A startup’s journey is in no way simple.
It is a journey of many perils and obstacles. In order to build a successful startup, you need to take many things into consideration. You need to be able to predict many circumstances you might encounter and thus make a proper foundation for your startup to grow.
One of the most important things in the business world is making a name for yourself if you want to come across as a serious competitor.
And, let’s face it – you do. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even delve into these waters.
To be able to do that, you need to have a few things in mind. And one of those things is a professional mailing address.
Mailing Address vs. Business Address
You may already know this, but it bears repeating. Your business address is where your business is physically located and this is usually a commercial or home address. On the other hand, your mailing address is used for delivering the mail necessary for your business.
Now, if you’re a small startup, these two can often be two separate places. However, there are a variety of mailing solutions for companies that won’t use their business address for mail.
In case you have your own commercial space, your business address can, of course, be used as a mailing address. This means that all business mail is actually delivered directly to your business address.
As simple as that, right?
Well, yes and no.
If you have a commercial space, of course you’ll choose to get all your business mail there. But, in case you’re working from home for whatever reason (the latest being, of course, a global pandemic), it is simply not advisable to use it as your professional mailing address.
Why Not Just Use Your Home Address?
This is quite a big no-no, trust us.
It may seem easier when you enter the startup waters to simply list your home address as some type of professional mailing address. After all, if you’re working from home, isn’t that where your professional address actually is?
But you know, and we know, that this is simply not the way you should go about it.
Using your home address as your mailing address does come with some issues that you need to consider before making the final decision.
So, why shouldn’t you use your home address?
What Happens to Privacy?
If you decide to go down this road, that is, if you decide to forgo having a proper professional mailing address, you will have to face the fact that your home address will be made public. Now, this is not dire as it may sound, but you’ve just opened up your home for various types of problems.
Your address may be used for marketing, sales calls, and other, frankly, annoying situations. Or, alternatively, what happens when a disgruntled customer or competitor shows up at your home? That is not something you want to subject yourself or your family to. It’s different from a traditional office precisely because of the family facet.
And, in the end, ask yourself – do you really want strangers to know your home address? If the answer is no, stick to a professional mailing address to avoid these kinds of problems.
Is it Legal?
Sometimes, yes, it may be illegal to list your home address as your professional mailing address. You’d essentially be revealing to people that this is where you conduct business. And, your landlord or the homeowners association may not allow it. Always check your lease or with your HOA to see if this is even possible.
Is it Credible?
This may sound far-fetched, but the fact of the matter is – professional credibility does come from various places. And one of the first things a potential customer encounters is your professional mailing address. But if it’s not really “professional,” per se, this can mean that your business credibility is jeopardized. When customers notice that this is a residential address, you come off as an amateur. That is not something you want if you want your startup to grow! You will seem less serious than your competitor that does actually have a professional mailing address. Yes, appearances do matter in this case!
The Importance of a Professional Mailing Address
Yes, yes, we know, some might ask – why is having a professional mailing address sooo important?
Well, let’s just say, it can sometimes make or break a business opportunity. And business opportunities are like diamonds when you’re a startup trying to make progress – they’re difficult to come by, and they’re incredibly, incredibly valuable.
Let’s see why it is so important and how you can easily have a professional mailing address of your own.
It Helps with Credibility
Now, we are aware that in this day and age, many rely on emails. But emails cannot do everything.
This comes down to our perception of the virtual world. While we know that it is, in a way, real, when we’re doing business, we do like to rely on something tangible, something that we can see.
That is where a professional mailing address comes in handy.
How many times have you checked out someone’s website, thought about buying something, but something draws your attention?
Could it be that the lack of a physical mailing address is what stays your hand?
Of course it could.
Potential customers often turn away from companies that do not provide contact addresses.
Yes, it is the 21st century, but we do live in a physical world. A professional mailing address offers credibility to your business.
It’s like you’re telling your customers – hey, we exist, we’re not some ploy!
It is very important to let people know that you’re a credible company. One with a professional mailing address, one that is there for them. And not just metaphorically speaking, that you’re actually there for them. Without it, you cannot expect your startup to grow, or at least not grow the way you’ve envisioned it.
