20 September, 2022
Business mail redirection isn’t a new concept; various iterations of a basic UK post redirection service have existed for decades. However, most people still tend to think of mail redirection services as a quick fix for a temporary situation, such as when moving home or relocating offices.
While that’s probably still accurate for most individuals wanting their personal mail diversion, the landscape has shifted significantly for small-to-medium businesses in recent years. The rapid rise of virtual office services has helped spearhead the development of more agile workplace environments. As a direct result, staff across a vast range of sectors are now able to work from home whenever required, and employers are far better placed to help support them in doing so.
In short, renting a traditional brick-and-mortar office space for your company is by no means the absolute necessity today that it was for years before. This clearly offers huge potential for significant savings—but it also introduces a few practical questions. Among the most frequent ones we’re asked here at The Hoxton Mix is ‘how do I redirect my mail quickly and securely through a virtual business address?’.
This comprehensive guide to business mail redirection online should tell you everything you need to know about postal redirection services for SMEs and startup businesses. By the end of the article, you’ll discover exactly how and why a virtual mailroom service could prove the ideal solution for any company using a virtual office or business address rental.
Business mail redirection is a process by which all your incoming post is received at one address, then forwarded to wherever you/your company is actually located. The initial recipient acts as an intermediary, enabling you to receive your mail at locations other than the one it was posted to.
That’s the absolute barebones explanation, at any rate. In practice, there are far more options and variations available with these types of services than just a basic ‘pass the parcel’ type scenario. If that’s all you need, then no problem—but if you’d prefer more flexibility and functionality when it comes to redirecting business mail, you can certainly find it.
Fully functional virtual mailrooms offer businesses all sorts of convenient and versatile mail redirection services. In the following sections of this office mail diversion guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular options for how to get mail redirected quickly, safely, and reliably.
We’ll also assess some key pros and cons when deciding whether to sign up for a cutting-edge virtual mail-handling service. Examine what happens to your important business mail more closely when entrusting a third-party provider to forward it to you at another address.
So, how to redirect mail to make your life easier? Choosing to redirect your mail used to mean filing a form with the postal service and paying the requisite hefty fee to have all your incoming letters automatically rerouted to one fixed location for a set period. Today, you’ve got far more choice about how your business mail is diverted.
You can still do it that old-fashioned way, of course—but the national carriers remain relatively expensive, inflexible, and very limited in terms of the additional options and features you can add to the basic redirection package. Part of the reason for this is that it’s an entirely physical service—unlike virtual business mail forwarding, which also offers various digital-based solutions.
Signing up for a virtual mailbox in the UK means you’ll have the option to receive some or all of your business posts in digital formats, arriving through online channels. This can have numerous important advantages over so-called ‘snail mail’, and speed isn’t the only consideration: better organisation, easier archiving and data storage, instant workplace decluttering, and long-term paperless sustainability are all key strengths of outsourcing your mail redirection to a virtual service provider.
For an increasingly wide variety of small-to-medium companies, redirection of business mail offers some very compelling advantages. Among the most popular reasons business owners choose to use a virtual mailroom is when they’re already operating under a virtual office model, typically using a rented UK business address.
This is an increasingly common setup for all SMEs in the UK and overseas, particularly with new startups and growing businesses. The initial outlay required to set up a traditional rented office base is often far too high for new companies to absorb comfortably, especially if you’re looking for a highly credible business address in a trendy area of London.
Moreover, it usually involves signing fixed-term contracts with various landlords and management agencies. This immediately introduces an unnecessary degree of risk and inflexibility, which is the last thing you need when trying to get a fledgling operation off the ground. Instead, many new business owners opt to run their companies from home or a remote location elsewhere during the early stages of launch and consolidation.
In order to keep private data out of the public domain and to provide a more professional-looking contact address for clients and customers, many then choose to sign up for a virtual office service. Using a quality business address rental for their public registration with Companies House means they’re all set to go, regardless of where in the world they’re actually operating.
One slight issue this leaves is what to do about incoming business mail - if an important post is being sent to a central London virtual office address, how does it end up in the hands of a company based elsewhere? The answer, of course, is through a virtual mail redirection service.
Temporary mail redirection UK is also a service that many companies use. You needn’t already be registered at a virtual office package to make use of a virtual mail handling service. Mind you—it’s also a convenient short-term option for companies anticipating an upcoming change of address, particularly if any future details have yet to be finalised. Signing up for business mail redirection can help ensure that nothing risks falling through the cracks during any changeover-related periods of upheaval or service disruption. Redirecting your mail when you move can save you a lot of stress and effort.
