What is a Virtual Mailbox and who benefits from it?

What is a Virtual Mailbox and who benefits from it?







We can all agree that having a commercial business address will make you look more professional. And a Virtual Mailbox membership is an easy way to get your business address. But what does a Virtual Mailbox really entail? 



A virtual mailbox service like Anytime Mailbox offers a permanent business street address for receiving mail. Once mail is received, the mail is scanned and an image of the mail envelope is uploaded into your digital mailbox account. You can then view and request to have selected mail pieces opened and the contents scanned or shredded. 



You can also have your mail forwarded to another address, which is useful if you receive your new credit cards, driver license, or passport. With a virtual mailbox, you can essentially read and manage your mail online from anywhere in the world.




The Top 4 Advantages of a Virtual Mailbox:



1. Maintain a mailing address that never changes even if your physical location changes or if you move 



2. Store digital mail documents for future reference or for tax purposes



3. Automate tedious administrative tasks when it comes to snail mail and package delivery



4. Simplify mail processing by centralizing all your mail in one single location without having to deal with mail being sent to multiple offices or people



A virtual mailbox is an affordable option for small businesses and startups! You can have the appearance of having a physical office without the need to have a commercial office space. 




Virtual offices are also ideal for people who run a business out of their home office and want to keep their personal information private. 



Click here to see more information about a Virtual Mailbox membership at Forge through Anytime Mailbox.


How To Know Where To Advertise

How To Know Where To Advertise

Forge Member Josh Rhodes is the Founder and CEO of Agent Leads. And if you’re wondering what Agent Leads is: they help real estate professionals and mortgage brokers take control of their own lead generation with Facebook Advertising. When it comes to digital marketing and advertising, Josh knows his stuff. Read Josh’s words of wisdom about where you should advertise.



Are you using paid advertising yet in your business?


If not, it’s ok. Just know that if you ever want to scale your revenue you’ll need to.


And when you do, make sure you put your racehorse on the correct racetrack…


…I see so many agency owners (ironically) and consultants jumping HEADLONG into the popular platforms without pausing long enough to question the relevance of the ad platform.


Then they end up throwing money into the Facebook fireplace, the Youtube inferno or the Linkedin abyss.


 *Before I go much deeper here: it’s important to note that until further notice, Facebook advertising is easily the most economical platform with the highest amount of reach potential. However, that doesn’t mean it is always the best choice for your particular situation.*


So many expert based businesses are getting razzle dazzled by Facebook, Youtube and Linkedin hype.


Which is fine IF you have your customer avatar dialed in, your sales funnel optimized and tested and an offer that is economically sound enough to fund your business.


(if you don’t have all of those three things nailed down, let’s chat about how my in-person workshop could help you. click here to book a call with me.)


Silos of Influence: How To Know Where To Advertise



Before spending money on any particular ad platform, identify what I call the Silos of Influence for your industry. These silos will inform the type of targeting you need to reach your prospects.   


I call them Silos based on the silos you see on big farms that contain very specific types of grain or feed…to keep things segmented and qualified.   


There is a lot of freedom unlocked once you know which Silo holds the most unlocked opportunity for your offer.  


Once you know what kind of targeting is necessary, you can pick your platform to advertise on based on the platform capabilities. 


Then you take the market by storm because you’ll have control over predictable lead/customer acquisition. 


It’s like a sniper who finally has his target in the crosshairs.


Here’s a quick list of the Silos you need to identify for targeting. Make your own list of industry specific examples:



– National Associations your prospect/customer might be part of


– National Accreditations (real estate license, teaching certificate, securities trading license, etc)


– Software they use every day (i.e. Infusionsoft, Clickfunnels, Industry standard CRM’s, etc)


– Fields of Study (dermatology, medical school or vocation type school)


– Job Title (this is different from Field of Study as it can change more frequently)


– National Conferences or Trade Shows


– Public Figures they follow


– Consumer Behavior (what they buy frequently vs. what they splurge on) 



These aren’t ALL the targeting silos you could use, but they get you at least 80% – 90% closer to the pin.



One or two of the above Silos will be the vein of gold where you will dig for wealth…
…and that’s how your sales funnel will never go hungry.


Was this helpful?


Wanna go deeper on how this could specifically help your business?


Sign up for my in-person Workshop!


I call it the Money Line Workshop. The core thought during the whole event is to get you beyond the line you haven’t been able to cross in your personal income.


On the other side of that line lay your dreams of space and time freedom.


More money doesn’t equal happiness, but it pays for a lot less stress.


We only permit 10 business owners in the room here at my beautiful Birmingham, AL HQ.


We spend a day together diving deep on how to turn your current business or start up into a 7-figure predictable treasure box of success.


