Saturday 12 January 2013

Widespread Concern over Royal Mail's Privatisation Moves

MP's in several British parties have requested government ministers guarantee any movement towards the privatisation of the Royal Mail.

Rumours state that the Royal Mail could be sold off to a private company within the next year, worrying residents in remote locations who believe they will end up paying more for deliveries. Current a Universal Service Obligation prevents this becoming a reality and an early motion has been issued by MP's stating their concern over the issue.

The main concerns are over the equality of pricing and the impact it may have on commercial and personal interests. Some believe that if a private company take over they may limit the deliveries to rural areas or charge more money. The move may also result in widespread postal service redundancies  a further blow to an already struggling economy.

These problems further underline the reasons that people are currently moving on to privately hosted mailboxes that offer a far better price on a more flexible contract. Whether the days of the Royal Mail are gone is debatable, but it seems like they may never regain their previous hold on certain areas of the sector.

Royal Mail Red Postbox

Sunday 4 November 2012

Starting a Mailbox Rental Business

Mailbox Rental Businesses can be both risky and rewarding investments. On one hand many successful parcel delivery companies and nationwide mail services already offer mailbox options. However, with low associated overheads these ventures can also be extremely profitable and there are numerous reasons why clientele may choose your service over a more traditional company. For instance you may offer added incentives like unbeatable prices, 24 hour parcel access or security or maybe even additional services such as fax to email.


The first step on your business venture should be putting together a detailed and well thought out plan. Many people don't properly consider the range of factors needed in a detailed plan, but remember - this document will shape your company's approach, your goals and your corporate culture for the years to come.

A good plan will consider both internal factors and a business’s external environment. For instance your plan should include detailed plans for the company’s financial overheads, earning projections, staff structure, earning structure, advertising and marketing and corporate culture. As well as external factors such as analysing your main threats in terms of your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses and possible opportunities (gaps in the market) you can exploit.
Plan your Mailbox Business


The primary overheads you will have to consider are the price of the basic equipment you'll need, such as mailboxes, security equipment, computers, phones, electricity and other utilities.

Next you will need to consider the cost of a company’s formation and other legal requirements, such as contracts and terms and conditions. In addition advertising will also be a factor meaning you will need a website, business cards, brochures and more.

Staffing will also be another area for concern. You will need to make sure you can find decent employees that you can trust with your business and who are either trained or are willing to learn.


The first area for evaluation should be your competitors. Firstly you want to see how many there are in the local area against the possible clients. You may need to be willing to move your business near a town or city that isn't too saturated with other start ups. Additionally you will want to study their pricing structure and see if you are able to compete. If you choose to set your prices lower than your competitors, you will have to consider whether how many clients you will need to gain a profit and whether this is realistic.

Additionally if your core mailbox business is not going to be profitable enough, you'll have to look into what other services you can offer, i.e fax to email services or mail forwarding. Another option would be to let companies use your address as their registered business address and charge an additional fee for the privilege.

Registered Office Service
Registered Office Services Have Become Popular with Small Businesses

Could I buy an established business or franchise?

Another possibility is to simply purchase an established business that someone may be looking to sell. This may be the better choice as some of the work will be done for you and the company may have existing clients. However, this also requires significant investigation into the reason for sale and factors involving the business itself, such as its profitability. Another option is franchising, by opening your own branch of an already successful company. This will give you a good insight into how the business is run and will allow you to buy into an already successful business model.

Saturday 6 October 2012

How a Business Address Service / Virtual Office Can Help Your Small Business Grow

Description: A review of the advantages posed by using a virtual office service for a new or expanding business over a traditional office setup. Learn how to save your businesses money and gain better flexibility both financially and in the work environment.

Whether you are choosing to start out on your own or with other partners, starting a new business requires a massive investment of time. Considerations include finding the particular niche or strategy you are aiming to pursue, investigating and analysing the competition, calculating expenses and profit margins and organising your companies’ logistics. This last point is often ill considered, with people not investing the proper preparation into how their business will work together or flow. A business must be a well oiled machine and it is common practice for new start up companies to discover mistakes in their business model after significant financial investment.

Start a Home Business

A great way to keep overheads low is to start a business from home. With the internet and jobs that involve being ‘on location’ an office is often an unneeded necessity anyway. In other circumstances an office may not be needed until the company has progressed to a point requiring a larger number of employees. Working from home allows a small business to ‘test the waters’ before fully committing, avoiding inflexible overheads like lengthy tie-in rental contracts and the expense of other office services.

However, starting a business from home does have its own problems. For instance people are often wary about trusting businesses without professional sounding addresses. Ask yourself who you’d trust more? The business with the city centre address ending in ‘house’ or ‘suite’, or the one with a residential or flat address? Trust is key in business, with many people letting their instincts guide their decisions - residential addresses and PO Boxes often just don't cut it in the corporate world and could be a severe hindrance to gaining new clients. 

po box

Use a Mailbox Rental / Business Address Service

A great way to present a more professional image is with a mailbox rental service. Unlike PO Boxes, Business Mailboxes allow you to present a physical address in a non residential sector or building. This can help give the impression you are already have a large, established and successful business.

Similarly having an address in close proximity to the city centre can help attract new consumers. Common keywords on search engines like Google show that people have a tendency to search for their ‘keyword’ and nearest large town or city when searching for a business. This approach makes perfect sense as you are more likely to find what you are looking for in an area with a larger corporate or commercial sector. By having a rural or residential address you could potentially be missing out on business, especially if the consumers make use of Google Places/ Google Maps and your business is one of the smaller dots in the very outskirts of their search.

