Mail forwarding service great for small business owners working from home

Mail Forwarding Service: Great for Small Business Owners Working from Home Each day there are multiple individuals who think about developing their own small business. A small business can include selling merchandise or offering personal services. With a goal and a great business plan it is possible to develop a small business, but due to financial reasons may business owners make the decision to work from home. Owing and operating a small business from home has its advantages, but there are disadvantages as well. One of the biggest disadvantages to developing a small business from home is how it looks to other people. It is hard to explain why, but there are some people in the world who have a difficult time understanding that it is possible to work from home. A common myth associated with home workers is that they don’t always work when they should be. Of course this myth is untrue, but it could have a negative impact on your business. There are many cases where a customer will not be able to tell whether or not a small business is being operated out of a home. If items are being mailed to and from a small business then the mailing address might give the business location away. Before going any farther it is important to note that not all people have a problem doing business with a company that is home operated, but there are some who do. To prevent your home business address from becoming a problem you could use a mail forwarding service. A mail forwarding service is a service that is typically offered by an individual or company that specializes in promoting a healthy link between businesses and clients. Each mail forwarding service is likely to differ; however, many mail forwarding services are able to give a home based small business owner a new business address. This address will likely to be an address for a large city, which is something that may appeal to many clients. Having an address in a large city may allow you shed the working from home image. Providing a new address is not the only aspect of a mail forwarding service. Since you are using an address that you are not located at you may wonder how your mail will get to you. This is where the forwarding part comes in. The individual or company running the mail forwarding service will forward your mail to your real address where you will be able to receive it with only a day few days delay. The exact amount of delay it will take for you to get your mail will all depend on how far away you are located from the mail forwarding service. As a small business owner you must take the appropriate steps to protect your business and its assets. That is why it is important to considering using a mail forwarding service, especially if you are a small business owner who works from home.

10 ways to protect against mail theft

1. Never put outbound mail into an unsecured mailbox, especially if it contains checks or sensitive personal information. Instead, take it to a U. S. Post Office branch or place it in a U. S.P. S. mail collection box. 2. Always use a locking mailbox for incoming mail. Install a locking mailbox approved as secure by the U. S. Postal Service or use a U. S. Post Office box. Contact your local Postmaster for regulations and specifications regarding locking mailboxes. 3. Remove mail from your mailbox promptly, especially if your mailbox is not secure. If you won't be home when sensitive or valuable mail is delivered, have it held or have a trusted neighbor or friend retrieve it. 4. Don't have blank checks delivered to your home address. Instead, have them held at your bank branch until you can pick them up personally. 5. Don't have mail delivered while you're out of town. Have the post office hold your mail if you'll be away for an extended period. 6. Reduce the number of credit offers sent to you by mail. Contact the three major credit reporting agencies and have your credit report marked "no solicitation." 7. Make sure you're informed when sensitive mail has been sent to you, and follow up quickly if it doesn't arrive as expected. 8. Consider starting or joining a Neighborhood Watch program. If you see a mail theft in progress, be a good witness by calling 911 and providing the best possible description of any persons and vehicles involved. 9. At the workplace, watch out for "Financial Friday" mail theft. Leaving mail in insecure locations over the weekend in order to leave work a little earlier is a dangerous practice that identity thieves know and exploit. 10. If you feel you've been victimized in a mail fraud scheme that involves the U. S. Mail, submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U. S. Postal Inspection Service. If you have become a victim of identity theft, contact the FTC, the credit bureaus, and your bank, and obtain expert guidance immediately to resolve your problem as quickly as possible. http:// identitytheft911.com/education/article/idtheft_20040128_mail-02.jsp All Rights Reserved

A quick guide to home mailboxes

Everyone in the United States gets mail. This means that every one in the United States needs a mailbox. If you are in need of a mailbox, or if you just want to purchase a new mailbox for your home, you may want some information about your options for home mailboxes. There are two types of home mailboxes. The most common is a curbside mailbox.

But some people also have a wall mounted mailbox. These can be placed directly next to your front door. They sit either vertically or horizontally. The most common home mailboxes used are the metal ones. These are inexpensive to purchase, however, they are prone to rusting. If you do not want a rusting problem, you can purchase one made of vinyl.

