WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT A P.O BOX AND VIRTUAL OFFICE
There are two major mailing address options available to business owners; post office (P.O) box and virtual office.
One might wonder what the difference between them is, but as much as they offer similar services, they also differ in their mode of operations.
Mailing addresses are important for businesses, although they might not be on your list of priorities when setting up your business. However, businesses need to send and receive mail packages, so certain factors need to be put into consideration when choosing a mailing address for your business.
Knowing the difference between a P.O box and virtual office is essential. However, before getting into it, let us define them independently and know their primary functions..
WHAT IS A P.O BOX?
A post office box, commonly known as a PO box, is a lockable box with a unique address usually situated in a designated post office. It usually comes in a range of sizes and is used for receiving and holding mail packages until their recipients come to claim them.
Before the internet came into existence, people used PO boxes to receive mail packages, especially in places where mail packages could not be delivered to their doorstep. Asides from this, people can also opt for PO boxes for privacy reasons. Not everyone wants to reveal their residential addresses, especially for business. Since not all businesses have their addresses, PO boxes are ideal for receiving mail packages and are safely stored until the owner collects them.
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL OFFICE?
A virtual office is a service that gives businesses a physical presence and offers administrative services like handling mail packages, phone answering services, etc.
Virtual offices are a modern solution and are quite popular amongst businesses because they offer a chance to work remotely while still appearing professional and avoiding high overhead costs.
Virtual offices are convenient for receiving mail packages since they can be accessed by the owner from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a mobile device. The mail is usually scanned and sent to you, and then the decision to process the mail is done at your discretion.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN P.O BOX AND VIRTUAL OFFICE
A P.O box is a physical box at a physical location (the post office). Usually, this warrants a trip to the post office whenever you want to check your mail, which can be inconvenient, especially if you travel or are busy with other important things. Besides the physical inconvenience, there is also a time constraint, meaning that you can’t go to the post office before/after certain hours.
On the other hand, a virtual office offers you flexibility, as you can access your mail from anywhere, at any time. This gives you the freedom to travel as you like, knowing that you can stay in touch with your mail packages in real-time.
- Size constraint
Since a P.O box usually varies in size, it might lead to issues if you receive a bigger mail package than the size of your chosen box. the post office may not deliver your mail, and it might get lost in the process.
With a virtual office, there is no limit to the size and amount of mail packages you can receive at a time.
Having a P.O box address as your business address isn’t classified as an actual address, and if you include it as a business address, it could make people doubt your legitimacy. Moreover, if you want your business to be registered on Google My Business without issues, having a P.O box address is not ideal. Also, not all regions accept P.O box addresses as an official location, so it might give you issues if you want to register your business legally.
A virtual office gives you the opportunity to have a physical address, which makes you appear more legitimate. Also, it gives your business a physical presence and can be registered both in official documents and on Google My Business.
Virtual offices are more functional than P.O boxes. While mails in P.O boxes stay there until you are physically around to access them, you can have your mails accessed virtually through a virtual office. With this, you can get more things done because you don’t have to waste time travelling to the post office constantly.
Asides from this, you can have your mail packages processed when they’re delivered to a virtual office by the virtual assistants there. You can give them instructions on what to do, which saves more time, unlike P.O boxes where your mails just lay dormant.
P.O boxes are usually rented at a cost, and the bigger the size, the more expensive it is. Also, if your mail package has to be delivered to you from the post office, it incurs an extra charge from them.
However, with a virtual office, you can access your mail package digitally, and you don’t have to pay different charges for storage.
With this comparison, one can easily say that virtual offices are an ideal option over P.O boxes. While P.O boxes were convenient in times past, virtual offices have replaced them in better, more convenient ways.
Asides from this, your business also needs a virtual office address because it makes you look authentic and professional.
When making decisions for your business, it is ideal to go for convenient options that are also cost-effective and beneficial. Virtual offices provide a better solution than P.O boxes, so if you need to choose a mailing solution between both options, you might be better off choosing a virtual office.