Mailboxes vs PO Boxes

Business mailing services are also incredibly cost effective. PO boxes in the UK recently went up in price to £185 per annum from £60 per annum within a few years. In comparison competition means that some UK Mailbox Rental companies are offering record low prices starting from just £5 per month. That’s a saving of £110 pounds every year to invest back into your business with the additional benefit of appearing more trustworthy. The small capital investment means that these services are very affordable for businesses struggling to qualify for bank loans in the current economic climate, or those who are looking for a slow, steady and sustainable model of growth, over one based on rapid and often foolish expansion.

Greater Privacy

Another advantage is the greater privacy these business address services offer to consumers. Ask yourself do you want consumers to know where you live? And how will having your work address as your residential address potentially affect your home life? By investing in a business mailing address you can present a clear barrier to alleviate the spatial tensions between home and work life.

Domain Registration and Registered Office Address

Often people do not realise that a simple ‘whois’ search on a domain can reveal the purchasers address. Business Mailboxes allow you to register your domain to an address that is unlikely to affect your privacy, offering greater protection. They also offer the ability to use the address as your registered office address. In the UK every business registered with Companies House must have a Registered Office at which official documents can be served under the Companies Act of 1985 Section 287(1). A virtual office is a cheap method in which to achieve this requirement.

Working Freedom

Lastly using a business address service allows you the freedom to move around unencumbered. This might be a simple as maintaining an office in a country in which you regularly sell products but are not based. business mailing address offer the convenience of mail collection and mail forwarding. This can take the form of having someone to sign for certified mail or overnight deliveries, or sort through your mail and send you only the mail you really need. UK mail forwarding services will almost always willing to forward mail worldwide. Some even offer fax to email services where you can rent a UK fax line without the expense of toner, paper and machinery – simply having the messages forwarded to your email. Overall Virtual offices are the perfect way to expand into a new country or grow your small business risk free.
business mailing service
Work From Anywhere

Friday 28 September 2012

What are the Advantages of a Virtual Office?

View the advantages of using a virtual office over a traditional physical office service. Learn how to expand into new markets, or test new business environments with a flexible and affordable service.

Working from home can seem very appealing. Imagine just being able to roll out of bed, have breakfast and work without all of that annoying travel time. Yet there are also downsides to working from home that aren’t considered. Working from home destroys the barrier you erect between your domestic and work life and identities. This can take the form of working late into the night, or dealing with customers at unsociable hours who can now contact your 24 hours a day. The lack of privacy can also leave you open to cold callers trying to sign you up to services you haven’t requested and don’t require.

Physical Office Space
The traditional solution to this problem is to invest in a small amount of office space. Yet this is often expensive and inflexible with lengthy tie in contracts that are hard to get out of should you run into financial difficulties. When you consider that almost half of new businesses fail within three years this is a large risk to take when starting out. Also, for many – such as those who work on the internet or in different locations – office space is simply unnecessary.
Office Space
What a Headache

Virtual Offices
A virtual office offers a number of benefits to the traditional office environment. The lack of traditional overheads means that you could save upwards of 80% on a physical location. Also they allow you to create a presence in a new country, region or city without real expansion, increasing your market opportunities. Similarly they allow you to recruit qualified freelancers that may not live in your area of business. A virtual office removes physical limitations and allows you to become a truly global company.

Virtual Offices also allow you to appear like a more professional company with a corporate sounding city centre address. Many people mistrust home or PO box addresses, a mailing address service with a department name or suite number will make you appear like a larger company and potentially attract new business.

Another advantage is the speed at which a virtual office can be setup meaning you can be operational more quickly and, if necessary, close down more quickly. The greater flexibility offered by short virtual office contracts mean that you can cheaply test out new markets before fully committing to see if they are actually profitable.

Lastly Virtual Offices normally include a mail forwarding service. This is perfect if you are always on the road as it allows you to have important mail sent to you on demand. This can mean saving time sorting through unnecessary junk mail. Mail forwarding services are also happy to sign for packages that you can then pick up or mail that requires a signature. Mail forwarding can allow you to maintain a presence in the country and then have your mail send worldwide.
UK mail forwarding
Mail Forwarding Worldwide 

Wednesday 26 September 2012

PO Box Rental vs Mailbox Rental in the UK – What Should You Choose?

A straight forward analysis of the age old PO Box or Mailbox dilemma. Are you starting or do you own a small business? View the pros and cons of using each service.

Many small businesses use PO Boxes to separate their work and domestic lives. If you run a small company from home you know the importance of privacy in your home life – something a PO Box used to provide at an affordable rate.

PO Boxes cost just £62 pounds per annum in 2009 and were an ideal solution. However in the last 3 years they have increased in price to a massive £222 per annum, an increase of 350 percent! With the recent price increases PO boxes no longer seem the good investment they once did. Price drops seem unlikely with the Royal Mail increasing the prices of stamps, closing local branches, making record loses and receiving no relief from a government implementing tough austerity measures.

UK Po-Box Price increases
Price drops seem unlikely

But Are Mailboxes Really More Affordable?

A quick search for UK mailbox rental showed that prices can start from as little as £5 per month! That’s £60 a year, a saving of £162 for your business. In such a tough economic climate savings such like this are really too good to pass up.

Business mailboxes also give you the option of having a physical address which seems far more professional than a PO Box Number or a residential address. For example who would you trust? The business based at a flat address or the one which is listed as being based in a busy inner city commercial sector? Premium business address services also allow you to use something like ‘department’ or ‘suite’ as your address – perhaps even the building address itself— making you seem like a successful and large organisation.
Also consumers often have more trust or search for businesses close to city centres. Having a mailbox with a physical address near a large town or city can potentially tap into a much larger client based then one based in a small town or rural location.