When you are just starting out your small business, or when your business begins to grow, you will probably need to change your business address. You might need to change it once, twice or even more times – depending on the type of business, the type of location, or what your future office space needs and requirements are.
With that in mind, it’s essential to understand how to protect your business from losing mail after conducting a post office change of address service. Sometimes, clients will use your old address without realizing you have moved, and your mail will get lost in the process. But using a mail forwarding service can stop this from happening.
Learn how to forward mail in Canada, how to complete a post office change of address in Ontario, and why third-party mail forwarding services are better than Canada post mail forwarding services.
What is a Mailing Address?
A mailing address, also known as a postal address or delivery address, is a location where you can receive mail from the postal service. For example, suppose you are shopping online; you will need to put in your mailing address at checkout to deliver your purchase to you.
The country’s postal authorities regulate mail services and mailing addresses. In the case of Canada, this would be Canada Post.
Mailing Address vs Physical Address
A mailing address is a place you can receive mail, and a physical address is a physical place in a geographical location. A physical address is also called a residential address, stress address, or home address.
A mailing address can be a physical address, but a physical address might not be a mailing address. Sometimes businesses register a different mailing address from their physical address. Generally, home-based businesses and self-employed individuals will use another address from their home address to separate work and personal mail.
How to Forward Mail in Canada
There are generally two ways an individual or person can forward their mail in Canada- paying for the address forwarding Canada Post service or hiring a professional third-party service to take care of it for you.
Using Canada Post, individuals must sign up for the service online and pay for a period of time your post will be forwarded to your new address. Generally, individuals can choose between a 3 and 12-month period. The price will vary depending on whether the mail must be forwarded within the same province, to another province, or a US address outside the country.
If you choose to have Canada Post or the U.S. Postal Service forward your mail each time you move, it will:
- Cost you hundreds of dollars.
- Last for only 12 months.
- Provide no in-person presence or alternate “forwarding methods.”
- Require government-issued photo ID and authorization to act on behalf of the business.
Benefits to a Business Centre Mail Forwarding Service
Considering the negative benefits of national postal services, what are the alternatives? Well, a business centre provides many services that are excellent solutions for small businesses to manage their address now and in the future.
- Lower expenses for managing their address.
- Greater flexibility in terms, level of service, and forwarding options.
- A business centre will have a reception area, so if anyone just “drops by” and you are out of your office, receptionists will look after your customer, resulting in no lost sales due to customers having the wrong address.
Smart small business owners will sign up with a mail forwarding service (especially those working from a home office) so that they have a permanent business address as long as they need it. It is much like a mailbox rental Toronto address with extra services.
Waiting for an important package? The post office is not going to forward it like they would your letter mail; they may hold it for pick-up. With a mail forwarding service at a virtual office provider, you can choose to have it sent to you quickly – or you can choose to pick it up 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This means you are not at the mercy of the post office and their hours of business.
When you relocate your office or business address, all you need to do is make a simple phone call or email to the mail forwarding (or virtual office) provider, and let them know the new address to forward your mail to. Canada Post and the U.S. Postal Service require 30 days’ notice to change your address.
Downsides to Canada Post Forwarding Address Services
There are many disadvantages to using the Canada Post forwarding address service. Many individuals search monthly for answers online as to why their ‘Canada Post mail forwarding not working.’ Mail forwarding with Canada Post or with the U.S. Postal Service may not be the best for your business because:
- Many of your present, past and potential customers may not try to contact you within a year.
- If a customer “drops by” after referencing an out-of-date address they will be annoyed.
- After the year is up, customers may still send mail to the only address they have – and that mail will be returned with no alternative but to move the business to your competitors.
- Some mail services are not flexible in terms, forwarding methods, or pickup locations.
When a small business owner needs to receive mail that must be signed for, the Post Office will not forward those types of mail. This means having to give a shipper an alternative address to ship important documents or letters. Yes, they can hold that mail that requires a signature, but that means the hassle of having to go to the Post Office to pick them up.
The above highlights another problem that business mail services can improve greatly. For many of us who do our business on the road, from our home or other less traditional workplaces, accepting and signing for parcels and documents is often a problem. Not to mention that sometimes you may have hundreds or even thousands of dollars in payments with nothing but an unsupervised mailbox between your money and a common thief!
Canada Post Mail Forwarding vs Business Mail Forwarding Services
Beyond the convenience, ability to set the term, and ease of changing your address to forward your mail, you also get a prestigious business address. Your customers believe that you are in a professional office environment using a mailbox rental Toronto address instead of where your workspace is physically located.
Unlike address forwarding Canada Post services, a mail forwarding service can also offer junk mail removal. The people at your mail forwarding service can also spot other obvious junk mail and discard that for you too. Yes, that means you do not have to sort through those “Act Now And Save” or “Important News for Your Business” types of mail that come from a generic mailing list.
Another reason to use a mail forwarding service rather than the Post Office is that business centres that offer this service may also offer other services – such as scanning mail, email forwarding, and accepting incoming courier deliveries. In addition, some mail forwarding services will (for a small administrative fee and written consent) open your mail to see what they contain, especially if you are waiting for a cheque from a client.
Now, with deposit by photo technology, a photo can be taken of your cheque and sent to you so you can deposit it the same day it is received – and not have to wait until it is forwarded to you.
With the differences between the postal office mail forwarding and other mailing forwarding services so starkly highlighted, is it a wonder that businesses are choosing to use the latter? Consider using Telsec for your mail forwarding needs to ensure professional and comprehensive care of your business. Contact our team today to learn more.