How a Virtual Mailbox is Different From a Virtual Office

Leela Hopkins Last updated October 24, 2019

Businesses today have many options to choose from when deciding how to set up their workplace. Since traditional physical offices tend to be too expensive and may not meet all their needs, small businesses are finding alternatives.

While a virtual office comes with many benefits for small business owners, we will show you why a virtual mailbox is the better and more affordable option.

Virtual Office vs. Virtual Mailbox Services

We often get asked what is the difference between a virtual office and a virtual mailbox. Although they may seem similar there is a difference in services. We'll break down a virtual office vs. virtual mailbox in detail.

What is a Virtual Office?

A virtual office gives businesses a physical address and office-related services without the overhead of a long-term lease and administrative staff.

While you are not renting an actual office space in which to work, a virtual office allows you to interact and collaborate with employees just like you would in a traditional brick-and-mortar office.

With the introduction of fast Internet connection, laptops, and a suite of web-based office software such as videoconferencing, virtual offices allow you to run your business remotely.

Virtual Office Services

A virtual office comes with a host of services designed to provide an experience of working in an actual physical office. Virtual offices typically offer their clients:

What is a Virtual Mailbox?

A virtual mailbox offers a permanent business address for receiving all of your physical mail and packages. Once mail is received, the unopened envelopes or packages are scanned so that you can then view them from any device. Then you can simply request to have selected pieces of mail either opened and the contents scanned, forwarded, or destroyed. You perform these actions remotely.

Virtual Mailbox Services

Managing your mail is simple and easy with a virtual mailbox. There are many useful features of virtual mailbox including:

What is the Difference Between a Virtual Office and a Virtual Mailbox?

A virtual mailbox offers all the essential features of a virtual office such as an address for mail, business address, and a local presence in a specific city or area. The main difference is that a virtual mailbox does not provide meeting spaces and business-center services.

Virtual Office Advantages

While there are many reasons why a virtual office is popular with entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses, the key advantage is that it provides amenities and less overhead.

A virtual office comes with a professional business address, mail-handling services, a local phone number, call-handling/receptionist services, and meeting and conference spaces that can be rented out.

The other attractive feature of a virtual office is that there’s no office lease, no utility payments, no hardware, and none of the associated costs that come with having a traditional office space.

Virtual Office Disadvantages

While virtual offices offer some useful solutions, they also come with a few disadvantages that can be serious drawbacks to many small business owners.

One of the main issues is that a virtual office is costly. While it is a good alternative for those looking to save time and money in recruiting business resources, it is more expensive than other business address services.

Another downside is the lack of flexibility. A virtual office doesn’t let you rent the services you need and you’ll end up paying for all the services the provider offers, including the ones you don’t need or use.

And finally, there’s the issue of use of space. Any time a business owner is at home, on vacation, traveling, or in meetings, the office space is empty and underutilized.

You can’t use the physical space to do work on a daily basis. Also, there is generally a maximum amount of hours of meeting time in day offices. This isn’t a cost-effective solution if you don’t need the physical space and you only need a business address.

Virtual Mailbox Advantages

In contrast to a virtual office, a virtual mailbox is a much less expensive alternative if you’re looking for the following for your business.

A permanent business address for the long term. If you move virtual offices you will have to update the address on business licenses, LLC or corporation registration, registered agent address, etc. A virtual mailbox will give a permanent address you can use for years, even if you move or change location.

You need mail handling and mail-forwarding services. Virtual offices offer mail scanning and mail forwarding at an extra and higher cost compared to a virtual mailbox.

Another advantage of using a virtual mailbox over a virtual office is versatility.

Ultimately, a virtual mailbox is ideal for someone running a remote or online business who doesn’t have the need for a physical meeting space or office-related services. In fact, if the need does arise, you can get separate office-related services for free or for a very low cost. For example you can use free video conferencing tools such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, UberConference, and Skype.

Virtual Mailbox Disadvantages

You should be aware of the additional costs incurred by having to forward mail compared to picking up mail.

Which Business Address Option Is Right For You?

When deciding which business address option to choose, take into account the demands of your business and industry.

Who Will Benefit Most From a Virtual Office

Who Will Benefit Most From a Virtual Mailbox

Choose The Better Business Address Option

While a virtual office provides many benefits to startups it is a costly address option.

If having a physical office space and business related services is not a priority then a virtual mailbox is the more cost-effective and superior solution over a virtual office.

A virtual mailbox is perfect for those who do not need a physical office and can run their businesses remotely. A virtual mailbox will attract more customers and establish credibility as well as protect your personal privacy and information.

Leela Hopkins

Marketing Specialist at VirtualPostMail. I am dedicated to bringing you useful information to help you run your business remotely. My ultimate goal is to help you successfully take your business fully remote.

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