The vinyl mailboxes are also less prone to fading, chipping, or cracking. But they are a bit more expensive to purchase. Some of the least expensive home mailboxes are the plastic ones. They are highly durable, weather proof, rust proof, and very light weight. Some are even made to be indestructible because they are made with double walled plastic.

The last type is security mail boxes. These are vandal proof and they come with a locking mechanism. This prevents someone from stealing your mail and from damaging the mailbox. These are usually quite expensive to purchase, but sometimes needed. The above were some of the most common choices you have for purchasing home mailboxes.

There are many options to choose from. Decide how much you want to spend and what type of mailbox best suits your needs. This way you can easily find what you are looking for and be one step closer to getting your mail!

The 4 ws of junk e mail

Junk e-mail or spam has become the scourge of the modern computer world. It eats bandwidth. Spam is like a disease. It doesn’t care about age, religion, wealth. It doesn’t discriminate. Junk e-mail affects us all. There are 4 keys to the junk mail question – Who, What, Where and Why. Who they are The typical profile of a junk mail sender is as follows. Male, 18 – 30 years of age, single, technically competent and with little regard for their status as a public nuisance. There are female junk mailers out there but, unfortunately, this is predominantly a male preserve. What they use to send spam There are many tools available to the spam merchant. The main ones are e-mail extractors, newsgroup harvesters and CD lists. E-mail extractors are programs which wander around the Internet gathering e-mail addresses from websites and often from web based forums (unprotected forums). A “good” e-mail extractor can gather 15,000 e-mail addresses per hour. Newsgroup harvesters are programs which search through newsgroups for valid e-mail addresses. Most newsgroups users are aware of this and take measures to counteract these harvesting programs. Despite these measures a newsgroup harvester application can gather 20,000 – 30,000 e-mail addresses in an hour. CD lists are one of the worst sources. 90 million e-mail addresses available on a single CD for as little as $20. A lot of the addresses on these CDs would be junk (many would no longer exist) but an equally large number of these addresses would be valid. A CD like this is a junk mailers dream. Where they do it from Those involved in sending out bulk e-mail are “entrepreneurs” or at least they think so. The vast majority of those involved in the spam business are self-employed and work from home. Sending spam is almost the ideal home based business. You name your hours and the business itself is almost automatic. Maximum gain from minimum effort. Why they do it in the first place Their motivation is money. Considerable amounts of cash actually. Each spammer who sends out 1,000,000 junk e-mails is certain of approximately 100 sales. Many of the products they sell are worth $50 - $100 dollars to them in commission. Yes. Shocking isn’t it? The average bulk mailer earns in excess of $100,000 per year! Maximum return for minimum effort. Unless of course you get caught and get jail time.

The 4 ws of junk e mail

Junk e-mail or spam has become the scourge of the modern computer world. It eats bandwidth. Spam is like a disease. It doesn’t care about age, religion, wealth. It doesn’t discriminate. Junk e-mail affects us all. There are 4 keys to the junk mail question – Who, What, Where and Why. Who they are The typical profile of a junk mail sender is as follows. Male, 18 – 30 years of age, single, technically competent and with little regard for their status as a public nuisance. There are female junk mailers out there but, unfortunately, this is predominantly a male preserve. What they use to send spam There are many tools available to the spam merchant. The main ones are e-mail extractors, newsgroup harvesters and CD lists. E-mail extractors are programs which wander around the Internet gathering e-mail addresses from websites and often from web based forums (unprotected forums). A “good” e-mail extractor can gather 15,000 e-mail addresses per hour. Newsgroup harvesters are programs which search through newsgroups for valid e-mail addresses. Most newsgroups users are aware of this and take measures to counteract these harvesting programs. Despite these measures a newsgroup harvester application can gather 20,000 – 30,000 e-mail addresses in an hour. CD lists are one of the worst sources. 90 million e-mail addresses available on a single CD for as little as $20. A lot of the addresses on these CDs would be junk (many would no longer exist) but an equally large number of these addresses would be valid. A CD like this is a junk mailers dream. Where they do it from Those involved in sending out bulk e-mail are “entrepreneurs” or at least they think so. The vast majority of those involved in the spam business are self-employed and work from home. Sending spam is almost the ideal home based business. You name your hours and the business itself is almost automatic. Maximum gain from minimum effort. Why they do it in the first place Their motivation is money. Considerable amounts of cash actually. Each spammer who sends out 1,000,000 junk e-mails is certain of approximately 100 sales. Many of the products they sell are worth $50 - $100 dollars to them in commission. Yes. Shocking isn’t it? The average bulk mailer earns in excess of $100,000 per year! Maximum return for minimum effort. Unless of course you get caught and get jail time.

