Many small businesses, particularly service-oriented businesses that don’t require a store-front to sell physical product, opt for operating without a physical office address. Rather than investing in an office lease, business owners often utilize P.O. Boxes or even skip stating any address for their business altogether. Yet, there are major benefits of having a physical address. Here are the top three reasons why small businesses should consider getting a physical address.
1. Professional Appearance: A physical office space puts out the appearance that the business is successful and trustworthy – providing a professional appearance to customers and colleagues. Businesses can use a P.O. Box on a business card or website, however, many customers look at this address and think that the business is too small, or young to handle large clients or requests. Physical addresses also make it easier for businesses to receive deliveries and have an office phone line.
2. Place to Meet Clients: Always meeting clients at their place of business or at a coffee shop or restaurant is not likely to instill your customers’ confidence in your business. A physical address provides businesses with consistent, professional meeting spaces with all the technology needed to run a meeting, including projectors and conference rooms. Receptionists are available to greet guests as they come in and get provide refreshments.
3. Google Local Search: Google Local Search is becoming more and more essential to the small business as well as to consumers – and for good reason. Consumers tend to use a business that is within 20 miles of their home or business. To be listed on Google Local, however, a business must have a physical address. The latest Google update, dubbed ‘Pigeon’, is actually removing some service-area businesses for not having an address - and Google does not accept P.O. Boxes as physical addresses. If a business wants to compete and rank online, they need to appear in Local SEO listings, especially since most people research a business online before purchasing from it.
What To Do If You Can’t Afford a Physical Office Space
When it’s cost-prohibitive for a business to invest in physical office space, many turn to virtual office spaces. Virtual office spaces do not require a long-term commercial lease commitment, and have lower overhead since companies don’t need to invest in a full-time staff or office equipment. These spaces are turn-key and available when and where a business needs them. Plus, virtual office space services usually offer a variety of amenities and options allowing businesses to personalize the space.
A company is at risk of losing business and not being found online if they don’t have a physical office address. Businesses that can afford it should obtain an office space, while virtual office spaces are good alternatives for smaller businesses or larger businesses that need to be more mobile.