Your small business needs a virtual mailbox to present a professional image to the public and accept business mail without leasing physical office space. Having the ability to do this is becoming increasingly important as Internet technology now allows anyone to start and run a business from their home office and other remote locations.
Whether you work from home or you’re a digital nomad, a virtual mailbox can provide a way to receive mail at a physical address located in a professional business park, office building or other commercial space. Many virtual mailbox services offer package acceptance services that include signing for deliveries and secure storage of mail until you or one of your business’ representatives arrive in person to claim it.
What is a Virtual Mailbox Service for Small Businesses?
A virtual mailbox is a mailing address your small business can use in place of a physical office address. With a virtual mailbox, you can accept mail and packages addressed to your business without giving out the address of your home office or remote office locations. You can also publicly present this mailing address as the official mailing address of your company.
This makes it easier to scale your operations since you can still work from anywhere without listing your home office address on the Internet or letting customers know you work remotely. You can list your virtual mailing address on official company documents, your company’s website and other places where you feel this information will be useful to customers and business partners.
Reasons Why Small Businesses Need a Virtual Mailbox in the Digital Age
Small business owners need a virtual mailbox because sending and receiving business mail and packages is still important in the digital economy. Although email and text messages probably make up the bulk of your daily business communications, physical mail is still a big part of business correspondence.
Below are some of the most important benefits of having a virtual mailbox for your small business:
Virtual Mailbox Services Present a Professional Image
Although you run a professional business, listing your company’s mailing address as your home address may put off some customers. Obtaining and building trust is a big part of running a company on the web, and some customers find it difficult to trust businesses that have a residential address listed for their offices. The ability to accept packages at a virtual mailbox means your business can list a physical mailing address on its website, social media profiles and letterhead without the need to give out a home address for your remote office.
Businesses Receive Mail Handling Efficiency With a Virtual Mailbox
If you list your home or remote office address as your business address, this means that your business mail is going to get mixed in with your personal mail. When this happens, it can be easy for important pieces of business mail to get lost.
If you receive packages for your business at your home, it’s also possible that someone could steal your packages. A virtual mailbox at a professional office lets you keep everything separate to get a better handle on your company’s mail.
Remote Access is Easy With a Virtual Mailbox
Virtual mailboxes may also offer remote access which is great if you work from a remote office and don’t have time to check your mail each day. With remote access, you can be notified of mail and packages that have arrived for your company, meaning you don’t have to check your mailbox in person to know whether something important has arrived.
Virtual Mailbox Services Offer Security and Privacy
Virtual mailboxes are typically located in office buildings and professional business parks where security measures are in place. On-site security, alarms and security cameras are just a few ways these places keep virtual mailboxes safe. Additionally, your mailbox will be locked, and only you or your designated company representative will have access. This prevents package thieves from taking important mail and gives you peace of mind.
A Virtual Mailbox Lets You Plan Business Expansion Efficiently
If you plan to expand your business to new areas where you don’t already have a presence, a virtual mailbox gives your company the opportunity to send and receive mail from a local address. This can help build credibility in the new area among potential customers and business partners. If you decide not to pursue growth and cancel your expansion plans, you can simply cancel the virtual mailbox service instead of having to close down an office and relocate employees and resources.
What are the Benefits of Using a Virtual Mailbox?
Using a virtual mailbox comes with a number of benefits, including the ability to display a professional local mailing address to customers. This is great for businesses that rely on home offices and remote employees or that don’t want to have the hassle of setting up a professional space in a traditional office building.
Convenience to Accept Mail Without a Physical Office
Virtual mailboxes also provide a convenience factor because they let business owners accept mail and packages without maintaining a physical office presence. Leasing an office just to use the building’s mail services doesn’t make sense, but you may need the address of an office building to appear more credible in the eyes of customers. With a virtual mailbox, you can use the mailing address of an office building and even pick up your mail there without paying for office space you won’t use.
Potential Cost Savings Over Other Mail Acceptance Services
The cost of a virtual mailbox may also be lower than using other mail acceptance services like a post office box. Although costs vary by location and the service you use, you may be able to save a lot by choosing a virtual mailbox.
Virtual Mailbox Services Offer Security and Privacy
If you run your business from an apartment building that offers mail acceptance, you may be tempted to use this option instead of a virtual mailbox. Unfortunately, your privacy and the security of your business information may be at risk by taking this approach. Virtual mailbox services tend to be more secure and offer greater privacy compared to relying on other types of mail acceptance services.