How to choose locking mailboxes

Do you need a decorative, quality, recessed locking mailbox for your home? There is a large selection of mailboxes from which to choose, and you may wonder which is the right mailbox for you. A recessed locking mailbox is a perfect way to keep your mail safe from prying eyes, and can be installed on the exterior of your home or as part of a freestanding mailbox. A recessed mailbox will blend in perfectly with the decor of your home and you will have the added security of a locking door that can only be accessed by you. Additional decorative designs will make your mailbox unique, and still give you the safety that you need. A decorative recessed locking mailbox gives you peace of mind and the typically large storage capacity means you will be able to go on vacation or business trips and not worry about your mail overflowing. With all these features and the added decorative design, you may think that you will spend a fortune on a quality mailbox, but the prices for a top of the line decorative recessed locking mailbox are extremely reasonable and shipping is fast. Your new mailbox can be installed easily and will arrive with the necessary hardware included. Decorative recessed locking mailboxes offer you access to your mail only with a key, have adequate storage for large volumes of mail, are resistant to theft and vandalism, have the ability to accept large packages, and offer a weatherproof, rust resistant finish. The USPS has approved recessed locking mailboxes as a safe and reliable way to receive you mail, even if you are out of town for several days.

Decorative touches and stylish designs will make your mailbox beautiful as well as durable. Check into a decorative recessed locking mailbox for your home or business. You will be impressed with the contemporary styles and the affordable prices.

Wooden mail boxes an ideal solution for letters

Wooden mail box is the house for all letters and news papers and is an important house or front yard garden accessory. Wooden postal mail boxes serve both commercial and residential purpose. Wooden main boxes add an appeal to home or office. Wooden mail boxes are functional and a necessity to every home or office. Mail boxes made up of cedar, teak or red wood coupled with fine hand craft is good for all seasons. Skillfully carved, nicely finished, light weighted and individually hand painted or varnished mailbox with natural color is highly functional and provides service for year after year. Powder coating can also be applied on wooden mail boxes. Wooden mail boxes are non toxic and several times better than vinyl mail boxes and of course eco friendly. Wooden mail boxes have many features like beautiful carving, weather protection, approved as per postal standards, stainless screws or brass screws fitted and of course carries two or more year’s warranty.

The font end of the mail box can be decorated with beautiful paintings such as birds, light house, flowers, and animals which attract bird lovers or nature lovers. The inner side of the wooden mail box can be given vinyl lining to make it water proof. Cedar wooden mail box has the natural fragrance in it and withstand harsh weather. Wooden mail boxes also have the facility of locking with beautiful brass or stainless steel locks. Zinc plated locks offer high safety and durable. Big wooden mail boxes hold large mails and parcels and packets.

Beautifully decorated wooden mail boxes can also serve as valuable gift article. Decorative Wooden mail box is also an antique. Variety of colors, padlock system, beautiful printing makes the wooden mail box antique and extraordinary. Wall mounted light weighted wooden mail boxes are popularly used. Wooden mail boxes are also fixed on decorative heavy duty aluminum posts.

Wooden mail boxes though expensive but actually serves great purpose of avoiding damage to the mail or parcel. Teak or cedar wooden mail boxes serve any weather and free from fungal, insect attack because of the aroma of the natural oil in it. Well constructed wooden mail box will not allow rain drops, ice, and snow inside the mail box. This avoids dampness to important mails. Wooden mail box with designs carved on it is no doubt beautifying the front yard and is an essential outdoor dйcor. Wooden mail box with variety of colors serve as an educational kit to children.

Children can learn different shapes and distinguish the different shapes and colors to solve trail and error problems. Wooden mail boxes made up of solid pine and fine oak finish is also available. Wooden mail boxes are preferred by most people as it has traditional style, elegance and has inviting feel. The designs, shapes and sizes of wooden mail box is very attractive such as cottage mail box, castle mail box, homestead mail box, farm house mail box, church mail box, school mail box, light house mail box etc. Wooden mail boxes with these designs will adore the outdoor area and would serve as an envy to any body.

