When I started working from home, sales people showed up at my house and called my personal line. Renting a mailbox stopped the drop-by sales calls and made me seem more professional at a time when working from home wasn’t as widely accepted as it is now. In fact, no one knew I worked from home until my first home office book came out — it was sort of a dead giveaway.
While most of us get more e-mails than snail mail, there are still some things you can’t get electronically. Companies send me products every week to review, so I need to have a place to receive the packages. Sales reps need to have a place to receive marketing materials and samples from the company’s home office.
If you’ve been trying to decide whether you should rent a mailbox, consider the advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of renting a mailbox:
- You’ll protect your privacy because prospects and clients won’t have your home address.
- The mail center (I use The UPS Store ) will accept packages for you, so you don’t have to worry about missing a delivery. Fed Ex and UPS won’t deliver to PO Boxes, which could be a problem if you receive several packages each week.
- You can keep your business and personal mail (and life) separate
- If you move (within the city), you won’t have to change your address or anything that has your business address on it.
The disadvantages of renting a mailbox:
- You have to drive to pick up your mail. Rent a mailbox near your home and you’ll have a short commute.
- It’s not free — you have to pay a monthly fee to rent a mailbox. I pay one year at a time to save a few dollars each month.
- Sometimes you have to wait in line for your mail but you can use that time to check your e-mail on your handheld.
Renting a mailbox isn’t for everyone, but if you weigh the advantages against the disadvantages, you’ll make the decision much easier.
Where do you get your mail delivered?