Tuesday, March 3, 2009

From Office Space To PO Box

Are you one of the many entrepreneurs being forced to move out of their office spaces and back into their homes? Or have you always worked from home? Doing so almost always requires you to have a PO Box as your mailing address.

Believe it or not, but most entrepreneurs run their companies from home. Even before the recession, it was estimated that more than 50% of all small businesses did not occupy commercial office or retail space.

Despite this, small businesses collectively generate billions of dollars in annual revenue and are the driving force of the U.S. economy.

So, don't feel bad if you are forced to run your business from home and list your company address as a PO Box. It's perfectly normal, you're saving tons of money, and it may very well make good sense in a economy like this one.

The only complication is when you have a staff. But this too can be addressed by either downsizing into a smaller cheaper office space, or allowing your employees to work at home.

Whatever happens, just know that you can run a profitable business from home. It's not something that you want to broadcast to your clients, however. Keep it to yourself. When they ask for your mailing address to mail a check, just tell them that you accept all mail through your PO Box. You don't have to mention that you don't have office space. You could even invest in a service that allows you to accept credit cards and checks over the phone.

Either way, you'll be fine. I've found that most clients could care less about whether or not you have office space. They're much more interested in whether or not you're providing good quality services.

5 comments:

  1. 100% agree! It's always good to have a business mailing address separate from your home: safety, privacy and professionalism. However, I would recommend garnering a UPS mailing box. Better than the P.O. Box, you're guaranteed a street address and a number that looks more like a building address: 2500 Street Name #145-A (this may be your bldg. and box number). Rates vary, but the average is close to $195 annually. In addition to having someone sign for packages, my UPS "staff" will check my box for specific mail. I'm also allowed free faxing and copying if it's nominal. The few times I'm charged I rarely spend more than $2.00. I get discounts on color copies and other purchases. They will hold and store mail when you're out of town and they send e-mails when a package arrives. You have an access code so you can check your mail at anytime and they'll make special arrangements for you to obtain packages if you can't get there before they close.

    I've had my box for over five years and love it! It's a little more the the P.O. (maybe by $20 total) but can't be the value added.

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  2. Hey great post. Helped me a lot in my thinking of whether I should get a virtual office. I think it’s a much cheaper alternative for this moment of time.

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  3. I am a Virtual Assistant and I use a PO Box for general mail. Once I get comfortable with a client, they get my home address for specific situations such as dropping off paperwork or cash payments. Everyone else meets me at Starbucks or the library.

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  4. This came to me today from a wonderful friend just as I said goodby to my brick and mortar store in Los Angeles. I have decided to go online and recently opened a PO Box and will be working from home to save money. It has made me feel better about my decision.

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  5. SEO TIP: people should look into services that give you a street address. That way they can get listed in Google Local Search. You won't get the listings if you try to use a PO Box....

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