Mail forwarding solutions for home businesses

When many businesses start out they are often based at home. This is understandable for several reasons. Many business ideas stem from hobbies or interests and develop into commercial opportunities. Most new businesses start from home to keep costs down during the businesses infancy. Some businesses continue to operate from home as ecommerce, drop shipping and online shops has removed the need for an actual presence on the high street. Most home based businesses choose to operate as a limited company or sole trader.

Either way the owners of the business have to consider whether or not they want to declare their home address as their main business address. Whilst some people may not have any problems with this there are a few points that should be considered. If you choose to use your home address for your business, this will be declared to the tax authorities, company registry, and other government organisations. All of your letter heads, adverts and other correspondence will need to show your home address.

If your business is web based then most clients expect to see an address provided in the contact details. Your address is then freely available for everyone to access. You may decide that you do not want to declare your address to the entire world. This provides you with a couple of options. Firstly you could use a post office box commonly referred to as a PO Box. These are easy to set up with a local post office or similar service provider. They are relatively inexpensive and provide a cheap alternative to using your own address. Mail can either be collected or forwarded for an additional fee. However, they are not always the right solution. Organisations like banks, international couriers and many suppliers of goods will not accept a PO Box as a business address. It may be difficult to order supplies and deliveries if you only provide a PO Box as your contact.

In addition to this, what will your clients and customers think? You may find that a PO Box deters people from using your services. Consider what a prospective customer may be thinking if your contact details online only show a PO Box and not a standard address. It may not fill them with confidence. The second alternative is to use a mail forwarding company. Instead of using a PO Box you may prefer to use a company that specialises in forwarding mail for businesses. This removes the PO Box section from your address. Some service providers may use suite numbers instead to identify your mail. Many of the professional mail forwarding companies however, simply let you use their address.

The mail is then sorted by dedicated staff and forwarded on to you the day it is received. Whilst this may not be as cheap as the first option it avoids any stigma attached to using PO Boxes and means that even international couriers will deliver to your address. This type of mail forwarding service allows you to display your business address on your website, promotional material and business correspondence. Your customers need never know that your mail is processed through an alternative address.

Your personal address is not disclosed to your clients providing you with piece of mind. Junk mail is avoided and you will never get a dissatisfied customer turn up at your family home. A further point to consider is the urgency of your mail. If your business mail is not urgent then collecting from a PO Box can be done at your leisure. Mail forwarding service providers will delay your mail by one day. Therefore if you regularly need business correspondence the next day then neither service may be suitable to your business. When operating your business from home consider the implications of using your own address, a post office box or a mail forwarding service provider. There are advantages and disadvantages to all solutions. It is important to remember that whatever decision you make you should minimise the impact on your customers.

Email marketing

Technology with its advent has taken a toll even in the field of marketing at last. E-mail also known as electronic mail, is now turning out as an indispensable medium of marketing on internet. Internet as whole has a wide marketing area because of the fact that it is spread whole and wide over the whole word. This makes it accessible to almost every country and eventually to the people in the country. E-mails are very techno-savvy and more effective and fast. This is the reason that we can now see e-mails developing as an indispensable media of marketing. Over the years people and corporate houses have started realizing the advantages of e-mail marketing.

E-mail marketing carries a lot of advantages along with it. Some of the benefits are: a) Speed: This is the main factor as to why e-mail marketing is considered better and over the other Medias of marketing. E-mail marketing along with it brings the advantage of high speed. E-mail marketing has a very high speed of information transfer. It just takes a second for the person to transfer information from his working place to the internet worldwide, where everyone can view it worldwide. b) Reach: One another factor as to why e-mail marketing is considered a better option is because of the fact that it has a better reach to the people worldwide than the other medias of marketing. E-mail marketing knows no boundaries and this helps the people to continue or conduct their marketing work in larger scale. The higher reach of e-mail marketing, attracts more people towards it and thereby assists the whole marketing process. c) Inexpensive: E-mail marketing is comparatively much and more cheap than that of the other medias of marketing. The people do not have to incur any special or extra cost to market their product or point of view. Being inexpensive it suits the people and they thereby resort to e-mail marketing than the other Medias. d) Effective: E-mail marketing is very effective than the other medias of marketing. The reason being, that they are very techno-savvy, very fast and still pretty cost effective. This whole package makes e-mail marketing very cheap and pretty attractive. This is the reason that e-mail marketing is pretty effective and thus more approachable. e) Personalized marketing: E-mail marketing avails the people the opportunity to avail and conduct personalized marketing. In this the people can send mails only to people whom they think that they would be interested in it. In this the mails will only be forwarded to people on whom the concern is interested. Thus we see that why and how e-mail marketing has turned out to be an indispensable tool in marketing.

