When starting a new business, a mailing address is usually pretty low on the priority list. With more and more business owners being swayed towards remote working, it may be a good idea to make that decision early on. There are two main options to choose from: a physical address and a virtual address. We are going to run through both options so you can make an informed decision.
What Is The Difference?
A PO Box (Post Office Box) is pretty much what it says on the tin – a physical box at an address where mail, packages and other items can be sent to (rather than them being sent to your home address). They are usually located within a local post office, and can be rented and locked for your own use.
A virtual address, like we provide here at Venture Offices, is a location that you can access from anywhere. This can include your home address, a physical office or a registered office address. They do need to be real street addresses though!
Making The Right Decision
Choosing between a virtual address and a PO box can be difficult, but first of all you need to work out why you need an address in the first place. Are you receiving a lot of physical mail? Or are you going to add your address to business cards so potential clients can meet you? Here are some factors to consider when making this decision:
1. Your brand image
A PO box can sometimes come across as impersonal, and actually suspicious too. Potential clients may wonder why you haven’t got a real street address, and it can often give the message that you have something to hide (or that you aren’t a legitimate business). This is where a virtual address would be better as you will give the right impression, and appear like a credible business.
2. Ease of access
With a PO box you will need to schedule in time to regularly check and collect your mail, which can be a nuisance when you are needing a document urgently. You are also restricted by the timings of the post office, unless you get them to forward your mail to your physical address. Of course this does come at an extra cost though.
We have already touched on the importance of a virtual address in order to be found on Google, but it is worth mentioning again. A virtual address is much better in this instance as Google My Business doesn’t allow you to create a listing if there is no actual location. PO boxes are therefore disregarded. You will be able to reach more clients online if you use a virtual address, particularly as both people and search engines use geolocation to show local businesses.
If you deal with confidential information, you need to take this into consideration when choosing a virtual address or a PO box. A PO box is a lot more private and only accessible with a physical key. There may be other reasons why you want to keep your home or business address private too, so a PO box is a better option in this scenario.
Looking For A Virtual Address?
As you have probably noticed, there is a rising trend towards remote and flexible working post-pandemic. A virtual business address enables you to kickstart your digital journey by not being tied down to one particular geographical area. For more information about the virtual office packages that we offer here at Venture Offices, please give us a call on 01205 809222.