When operating a business out of your home office, there are things you probably never thought of when considering whether or not to subscribe to a business address plan. A business address plan provides your company with a virtual location, so that while you work out of your home, your company's address remains 'at the office' or so to speak.
Many business owners might be thinking, 'why bother?' There are several reasons why it is important for a small business to not use a home address. Here are a few:
1) Security. Especially for lawyers and professions dealing with touchy cases and clients, safety may be an issue. It may not be wise to have clients knowing where you live and showing up unexpected to create a scene, demand documents illegally, or anything worse.
2) Professional image. If you receive and send mail - and most businesses do - don't expect that your street address or apartment number won't get noticed by your clients. Nowadays, all people need to do to find out where you are, is use Google's street view on its map and your house will be revealed. For companies dealing with international clients this is especially a concern. Who would want to order from someone who may be a hoax? It's better to have the office building showing instead of your messy porch when it gets down to doing business.
3) Stability. The great thing about subscribing to a business address is that no matter where you operate, your location stays the same. Mail will always go through that channel and can be easily forwarded to your new location should you ever decide to move. Save money and hassle by not having to announce your new address to all your clients or getting those ugly 'return to sender' notes on bouncing mail.
4) Service and notification. Most business address plans are considered 'virtual offices', which means that companies you get this service from are actually professionals at handling and sorting mail. They will filter out junk and can notify you immediately when letters or packages arrive, telling you who it's from and when it got there. If you ask them to, they will likely also be able to open the letter, scan it as a PDF and send to you via e-mail so you don't even have to come in to their office to pick it up.
This aspect is useful for business people who are out of town a lot or who are on vacation. By having a service handle your mail and business address plan, you won't have to worry about mail piling up in your mailbox at home, leaving the mail man to wonder if he's got the right place or if your home is now vacant. A human taking care of you mail will make sure it is well stored upon your return.
5) Confidentiality. Mail handling services that come with business address plans also provide confidentiality. When cheques or important documents come in, you know that they are received into the hands of professional mail keepers as soon as the mail man delivers them. This way you know no one has been snooping through your mail or using spy techniques to read and re-seal the letters.
At this point we could say "enough said." However, the more you think about it, the more it makes sense to have a business address that is separate from a home address. Think of potential employees who decide to drop by with their resume to show eagerness...gee, awkward situation to find you in your pajamas. What about clients who are deaf and need to communicate with someone in person, so they just show up at your door. Also not a welcoming invite to find a house. It makes a difference, and will benefit your business in the long run to have a set location.