Theft proofing your mailbox

Theft Proofing Your Mailbox Although most people only think about their home and property when dealing with home security, the mailbox is equally as important. On a daily basis, there is a lot of personal information that goes through your mailbox. Even though burglary is a concern, identity theft is just as big of a concern as well. Most people don’t even think about theft proofing their mailboxes, which easily explains the increase in identity theft over the years. Almost all mailboxes can be easily broken into, giving thieves instant access to personal information. Even though there are many mailbox designs in the United States, most of them are outdated in terms of security. They may perform their duties of receiving mail quite well, although they normally don’t offer the security needed to protect people from identity theft. These days, identity theft is a common thing – simply because people don’t do a better job with protecting their mailbox. Each and every day we all get personal information delivered to us by mail. In some cases, we get credit card offers or bills that contain our personal information. Although we don’t think anything about it, most of us head out to our mailbox, collect the mail, and then go back in our houses. All it takes is a thief to beat you to the mailbox, just a couple of minutes. Once the thief has collected a few pieces of your mail, he can easily use your personal information to charge credit cards and other bad things using your identity. To protect yourself against identity theft you should always include your mailbox in your plans for home security. The mailbox is very important, and should always be protected. If you have a traditional mailbox now, you should get rid of it immediately. As a replacement, you should look into a safe and secure mailbox. The ideal types are those made of solid steel. The top of the box should be accessible to the mailman, allowing him to put the mail in without a problem. The bottom side of the mailbox however, should only be accessed via key. Mailboxes that require a key to get into will protect you from identity theft – as the thief simply won’t have access to your mail. You can find secure mailboxes at a local hardware or department store, even online. There are very affordable these days and will go a long way in protecting you for identity theft. Mailboxes that are constructed from solid steel are nearly impossible to break into, yet they will open easily for you to check your mail with the lock and key system. The next time you go out to the mailbox to check your mail – you should think twice about your safety and theft proof your mailbox to protect yourself and your loved ones from identity theft. (word count 472)

The significance and benefits of email marketing

There is no dismissing the fact that e-mail, also known as electronic mail, is an indispensable medium of marketing on the internet. Internet as whole has a wide marketing area because of the fact that it is available high and wide throughout the world. This makes it accessible to almost every country and eventually to the people in those countries. E-mails are very techno-savvy and also very effective and fast. This is the reason that we can now see e-mails developing as an indispensable media of marketing. Over the years individuals and businesses have started realizing the advantages of e-mail marketing. E-mail marketing carries a lot of advantages along with it. Some of the benefits include: Speed: This is the main factor as to why e-mail marketing is considered advantageous over other medias of marketing. E-mail marketing along with it brings the advantage of high speed. E-mail marketing has a very high speed of information transfer. It just takes a second for the person to transfer information from his working place to the internet, where anyone can view it worldwide. Reach: Another factor as to why e-mail marketing is considered a good option is because of the fact that it has a better reach to the people worldwide than other medias of marketing. E-mail marketing knows no boundaries and this helps people to continue to conduct their marketing work on a large scale. The higher reach of e-mail marketing attracts more people towards it and thereby assists the whole marketing process. Inexpensive: E-mail marketing is comparatively cheaper than that of some other medias of marketing. Individuals and businesses do not have to incur any special or extra cost to market their product or point of view. Being inexpensive, it suits many and thereby a lot of people resort to e-mail marketing for a large part of their online marketing efforts. Effective: E-mail marketing is very effective and a very popular form of marketing. The reason being, that they are very techno-savvy, very fast and still pretty cost effective. This whole package makes e-mail marketing very cheap and pretty attractive. This is the reason that e-mail marketing is effective and thus more approachable. Personalized marketing: E-mail marketing avails the opportunity to conduct personalized marketing. In this, people can send e-mails only to people whom they think would be interested in the topic of the message. Thus we see why and how e-mail marketing has turned out to be an indispensable tool in marketing.

