One of the most attractive perks of having a virtual office is having access to mail forwarding services. This is especially true if you’re a small or startup business; as you’ll be occupied handling other areas of your enterprise, it can be easy for mail to get forgotten about or misplaced.
But keeping on top of your mail as a new business is incredibly important; you don’t want to miss any important tax information, letters from prospective clients, or invoices. This is where mail forwarding can come in useful, and simplify your business correspondence.
In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to take a look at virtual address mail forwarding, how it works, and what you need to know before signing your business up. Let’s take a look!
What is virtual address mail forwarding?
Virtual address mail forwarding is a service typically included as part of a virtual office package, which allows you to have all your mail handled at one address, before being forwarded to you according to your convenience.
For example, those who run their business from home might not want to receive personal and work mail at the same time; this can lead to confusion, lost mail, and potential mix-ups between personal and business correspondence. It also prevents small businesses or sole traders from having to use their home address as their business address when they register with Companies House; this can help prevent the relentless spam calls, doorstep salesmen, and spam marketing that can occur if your home address is public.
How does virtual address mail forwarding work?
It’s simple – your business address will be registered with a virtual office address, and that’s where all your professional or business-related post will go. Once it arrives, a handler will organise your mail and send it promptly to your home, or another business location.
This service is included in most virtual office packages, although full access may depend on the package tier you opt for for your business.
Are there any limits on what type of mail can be forwarded?
Some mail forwarding services may be unable to forward large packages abroad, and some services may also be unable to forward any items considered “prohibted” by their chosen postal partner (electronics, perishable products, etc.) You can find more information on restricted items on the Post Office’s website.
Benefits of virtual address mail forwarding
From simplified correspondence to enhanced privacy, here are just some of the top reasons why mail forwarding can help you better run a small or independent business:
It’s also much more professional to have a city address in a commercial area than to have your business registered in a suburban or residential area. When customers or prospective clients search for your business online, you want to make sure they’re getting the best impression possible – and having a residential address for your business is one easy way to lose a customer’s confidence.
Prompt and secure mail delivery
You might be wondering, does forwarded mail take longer to arrive? The answer is no – most mail forwarding services will forward any mail they receive on the same day, so you can easily keep up with your correspondence without falling behind on bills, invoices, or important letters from clients or other third parties. This is incredibly important when running any new or small business; you want to appear reliable and prompt, especially when it comes to filing taxes or other important business information.
Keep your home address private
As mentioned above, another perk of mail forwarding is that you’re able to keep your home address private. When you register any business in the UK, you’re obliged to give an official business address, and if you’re a sole trader or startup, you might not have the means to rent out a commercial office. If you give your home address, it then becomes public, and this can lead to an increase in spam marketing, phone calls, and even cold-callers turning up on your doorstep. With a virtual office, your official registered business address is the one associated with the office space you’re signed up to, so you won’t need to worry about incessant invasions of your privacy.
Get your mail, wherever you are in the world
Another perk of mail forwarding is that you’re able to receive your mail wherever you are in the world. For business owners who have several business locations, or those who travel frequently, this can be an invaluable convenience, and can prevent you from missing important post – whether it be tax-related or client-related. Plus, going through mail backlogs can be an arduous and costly task, so being able to keep up with your correspondence from any location is a massive perk.
Without a mail forwarding service, collecting your mail can be another costly expense hiking up your business costs; you’ll either need to hire someone to do it for you, or do it yourself (thereby taking time away from other more important tasks, such as client outreach or working on the job.) While a virtual office is an upfront investment, it does eliminate the cost of picking up or manually forwarding any business mail, while also giving you access to a range of other perks, such as a telephone answering service and limited use of office meeting rooms.
Keep on top of time-sensitive post
Small or startup businesses don’t always have the resources to hire administrative assistants, and this means they’re tasked with keeping on top of all time-sensitive post themselves, such as tax declarations and invoices. This is perhaps the ultimate reason to opt your business in for a virtual office with mail forwarding services; unpaid invoices or late taxes can be both a financial burden and a burden on your business reputation; mail forwarding ensures that all your arrears are paid on-time, without late penalties.
Make a great impression
For any small or new business, location is important. While it might not be as important as it would be for a brick-and-mortar business, your location can still determine what kind of clientele you attract, and how professional your business appears from an outsider perspective. With a virtual business address in London, you’re conveying success and professionalism to both current and prospective clients; as London postcodes are lucrative and competitive, having your business address in the capital can enhance trust amongst prospective clients and customers.
The bottom line
In short, a virtual office with a mail forwarding system is one of the easiest ways to simplify the running of your day-to-day business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur with several businesses, or a sole trader who simply doesn’t have the time to pick up mail every day, mail forwarding ensures that you keep on top of all business correspondence, whether it be with customers and partners or the taxman.
Does forwarded mail take longer to arrive?
No! Most virtual offices will forward your mail on the same day, so you won’t have a problem receiving important letters and post on time.
Is a virtual office worth it?
We think so! A virtual office allows you to establish your business in the country’s capital, allowing you to become competitive with big-name businesses without the high costs of commercial rent in London.
What is the difference between a virtual office and a virtual mailbox?
A virtual mailbox is a service that only offers mail forwarding exclusively, while a virtual office includes various perks and benefits, such as telephone answering services, use of company meeting rooms, and an official business address for your enterprise.