Paying a small monthly fee for a virtual mailroom to redirect mail to a new address and handling small packages off-site can work out much cheaper than dealing with the daily mailbag in-house.
When you make use of a professional third-party mail redirection service, everything gets centralised and rerouted through one convenient portal, without anyone at your end having to think twice about it. This generally saves at least one staff member multiple hours per week and quickly adds up to a significant net profit in terms of human resources. To find out more details, take a look at how much does it cost to redirect mail.
Many jobs today involve wide-ranging travel around the UK, and may even require being based abroad for extended periods at a time. These very mobile sorts of roles can create havoc when handling standard office admin. Moreover, dealing with incoming mail can be especially tricky as virtual office international.
Traditionally, the only real solution was to set up a PO Box and collect your mail from a fixed location yourself—but even that’s not ideal when you don’t necessarily know exactly where you’ll be at any given time. A third-party mail handler with scanning and forwarding capabilities means you can receive all your essential posts digitally and/or physically without inconvenient delays or extra journeys, and without constantly having to update your contact address across dozens of websites, letterheads, and social media accounts.
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As outlined above, there are many diverse and compelling reasons why small businesses might choose a virtual mail redirection service. Whether it’s a short-term response to a temporary situation or the first step towards a more modern and cohesive admin strategy, what are the actual benefits in real terms?
As a matter of fact, there are plenty of very tangible advantages to ‘going virtual’ with your business mail service. Let’s talk about some of them—which of the benefits of mail redirection for the business listed below might impact most positively on your company’s evolving business model in the future?
Redirecting post through a virtual business address is a great way to streamline your entire post-handling process. The old approach to traditional office postal admin—making it someone’s direct responsibility to receive, log, and manually distribute all new mail each morning—is grossly inefficient.
In a virtual office scenario, where various staff members might be working from separate locations, it’s even less practical. For businesses with high incoming volumes or multiple mailbag drop-offs per day, it can quickly become impossible to track who’s receiving what. The risk of misplaced or miscommunicated documents is high.
By using a virtual mail redirection service, all this busywork is handled off-site, freeing you and your staff up to focus on actually running the company. All you need to worry about is deciding exactly how and in what format you’d like to receive your letters. This way, there will be no time-consuming trips to a PO Box, and no excessive charges for fixed-term redelivery to a single address liable to change at short notice anyway.
If you’re running a business from home—or via any other sort of temporary setup—it’s often the last thing you want your clients and customers to know. For one thing, it doesn’t always make you appear the most credible prospect in the world on paper. For another, the actual mailing address of your company HQ will frequently be your own private dwelling.
Using a business mail redirection service allows you to keep your street address entirely out of the public domain, as perfectly legal to use a rented business address as your registered entry with Companies House in the UK. This is the official formation record of your business, which is publicly accessible at all times—so you definitely want to avoid including any details there that you’d rather keep private.
There are many little inconveniences involved in doing your own business mail handling. Countless hours of paid staff time are wasted on in-house receipt and post distribution over a year, and even more so if you’d normally travel to collect parcels from a drop-off point such as a PO Box or branded locker.
Depending on the volume of posts you receive, you may even need to invest in some form of physical mailroom sorting area or archive. This can be expensive to fit out and utterly impractical if you’re working from home, where any accumulation of business mail over the course of a working week can soon cause problems.
Additional hardware and equipment such as sorting racks and shelving, filing cabinets, shredders, and appropriate recycling systems can also be costly and invariably take up much space. By delegating responsibility to a third party via an off-site mail processing facility, you can avoid all these issues and simply have your mail logged, scanned, and delivered to you in hard copy and/or paperless digital form.
The main advantage of business mail redirection from a customer/client standpoint is that it enables you to use a high-quality virtual office address in all of your external communications.
This is vital for giving your brand an air of professionalism and credibility—even (especially?) if it’s a completely homegrown concern, run on a tight budget from a private domestic address, or a temporary rental unit elsewhere. Indeed, many successful startups use this exact model during their launch and early growth phases.
Running your business as a virtual office with a suitable business address rental in place is a game-changer in this sort of situation. Here at The Hoxton Mix, for example, our virtual office packages provide an impressive street address in the heart of London’s vibrant and fashionable Shoreditch area. (This is based on our own physical company HQ, so queries against your virtual business address will always lead searchers to a highly presentable modern office complex.)
