I include the right steps in my services concept and that my client understands my concept. You have to keep on asking these questions.”
In the business services sector Schuiteman Accountants & Adviseurs serves primarily civil law notaries, law firms, IT companies and consultancies.
Sources: Rabobank, ING