E mail marketing turns small biz into big biz

Small businesses - from florists to realtors-are quickly catching on that e-mail marketing can be an effective way to quickly reach thousands of customers inexpensively. E-mail marketing refers to the communications that businesses have with current customers who have given permission to receive e-mails about special offers and new products or services. By categorizing customers by their buying preferences and creating e-mail offers that address those preferences, a small business can personalize their marketing for the cost of a mouse click. Instant Sales E-mail marketing helps businesses create instant sales from existing customers. It also helps maintain and build long-lasting relationships with repeat customers, which are at the core of most successful businesses. And yet, in a recent poll conducted by research firm Greenfield Online (on behalf of FileMaker, Inc.), 49 percent of small businesses said they were not even considering e-mail marketing. What is the other half of small businesses doing with e-mail marketing? Making money. For example, the Tara Bella Winery used e-mail marketing software based on FileMaker Pro to send an e-mail to its customers about a special wine package. Within 24 hours, they had sold out their inventory and grossed $8,500. They spent less than three hours writing the e-mail and sending it out Almost any business can im-prove its profitability using e-mail marketing. Even nonprofits are using e-mail marketing for fund-raising. New database software and the Internet have made it quite inexpensive and, now, easy to do. All you need is a Windows or Macintosh computer, an Internet connection, an e-mail account and easy-to-use database software such as FileMaker Pro. In some instances, the rewards of your first successful e-mail campaign can even pay for these affordable technology tools. Free 46-Page Guide But to make the most of your e-mail marketing, you'll want to do it efficiently and effectively, using the right tools the right way. A free 46-page guide is now available that helps first-timers and experienced e-mail marketers develop and execute an effective e-mail campaign with customers. Titled How to Start Email Marketing in 10 Easy Steps, the how-to guide can be downloaded from filemaker. com/emk. The guide takes you through each of the key steps, from building your customer e-mail list and selecting the right customers for a specific e-mail to writing the e-mail and sending it out. A Toast-One company sent an e-mail to customers about a special wine package and sold out.

Are we a paper society

Is a paperless society achievable? Looking at the success of the paper industry, one has to wonder. The advent of electronic communications and ebooks have helped reduce the need of paper. This saves on tree consumption and preserves the environment. Look around your home and workplace. You might be surprise at the amount of paper in use. The postal service still delivers mail to you. You can reduce some of that mail. Request your bills and bank statements to be delivered electronically. You can also pay your bills electronically too. Paper will always exist. Some people prefer paper the feel of paper. Others doubt the legitimacy of electronic documents. Some remain uncomfortable using a computer, while others are apprehensive about the security of personal information online. Technology and security continues to progress and improve, more companies will use the internet to reduce paper cost. It seems however, that as much as we hated the time consumption and filing problems of the paper days, we are dealing with an ever-growing workload. Years back and still today, we are sifting through the mail we receive from the post office to discard junk mail. That doesn't even come close when compared to spam, viruses, and pop-ups that litter our workplace. Now we not only deal with junk mail at home, but we are dealing with it constantly at work as well. Going from paper to Internet seems to have opened the floodgate for companies that continue to bombard us with useless information. Companies or individuals can send junk mail out to millions of us with one click of the mouse and endure no or very minimal cost to do so. Paper mail creates a natural barrier protecting children from seeing adult content. With the cost of sending mail gone, unscrupulous people don't care who receives their email messages. Parents must protect their child's ebox and internet cruising. Shifting to a society the uses less paper will take some adjusting, especially in dealing with the problems it brings. But an electronic message can never replace the warm feeling of receiving a stamped, hand written card or letter.

Are we a paper society

Is a paperless society achievable? Looking at the success of the paper industry, one has to wonder. The advent of electronic communications and ebooks have helped reduce the need of paper. This saves on tree consumption and preserves the environment. Look around your home and workplace. You might be surprise at the amount of paper in use. The postal service still delivers mail to you. You can reduce some of that mail.