Professionalism and Flexibility to Plan Other Aspects of Your Business
Lastly, virtual mailbox services offer the benefit of professionalism combined with the flexibility to scale your business operations. If you need to begin accepting more mail or larger deliveries, your virtual mailbox service provider can work out a solution for your business’ unique needs.
How to Sign Up for a Virtual Mailbox Service Quickly and Easily Online
Signing up for a virtual mailbox service is usually a relatively simple process. Below are some steps you’ll need to take to secure your own virtual mailbox:
Take Time to Research Different Providers to Find the Right One for Your Business
Before signing up with a virtual mailbox service, take some time to think about your company’s needs and goals. Afterward, look for a service provider that matches your business needs. Keep in mind that not all virtual mailbox providers offer the same services, so take the time to review the features of each candidate carefully.
Select the Right Virtual Mailbox Service Plan for Your Business Budget and Needs
Once you’ve found the virtual mailbox service that meets your business needs, read about the sign-up process. Some virtual mailbox providers require a long-term contract, but others may provide services on a month-to-month basis. Make sure you learn about your service provider’s policies for making changes to your plan. You may need to expand your business in the future, and you will want your virtual mailbox options to be able to scale along with your company’s growth.
Finish Signing Up with Provider Using Your Business Information Online
The sign-up process differs across varying virtual mailbox service providers, but most allow business owners to take care of everything online. This may include paying for a certain amount of service up front, signing documents electronically and filling out forms. Check the cancellation and refund policies of your service providers before completing this step. It’s a good idea to understand your rights and obligations prior to agreeing to any type of contract.
Complete the Verification of Your Identity and Physical Address
Lastly, you will need to complete the sign-up process for your virtual mailbox by verifying certain information with your provider. In most cases, this means verifying the actual address of your business and your identity, both as a business owner and as an individual. Once you’ve completed this last step, your virtual mailbox should be ready to begin processing your company’s mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions and answers regarding the use of virtual mailbox services:
Why would someone need a virtual mailbox?
Business owners need virtual mailbox services for a number of different reasons. Your small business might need a virtual mailbox because your company uses remote office locations or you work from home. You might also want a virtual mailbox to accept mail in a location where you’re expanding and you don’t have a physical office set up yet.
Why use a virtual address for business?
A virtual address for business offers a number of benefits to small companies and startups. You may want to use a virtual address for business matters because these services offer privacy and security, but they also present a professional image to customers and business partners. Instead of giving out the address of your home office, you can use the mailing address of an office location or other professional address in a business park.
Is it a good idea to have a virtual mailbox?
Most business owners think it’s a good idea to have a virtual mailbox if you want to have the ability to receive mail at a physical location outside of your home address or other remote office location without leasing office space. The Internet allows professionals to start and operate businesses virtually, but this makes it difficult to receive mail without telling your customers that your business is run from your home. A virtual mailbox solves this issue by giving business owners the ability to list a professional mailing address on the web and company letterhead.
Who needs a virtual mailbox?
Any business owner who wants to protect their privacy while maintaining a professional presence needs a virtual mailbox. Entrepreneurs who work as digital nomads also need virtual mailbox services since these services allow professionals to travel and work from anywhere.
What is a virtual mailbox for business?
A virtual mailbox is a physical mailbox located in an office building or similar commercial space. Business owners can pay for virtual mailbox services that allow them to use the address of this mailbox in place of a home office address. This gives the appearance that the business is located inside of the office building where the virtual mailbox resides. A virtual mailbox can be used to present a professional image to customers and business partners who need to contact a business by mail.
What is the difference between a virtual office and a virtual mailbox?
Virtual offices and virtual mailboxes are similar in that they are both services that allow business owners to use an address for business purposes. The difference between the two is that a virtual office usually allows business owners to reserve physical office space for meetings or conferences while a virtual mailbox service only allows business owners the use of a mailing address and package and mail acceptance services of an office. In some cases, virtual mailbox services may be included with a virtual office service.
What are the cons of a virtual mailbox?
Despite the benefits of having a virtual mailbox, the cons of a virtual mailbox service include not having direct control over the physical space where mail is accepted and having to change your business mailing address across the web and on your contact collateral if you cancel your virtual mailbox service.