5 Reasons Why You Need a Professional Mailbox Address
With the advent of the internet and instant access to information, many businesses neglect that most basic of requirements; an efficient, trustworthy postal address. Yet a good postal address can build confidence, increase traffic on the internet and increase the efficiency of your business.
If you're still on the fence about investing in a professional mailbox address, then read on to see just how beneficial it can be to your business....
1. PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS WILL TRUST YOUR BUSINESS ADDRESS
Research shows that most prospective customers will use the internet to check your business against your competitors. And part of the research they may carry out is to look at your business postal address. With Google maps, they can see where the business is located. In this case, right in the centre of an industrial park hosting a wide range of businesses.
But there's more your prospective customer can do. The photographic "street view" repository Google have created is pretty amazing; it documents almost every road and beaten path in the world. Obviously, this means someone can quickly access pictures of the building you advertise as your business contact address.
This screenshot shows what they'll see if they view your Swiftmail professional business address on Google Street View. It shows an office block in the heart of an industrial park - just the sort of place you'd expect a serious, cost-conscious business to be operating from.
Now imagine you're comparing this with someone's house view or post box. A house address says small, amateur, unprofessional. It makes you seem less credible than a competitor who does have a professional business location - and that competitor may be working from home as well! A post box says cheap, temporary and in some minds it can even suggest something to hide.
Recent research shows trust is increasingly an issue for first-time customers, and that many now use the internet to check out a supplier before committing themselves. A professional address plays a big part in establishing you're a legitimate, professional business in the eyes of your prospective customers.
2. YOU CAN KEEP YOUR HOME PRIVATE
John buys and sells jewellery from a stall in the High Street. He doesn't want people to know his home address, for obvious reasons. Josie works as a painter and decorator. She doesn't want people to turn up at her home address looking for an update on the work she's done while her customer was at work that day. Tony wants to separate home and work, and whilst he can switch the mobile off, he can't switch off the listing of his home address at Companies House - which means he can't switch off the post whether it's junk mail or a tax demand from HMRC. And he can't switch off someone calling in because his mobile's off.
In all three cases, the question is, "do I want a stranger knowing where I live?" What happens if you're away for a few weeks on holiday, or business travel? If people phone the business and get no reply for an extended period, what does that tell them about the business address?
Even if you don't disclose your business address on your web site, if you have a Limited Company registered with Companies House, or if you've registered a web domain name, your business address is publicly accessible to anyone who's interested. Anyone can look up a registered address at Companies House, or using a WHOIS search on your domain.
A professional address can be used for all your business needs. Your domain registrar should be able to provide you with the facility to change your registered address for web domains, and Companies House can be notified online of a change in your registered address for the business. Your home address can be kept private and secure.
3. YOU CAN GUARANTEE PARCELS AND RECORDED/SIGNED FOR POST WILL BE RECEIVED
If you've ever missed a delivery to your home because it was too big to go through the letterbox, or wondered what a "Signed For" letter waiting at the Sorting Office is, then you'll appreciate the benefits of guaranteeing someone is available to sign for and receive parcels and letters during normal office hours.
And if it's your business, then it could be a delivery from your bookkeeper you've missed, or some much-needed stationary you ordered online. It could even be a signed contract from a prospective client, or a letter notifying you of an upcoming deadline. A professional mailbox, with onsite receptionist available to receive and sign for post and parcels, will ensure you can guarantee all your post will be received first time, every time.
4. YOU CAN INCREASE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEB SITE
You can use your professional address to register your Google Plus Local (or Google My Business) page. Businesses do this to get a "map pin" on the Google Maps service. We strongly recommend you do this (we can even do it for you), because Google Maps has a lot of clout in search marketing. Many searches for local services/products result in users looking at the local business listings provided by Google Plus Local.
We'd also recommend you use the free local online business directories that exist for the area. Local directories are basically a collection of business listings with maps, reviews, backlinks and other features. Local business directories often rank well for local searches but will require a local address to register.
Finally, you can increase your chances of showing in relevant search results by making sure your website features your business address on the “contact” page and in the footer of every webpage on your site. These pages will earn a little more ranking power if those town/city/postcode keywords are present, and those words are part of your professional address.
5. YOU CAN STAY ON TOP OF YOUR BUSINESS, EVEN WHILE YOU'RE TRAVELLING OR WORKING AWAY
Tina's a contractor, working away from home for large parts of the year. Ian's travelling overseas to drum up more business for his small manufacturing outfit. Sam's just going on the holiday of a lifetime for 2 months, but doesn't want to come back to a business in crisis.
If you're travelling for business or pleasure, working away or spending time marketing what you do, then you'll appreciate the ability to select the "scan and store" service offered by some professional mailbox services, including Swiftmail. This type of service converts paper - in this case, post received at your business address - into scanned documents available securely online, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day.
With encrypted data services, your post is kept secure but can be dealt with as soon as it arrives, not when you return home. You can avoid late filing penalties and overdue tax, and deal with correspondence from suppliers and customers as it's received. Dealing with mail promptly is often cited as a mark of a professional business; a professional mailbox with scan and store can help ensure it happens, wherever you happen to be.