Request your bills and bank statements to be delivered electronically. You can also pay your bills electronically too. Paper will always exist. Some people prefer paper the feel of paper. Others doubt the legitimacy of electronic documents. Some remain uncomfortable using a computer, while others are apprehensive about the security of personal information online. Technology and security continues to progress and improve, more companies will use the internet to reduce paper cost. It seems however, that as much as we hated the time consumption and filing problems of the paper days, we are dealing with an ever-growing workload. Years back and still today, we are sifting through the mail we receive from the post office to discard junk mail. That doesn't even come close when compared to spam, viruses, and pop-ups that litter our workplace. Now we not only deal with junk mail at home, but we are dealing with it constantly at work as well. Going from paper to Internet seems to have opened the floodgate for companies that continue to bombard us with useless information. Companies or individuals can send junk mail out to millions of us with one click of the mouse and endure no or very minimal cost to do so. Paper mail creates a natural barrier protecting children from seeing adult content. With the cost of sending mail gone, unscrupulous people don't care who receives their email messages. Parents must protect their child's ebox and internet cruising. Shifting to a society the uses less paper will take some adjusting, especially in dealing with the problems it brings. But an electronic message can never replace the warm feeling of receiving a stamped, hand written card or letter.

Your website really needs a physical address

I see it happening all the time... websites with no physical mailing address. It's as if they don't exist anywhere but in the scary world of cyberspace. I say scary because that's exactly what a high percentage of the web browsing population thinks of the Internet. When these people are looking to purchase a product and don't see a physical address, they get scared, and very likely abandon the purchase. And don't think that a typical email address for your contact information cuts it. People want a physical location. So, what do you do? Simple.

Use a physical mailing address as a contact option in your 'Contact Us' page and/or website order form. However, if you're a website owner that operates from your home, don't go and attach your home address to your website just yet, you might want to think about your mailing options. Deciding where to have your business mail sent is not as straightforward as you might think. There are a few factors that you have to take into consideration – quantity of mail received, length of time at location, convenience, and of course, cost.

The good news is that you have several options that are available to you: 1. Your Home Address 2. Mailing Services (Mailboxes Etc., The UPS Store, etc.) 3. Mail Forwarding 4. Post Office Box (P. O. Box) Using your home address: Using your home address is definitely the cheapest option. To the small to medium size website owners, it is probably the best option. However, if you tend to grow rapidly, or if your website already has a large user-base, then your home address may not be the best option for you. If you are selling products from your website and allowing customers the option to mail in their order (which is good practice – and many do), then you could potentially get a lot of mail, depending on the user-base of your website, of course. If this is the case, then your home mailman will not be happy with you at this stage! And you may also find yourself spending a half hour out of each day prying your mail out of your tiny home mailbox that is not big enough to accommodate all that mail. Furthermore, if you ever move you will need to forward your mail to your new location, which never seems to be as smooth as you'd like it to be. Then there's the fact the all of your customers can easily find out where you live. Not that you're hiding from anyone! But you could find yourself in the situation where you have a few inquisitive customers that don't mind "stopping by" to ask a few questions! Using a Mailing Services (Mailboxes Etc., The UPS Store, etc.): The use of a mailing service can be quite expensive ($25-$45 per month). However, there are some benefits. You can assign a suite number or have a real street name assigned to your business address, instead of a P. O. box. This can give the potential customer the impression that your business has an office or building that resides at the location. However, I have found that the cost of this service usually outweighs the benefits associated with it. Nevertheless, the money you pay to use a mailing service is tax deductible as a business expense. Using Mail Forwarding: Now, if you REALLY want to get fancy you can opt for the mail forwarding option. Here you can pay a company in a "big time" city like New York or Chicago to accept your mail and forward your mail to you. This is EXPENSIVE! And there is another major drawback - you are always getting your mail about 2-5 days late due to the forwarding time. Using a Post Office Box (P. O. Box): The use of a P. O. Box is, in my opinion, the best choice for those that run high traffic websites out of their home. Not only does your mail get to the P. O. Box more quickly, but also the cost is relatively cheap (about $50-$125 per year). Again, this cost is a business expense, so save your receipt and write it off! In my opinion and experience, most people are accustom to the P. O. Box and do not mind sending orders to it. In fact, many big companies use P. O. boxes as a matter of conveniently keeping the mail separate. There you have it, four good ways to make your customers feel more secure by adding a physical address to your website. Pick the one that suites you and your company's needs best – everyone is different. The important thing is to give your customers a place to send physical mail. Good luck! And be sure to come back to visit VictoryKey often for more online business tips and discussions! Sincerely, Michael Ellis