When you think of starting a business, you probably imagine signing paper documents to incorporate your company. When you think about filing taxes, you probably imagine filling out tax forms with a pen or receiving them by mail.
Business processes have become increasingly digitized in the last few years, but it isn’t uncommon to have important documents (especially original copies) sent by mail. That's why you need a PO box.
Getting a PO box to manage your incoming mail is usually inexpensive. The USPS gives the following starting prices for PO boxes:
Keep in mind that prices may be higher depending on your location.
In addition to being cost-effective, PO boxes also come with 24/7 access and are available in almost any convenient location. To make things easier, you have the option to keep your signature on file, reducing friction when picking up packages.
Still, while there are good reasons to use a PO box, there are also limitations.
There are multiple disadvantages to using a PO box as your company’s point of contact. The most important drawbacks are the loss of time and a potential lack of professionalism.
The low cost of PO boxes in the US is commendable. On the other hand, you’ll likely rack up a cost of a different kind: time. PO boxes have a limit on how much mail they can hold, and for how long, so you could be making multiple trips to the post office each week.
If your business primarily uses physical mail, you may even end up having to hire an additional staff member to keep up with your clients. That’s a problem no business wants to have.
Similar to using your home address on your business card, using a PO box can give clients, investors, and other businesses the impression that your venture isn’t a serious one. When these interested parties search for your business online, it could lead to a loss of revenue.
If you aren’t able to purchase property to retain a street address, you might think you have no other option. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.
One of the key markers of a successful entrepreneur is their ability to innovate and come up with solutions to common issues in their business. As we’ve seen, PO boxes pose a convenient solution for receiving mail, but the disadvantages might not be worth it. The solution? A virtual mailbox.
A virtual mailbox (or virtual mailing address) is a service that allows you to receive physical mail at an address of your choice without being there in person. When mail comes to that address, high-resolution PDFs are scanned to your email. You decide whether they are kept, forwarded, or shredded at the click of a button.
This allows your business to avoid all of the common pitfalls of using a PO box. You retain a professional impression and gain back valuable time to focus on making profits.
Firstbase Mailroom is our virtual mailing service that gives you a professional street address for your business, the ability to easily manage your mail from your email and give you back your time. For only $35 per month or $29 on an annual plan, we think that’s money well spent. Let us take care of the details of your business, and you take care of the vision. Click here to learn more.