Yes, the most important thing here is to have a good product or service. We can all agree there. But what if, with such a small mistake as not having a professional mailing address, you end up turning away many customers? Who will then use your product/service?
That’s why credibility matters.
Trust and credibility create strong bases for the growth of your startup. It gives people the final push to test out your services. And from there, you can expand your little empire further, until it grows to heights you’ve probably never even thought of.
And to think, it all started with a dream and a professional mailing address.
It’s Necessary for Professional Correspondence
Yes, this is not the era of many letters, as more and more businesses turn to digital services such as emails.
Fair enough, you are probably not going to sit down and write a hand-written letter to your business partner. You may not even type it out and send it via snail-mail.
However, there are some instances where you do need to have a professional mailing address, as it can be vital for your business.
While many have turned to email, there are still some businesses that are sticking to tradition and using snail-mail in business correspondence. They also might need to send you something for testing. In business, you will often encounter all sorts of things, and you need to be prepared for various kinds of challenges when growing a startup.
And if getting that professional mailing address to communicate with your old-fashioned business partner is necessary, so be it.
In addition, in many cases, when you’re communicating with the government, which may often not be fully equipped for virtual activity, you need to provide them with a mailing address they can use for getting in touch with you.
Also, what about deliveries important for your job? Or do you simply not need anything delivered from your business partners? Since we’re sure this is not the case, this is yet another reason why you really need a mailing address for your business.
Options for Setting up a Professional Mailing Address
Now, if you’re a startup that has enough funds to set up your office space wherever your heart may desire, well then, good for you, enjoy!
However, this is not the case for many startups, as they have limited funds. And if funds are a bit short, using those funds on offices seems redundant if the job can be done at home or in a co-shared office space.
In the case of many startups, there are alternatives to renting out expensive office spaces that just seem like an unnecessary expense.
And there are certainly ways you can set up a professional mailing address without actually having to spend a lot of the funds you, frankly, may not have, right?
Here’s what you can actually do:
Get a P.O. Box
If you don’t have an office and you’re considering your professional mailing address, the first thing you’d think of is, of course, a P.O. Box.
This can be used to receive mail and packages and you can use it on your website and business cards.
However, there is one major problem here – it reduces your business credibility. Potential customers might assume that your business may not be legitimate.
Also, you may have to receive packages or mail from other mail service providers other than the US Postal Service. But, as it were, USPS only accepts USPS mail. And where does that leave you? Without a package coming from other mail service providers.
Set up a Private Mailbox
The benefit of this choice is that you can receive packages from all mail carriers, without exception. It also allows you to use their street address, which, to be honest, looks better than a P.O. Box.
The only problem is that you need to constantly check the box for mail, just like in the case of the P.O. Box. And this can really take a lot of your time, since you have to stop work to check it.
Use a Virtual Office
Virtual offices have all the benefits of an actual office space, without having to move from the comfort of your own home.
As you may very well know, the main goal in the first few months after setting up a startup is making a name for yourself in the business world. In this day and age, branding is the single most important thing you have to do for your business. Your home address is just not going to cut it.
Since you may not still be ready to shift to an office space, having a virtual office is something that can come quite in handy. You will get a proper, professional mailing address, an assistant at the headquarters that will be available for answering any of the questions your customers might have.
That way, you will be relieved of any type of tedious background activities, and be able to focus on making progress with your work.
The most important thing here is the aforementioned professional mailing address. Of course, there are other ways of doing that, renting a virtual office is just easier, since you get additional benefits that will contribute to your brand.
For instance, Circle Hub can receive and hold your mail, and you are able to pick it up from their offices during business hours. Or, if you are unable to do that, it can be forwarded directly to any location in the world.
Talk about perks.
So, Does Your Startup Really Need a Professional Mailing Address?
Well, if you want your business to grow properly, the answer is simple – yes.
Raising a startup from the ground up is not an easy task.
Not at all.
Which simply means that you need all the help you can get. But, not just that, you need to actively work not to hinder its progress.
And this, in the end, means setting up a professional mailing address.