How to Use a Virtual Mailbox
January 22, 2021 by Lee Mulkowsky
Solopreneurs and small-business owners alike know the importance of having a physical mailing address. A street name and number that customers and potential customers can look up gives a new organization professional polish and the impression of size and impact. Plus, having a physical address protects privacy by keeping the business owner’s home address out of the picture entirely.
What gives you all of this and more on a small entrepreneur’s budget? A virtual-mailbox service. Such a solution can give you a permanent physical address as well as the ability to view, store, forward, ship, and even shred your mail — all through an app provided by a virtual-mailbox company.
Here, we discuss our top three tips for getting the most out of virtual-mailbox services for your business.
Choose the right one
Not all virtual-mailbox offerings are created equal. Some will give customers a place to receive mail at a cut-rate price — but the addresses they offer will be post-office boxes. A P.O. box is a dead giveaway that a business lacks a physical office. It will also do you a disservice when it comes to receiving shipments because some carriers won’t deliver to P.O. boxes. What’s more, certain federal, state, and local government forms and applications don’t allow these mailboxes to be listed as physical addresses.
A number of top virtual-office providers also provide virtual-mailbox services, so consider looking to those companies first when exploring your options. For a fee that offers significant savings over leasing a traditional office suite and hiring trained personnel, you’ll get instant in-app notifications concerning your mail, as well as the capability to view and virtually ‘handle’ your documents and packages — all with a high level of security and privacy you can trust.
Remember to check your inbox
Just as go to your home mailbox or pick up the mail that comes through the slot in your door every day, so, too, must you remember to check your virtual mailbox regularly and frequently. If your virtual-offices provider offers app notifications for its virtual-mailbox service, be sure to turn them on so that you receive them in real-time. Getting photos of packages and scans of your mail is only helpful if you actually review them.
Take advantage of your plan
Some virtual-mailbox plans may include mail or package forwarding, package storage, and even check depositing. All of these features could save a new business owner even more time and effort, but make sure you know what the plan you’re set on includes. For example, if you were unaware that you had mail- and package-storage services baked into your virtual-mailbox plan, you might expend significant energy and daylight hours traveling to your virtual-office provider to pick up mail you’d actually rather have stored. Get the most of what you’re paying for and inquire about all your plan’s features.
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