Technical terminology may be misused or misunderstood, sometimes intentionally to confuse and sometimes due to inexperience in the subject.The difference between a simple mailing address offered by a number of service providers and one offered by a professional Virtual Office is enormous and with some pretty serious consequences.The mail address service provider makes the deal sound super interesting by offering to do the job for almost nothing. We have hear of some offering to provide a service for as little as £12 per year. Wow, that is a good deal, a whole POUND per month! Now what else can one get for a £1 let alone per month? The answer is virtually nothing. Yet, these companies are offering services for very little money.There is an old saying “Pay peanuts and you get monkeys”, actually I don’t think even a monkey will work just for peanuts.Ask yourself, if I pay a low X for the service, can they employ someone to pick up my letter, read it, deal with it in such a way that I will receive it? The answer is probably NO! Yet, you are tempted because it is cheap and all that is on your mind is save, save & save. But at what cost to you and your business?!To be able to tempt you with the cheap below reasonable cheap price, something has to give. The following are some of those “gives”
– Letters received and dumped into a sack and not dealt with for a few days, weeks or a month.
– When dealt with, the envelope is taken, the address is struck through with a marker and your destination address is then scribbled onto it and then it is dumped back in the post box, hoping that the PO will be kind enough to redeliver.
– The letter is just thrown away and when you ask if it was received, the answer is “Oh, so sorry, we never received it, damned Post Office, they are useless and lost it”. Actually, the PO lose very few letters.
– A visitor arrives at the address looking for you. The place they have come to is a back room of a basement garage or the back room of some dingy office. A great presence for your company!!! Oh, yes, you said that you don’t really expect anyone to come, nor do you expect much post. If only 2 clients or suppliers per year do come, how much business may you lose?
– The visitor asks after you, the service provider has no real systems with which to know much about you, so they say “Oh, they just get their post sent here”. Great for business confidence. The client goes elsewhere
– Anyone Googling your address will immediately see the poor quality of “your” business premises. Not very comforting when looking for a supplier or client.
– Registering with HMRC, Banks etc is very difficult as they have a look at where you are operating from. The accommodation addresses are known and not looked upon favourably.
Whereas a professional Virtual Office provider “gives”
– Receives your post daily and immediately deals with each letter
– All envelopes received for you are collated and placed in a new envelope, properly addressed and with a suitable 1st class stamp. Your chances of receiving them the next day is almost guaranteed
– Visitors to “your” business address are received by a polite, trained receptionist, with information systems to be able to confirm that this is indeed your business address.
The visitor is asked “Sorry, he/she is out, did you have an appointment?, “No?, sorry I will let him/her know that you called” and a message is emailed or texted to you advising of the visit. A professional presence for your business, even if only 2 times per year.
– Anyone Googling “your” address will see a quality office building portraying a feel of doing business with people of a certain standard.
– Registering with HMRC, Banks etc is easier as these organisations all recognise the quality service providers as they know that only those who have passed strict ID checks etc will be accepted as clients.
So, the question is what do you and your business wish to portray to the world?
An actual example of how the difference can make the difference.
An enquiry was received for a mail service. We quoted for our service at one of our prestige centres. The caller was quite dismissive that we were out of our minds and that he could get the whole year for what we quoted per month. We tried to explain the difference, yet he was almost rude in his explanation that all he needs is an address and that the price difference was verging on ridiculous.
So we didn’t get his business.
Two months later, we received an order from the same person via our website. As the person had a fairly unique name, the sales team recognised him as the man who had been so adamant that we were wrong. The order was not processed and after two days the man called asking why he hadn’t heard from us. We explained that we thought it was a joke and had not done anything more.
He had forgotten that it was us he had derided before and progressed to tell us that he was leaving another service provider because that service provider had not carried out their duties properly and had caused him to be declined for VAT registration and lost a potential supplier at the same time.
We didn’t want to upset him further by saying “Well, we told you so” so we didn’t mention that he had called us before.