This is one idea I was a little hesitant to post, just because I’m positive *someone* is already doing it. My, admittedly shallow, search hasn’t turned them up (although I’ve found very similar things), so I’m going to call it fair game as a wacky business entry.
A mail drop is just a business that you get mail sent to their address, they package it up and forward it on to you. Because I’m always moving, I use my parents’ address for anything important, and they forward me all my mail when it builds up or when something that looks important arrives. I do the same thing with a friend in the US (which is what let me open a Prosper account, build credit in the US, maintain a US bank account, etc).
My “twist” on this concept is that you could allow a completely virtual connection to the end user by providing an address for them, and as mail arrives open and scan it, send them the resulting documents (in a convenient choice of formats), and allow them to e-mail you documents which you’ll then print and mail. This would give the person / business the perfect appearance of operating out of a fixed location, when they could actually be based anywhere in the world.
The processes to send and receive mail would be the core of the business, however you could grow these organically. If you wanted to started with just a PC and a multi-functional printer you could manage a number of clients. Eventually you’d probably want to have industrial scanners, and a fairly sophisticated web portal to let customers view and track their mail.
You might get your postman scratching his head when letters start arriving for “Unit #203” at your house. I’m not totally sure what the laws are surrounding handling other people’s mail, but since companies operate mail drops, there must be a way to do it.
Combine this with a VOIP with a local number, and customers could have a roving office that will seem to be an established brick and mortar.
For this post, or any other of the wacky business ideas I post, obviously I’m releasing any ownership claims I may have over these ideas. If you like something I post and feel like you can make money from it, please feel free to do so! Let me know when you’re opening and we’ll do a post on it to give you some free advertising.
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