Using an intermediary company to redirect your essential business letters and small packages means you’ll never again have to miss a delivery because you were out. A professional, reliable third-party mail handler will operate from premises that are fully staffed throughout the working week, so there’ll always be somebody around to take receipt of daytime deliveries.
This means that your mail is never left unattended for long periods in a mailbox, drop-off area, on a doorstep, or inside a wheelie bin, as can often happen when something arrives and you’re unavailable to take an immediate collection of it yourself. This is helpful for your peace of mind during any typical work week, especially if you regularly need to travel around the country for your job.
Furthermore, should you need to take any extended breaks for things like holidays, it’s extra handy to know that you won’t have mountains of unopened business mail stacking up at HQ to advertise your absence.
Going paperless is great for the environment and quickly makes a surprisingly huge difference to the overall carbon footprint of your business. Paperless office space also helps you drastically reduce mess, clutter, and the amount of general storage space you need to run your office—including archiving all of those vital company records and paperwork—for maximum efficiency.
Moreover, increasing numbers of customers in the UK are beginning to show very discerning behaviours when it comes to the eco credibility of their favoured retailers and service providers, so a greener approach can actually result in net gains that go beyond a clearer conscience and a tidier workspace.
Using a professional online postal service to redirect business mail in the UK often gives you the option to have all key documents scanned and digitised on receipt, then forwarded on to you in electronic format only. Our own Virtual Office Scan package is a great example—not only is it an incredibly quick and efficient way to receive your important letters promptly, but our high-quality scans are fully text searchable for easy archiving and retrieval at the touch of a button.
As we’ve already indicated, a quality professional business mail forwarding service will typically present you with numerous flexible options, giving you the full power to decide exactly how you’d like your incoming business post to be handled. Mail forwarding in the UK is designed to make it easier to manage your business post.
Here at The Hoxton Mix, our list of mail logging and redirection services includes:
A basic receipt and storage service that essentially works as a cheaper alternative to a PO Box. For just £15 per month, we receive all your key documents and small parcels at our head offices in London—your virtual business address—where they’re logged and stored securely. You then receive an immediate alert to tell you it’s here for collection as soon as you’re ready.
This package adds our business post redirection service to the mix, meaning you’ll never have to collect your new mail yourself. Instead, we use same-day forwarding to any UK address you like, and you’re free to change your forwarding details whenever you need to. You won’t be hit with any added charges for higher volumes of a post, either—regardless of how many letters you need forwarding, you’ll be fully covered by our cheap mail redirection service pricing of just £25 per month.
If you’re looking to go paperless or to receive both digital and hard copy versions of your important official documents, you’ll want to choose one of our more tech-forward mail redirection services. This way, your posts will be archived and stored with precise accuracy.
For just £20 per month, we’ll scan and convert letters to high resolution, fully text-searchable PDF documents, then ping them straight to your email inbox, cloud storage, or internal archiving system. If you’d like the hard copies sent over too, our Virtual Office Scan Pro service includes full same-day forwarding – or, if you prefer, they can be securely shredded on-site and sent for commercial recycling.
If a comprehensive virtual office package with London business address rental and full UK mail redirection would save your company significant time, money, and hassle in the near future, we’d love to hear from you. The dedicated team here at The Hoxton Mix comprises small business owners and start-up experts with plenty of hands-on experience in the SME market, so we know exactly what’s required and expected of us.
We also know precisely how to make our services work best for our clients—that’s why flexibility and versatility are central to everything we do, and why you’ll never have to tie yourself into any long-term contracts with us. You’re free to start and stop using our services whenever it suits you and your growing company, with no sneaky add-on charges or hidden extras to worry about in the small print.
Drop us a line today if you’re ready to take advantage of one of our fast, reliable business mail forwarding services. We’ll be more than happy to talk you through our full range of small business options and answer any further questions you might have.
Can the business post be redirected?
Absolutely. Many companies use the services of business post redirection, whether they have a virtual office or not. Some companies also use such services temporarily when moving to a different location.
Is it free to redirect mail?
No. However, there are plenty of opportunities to make this service inexpensive. At The Hoxton Mix, we provide affordable business mail redirection based on your needs. You can choose the mail redirection service whether you have a virtual office or work from a physical one.
Can you redirect mail free of charge UK?
Mail redirection for a business is a paid service. Whether you choose any private company to set up a redirect or the Post Office, you have to pay for this service according to established tariffs.
What mail cannot be redirected in the UK?
The majority of mail can be redirected within the UK. However, It is important to note that the service of business mail redirection is used only when your entire business moves to another location. If you are located in a multi-occupancy building or only part of your business moves, you should use business mail diversion.