Socially speaking, a virtual office works wonders Businesses like Social You, an independent digital agency based in Andover, Hampshire, are helping to underpin the economy. Small and medium enterprises contribute nearly half of all private sector turnover in the UK, with the digital economy making up over 10 per cent of GDP.Social You was set up by Emily Wilkinson and Dan Eastley and specialises in web production, user experience and strategy. Like many start-ups, Social You aims to keep its cost-base as small as possible, and the company’s modern approach to business means it uses freelancers all over the country to deliver client projects. However, it still needs a fixed base. “Even though our work is digital,” explains Emily, “it is still important for us to have a physical address.”For Emily and Dan, the best solution was to opt for a business mailbox from their local Mail Boxes Etc. store, rather than take space in a serviced office or rent their own business premises. “When starting up, it’s important to give yourself separation between work and home. Having a mailbox gives us a professional high street address – Suite 462, Andover House, George Yard sounds so much better than our home address – but without the overheads of a large office,” continues Emily. “This also benefits us online, allowing us to register our business officially with important search engines and social channels. It gives us extra gravitas too. Without a professional address listed on our website, potential clients might wonder what we’re hiding.”A business mailbox also gives Social You a physical location where their letters, packages and any signed-for deliveries will be received and kept safe. “As we’re often out and about meeting clients, it is hugely useful to have someone available to accept our post and parcels. With a mailbox, we’re also given 24/7 access if we require it, which is great because we’re not tied to popping in before the store closes.”Not just an addressImage matters in business, and smaller firms sometimes struggle when pitching to big companies simply because their size may go against them. A professional address can help here too. “The size of projects we deliver depends on major organisations approaching us for support,” says Emily. “Having a business address, instead of a home one, helps us to be discovered by larger enterprises and give us a professional image.”But a mailbox address is just one aspect of the support provided by the team at Mail Boxes Etc. Andover. SMEs have to ensure they can get the business services they need, at the right price, when they need them – without investing in expensive kit or taking on expensive staff. Mail Boxes Etc. also offers its business clients a choice of print, postal services and parcel shipping, as well as office supplies. “MBE is handy to use when we’re delivering our own direct mail campaigns,” says Emily. “We can just pop in and drop off our parcels. There’s always someone on hand to discuss prices, size restrictions and options for shipping. As we’re not sending large quantities, it is useful to be able to chat to someone in person too.” MBE Andover has helped with several of Social You’s campaigns, which have included personalised cookies and Winchester Tea Bags.There’s also a social element to this for Emily and Dan: “When you start your own business, it can be easy to work all hours. Knowing that we need to head into town to get our parcels and business post can be a great way to have a break and catch-up with other people. We look on MBE Andover as part of our team!”Looking for a Mailbox for your business? Visit our website for more information.