While the COVID pandemic resulted in severe problems, the one benefit it had was for home businesses. The trend of work from home increased as did home based businesses.
However, that brings a different kind of issue to the work life. People somehow need a separate space for their office. Indeed, most people wouldn’t like to share their home address with their clients. This is where the concept of a virtual address is very helpful.
In the past, people would use a post box number as their mailing address. This is not a very convenient method since it necessitates visits to the post office and is very impersonal. A virtual address is the best option in the post COVID world for businesses that work from home.
What is a Virtual Address?
As the name itself suggests, a virtual address is an office address that is not real. You will not be working from the address since you work from your home. But to the whole world, you will share your virtual address as your address. For example, you can use a virtual office address in Melbourne CBD even though you’re located in a UK small city of Wolverhampton or any other parts of the world.
Whenever clients or anyone else sends mail to the virtual address, the mail is forwarded to you. You can share this address on your visiting card, letter head, website, etc. You can share this as your address for legal purpose since there would be someone to receive your mail.
Virtual addresses are provided by organizations who have a physical space with an office. They don’t rent out their location but they rent out the address. You can use the address as your own address and the provider would handle all the formalities. This is a convenient option for home based businesses who need an address.
Why Not Use a Home Address or a PO Box?
Using a virtual address costs money as you need to pay the owner of the address a small fee for using it. A PO Box could be a cheaper option. There are many reasons why it is not a good idea to use either options:
- Using a home address affects your privacy. When you share your home address as your office address, you are making a private address public. This can cause different types of problems impacting your privacy. Sharing your home address to the world is not a good idea, especially if you have children at home.
- As per local rules or the rules of apartments where you stay, it may not be allowed to use your home address as your office address. Zoning laws may not allow you to use a home address as a commercial address. This can put you in conflict with the law.
- Using a PO Box does not look professional. It sends a message to your clients that you don’t have an address and are hence using a PO Box. It also creates an impression that your business is not legitimate and hence you don’t have a real address.
- When you use a PO Box, you may have to visit the post office frequently to open the box and check your mail. This can be inconvenient.
For all these reasons, it is advisable to use a virtual address for your home business.
Benefits of Using a Virtual Address
If you want to know why you should use a virtual address, then go through the benefits listed below. These benefits explain why you should consider having a virtual address for your home-based business.
1. Ensures privacy
A virtual address ensures privacy. You are working from your home but your address displayed is at a different location. This ensures your privacy and no one will know your home address. It also ensures your home is secure without unwanted visitors dropping.
Sharing your home address is also an invitation to spam mail. You can be flooded with spam mail troubling your family. With a virtual address, no one will know where you stay ensuring your privacy.
2. Makes your business credible, legitimate, and professional
A business that does not share its address or uses a post box does not look credible. Using a PO Box is not professional in today’s competitive world. This is where using a virtual address is helpful. You get an address to use that gives credibility to your address.
Virtual addresses are located in known commercial areas. This lends a touch of credibility to your business and enhances its legitimacy. Your clients and others will not suspect that your business does not have a real address. It is a professional way of working. You have a fixed address to share with the world that would not change, which again is convenient.
3. Needed in many cases
You cannot use your home address is the local zoning laws or your apartment rules don’t allow it. When you list your business on Google or other online websites, you must provide an address. A PO Box would not be permitted.
In such cases, you need to compulsorily share an address. This is where a virtual address can be very helpful. In some cases, you may need to share your address with the government or other agencies. Here again, sharing a virtual address is convenient.
4. You can get your mail delivered
A virtual address is not a fake address. There would be an office at the stated address. They would receive your mails and promptly forward them to you. This is a convenient way of receiving mail sent to your virtual address.
5. Helps save money
You can save money by using a virtual address. If you hire a real office, then the rent would be quite high. You would have other expenses like electricity, telephone, etc. All these cost a lot of money. You can save this money by working from home and using a virtual address.
You only need to pay a small fee for using the address. Since many other people would use the same address, the address provider would charge you a lesser fee.
‘Thanks’ to the pandemic, people get to try home-based work settings. This has changes the entire work culture to a point of no return – for better or worse.
Today, many people prefer home based businesses since it is convenient, allows them more time with family, and saves rental money. A problem people face is lack of a physical office address, which can be solved by the availability of virtual addresses.
In the near future, more and more people will opt for boundless work settings – the new normal that’s partly made possible by virtual services.