Go here and book a call with me so we can see if it’s a good fit.




Past Forge Members: Where Are They Now?

Past Forge Members: Where Are They Now?

At Forge we love being a part of the journey for many small business owners as they establish their companies. To say that we are proud of our members is a huge understatement! There are lots of Forge members who have moved on to start amazing things in the city of Birmingham and we wanted to highlight a few of them!


In honor of Women’s History Month this month, we’re showcasing a few women who worked at Forge when they needed dedicated space as they laid the groundwork for their own companies. 


Meredith Calhoun, Co Founder of Practice Works

Practice Works is the new holistic health coworking space opening in Avondale this April. Becca Impello and Meredith Calhoun, co-owners of Practice Works, are starting something unique in Birmingham! Anytime from a therapy appointment to a yoga class can be found at Practice Works. If you are a wellness practitioner looking for a supportive coworking space, this is the spot for you. If you are a wellness seeker, you also need to check out Practice Works!

Tiffany Martin of Ignite Cycle

Ignite Cycle is Birmingham’s only boutique cycling studio and they just opened shop in Pepper Place! Ignite is high energy and high intensity and they continually sold out their classes in their pop up spot as they were renovating the new location. Ignite’s newly renovated cycling studio is beautiful- be sure to check it out if you have not already!

Catherine Gregory of Boulo Solutions

Boulo identifies and connects companies and professional talent. Catherine Gregory and Delphine Carter cofounded Boulo to connect smart, driven women with flexible, project-based opportunities at innovative companies. They provide the best match for the individual and the company, helping both reach their highest potential. If you’re interested in flexible work opportunities or if you’re seeking part-time or short-term help, you need to check out Boulo!

Suzanne Humphries Evans of Automatic Seafood and Oyster Bar

Suzanne is not only a co-owner of Automatic Seafood with her husband, Adam, but she is also an interior designer. The new restaurant is located on 5th Ave. S near Lakeview and set to open in a few weeks. Suzanne is handling all of the restaurant’s interior design. If you’re wondering where the name came from- Automatic Sprinkler Company was the business that once occupied the windowless, 1940s warehouse. Birmingham foodies won’t want to miss out on trying out this new spot with Southern seafood.

We will be keeping our eye on these women to see how their businesses grow and change over the coming months and years! Forge on!

A personal chef for $96/week in Birmingham? It’s true. I tried it. Learn more about Eryka Perry’s Not Just Catering

A personal chef for $96/week in Birmingham? It’s true. I tried it. Learn more about Eryka Perry’s Not Just Catering

Bham Now recently featured Forge member Eryka Perry of Not Just Catering in a recent article. Check out the original post here.


For $96/week, you can have your very own personal chef. Yes, you’re reading that right. For a little less than $100 (plus the cost of groceries) the folks over at Not Just Catering will cook in your home and leave your fridge stocked with three fresh, healthy meals. They’ll even clean up. Want to know more about the company making personal chef experience affordable? Read on!  


When Eryka Perry started Not Just Catering five years ago, she knew—hence the name—she wanted her culinary business to encompass more than just cooking food for people. She wanted it to be a lifestyle business, something that her customers could take with them after finishing one of her meals.

With Not Just Catering’s expert health coaching, private chef program and menu consultation service, Perry has done just that.

“Our goal is to really bring people back to the table, and show them what a healthy lifestyle looks like. We focus our meal planning and cooking around colorful, healthy foods and the importance of getting out and moving more, it’s a full spectrum experience.”

Eryka Perry, Founder of Not Just Catering

Not Just Catering serves the Birmingham metro area, focusing on certain areas of town each day to efficiently serve their growing clientele. Some of Not Just Catering’s services include:

  • In-home personal chef services
  • Wedding concierge service
  • Health coaching
  • Lunch and learns
  • Cooking classes
  • Event planning


How the In-Home Personal Chef Service Works

The menus, tailor-made for each customer weekly, are curated by an in-depth questionnaire of likes, dislikes and health goals. From the questionnaire, Perry and her team then make a weekly meal plan for each customer. They arrive on a pre-planned day, with fresh, seasonal groceries in tow, and get right to work. You don’t even need to be there! They’ll leave everything packaged and ready to serve in the fridge if you’re still at work.  



I had to try this service, of course.  Here’s what happened:

Here’s the thing. Nobody paid me to try out the Not Just Catering services. I did that on my own after talking with Perry about her business. As a busy mom of two with a long commute, Perry’s traveling chef service seemed like the answer to many a dinnertime prayer. After all, it’s tough getting dinner on the table after traveling the entirety of 280 in rush hour traffic from downtown to Chelsea. Crock Pots can only do so much.

I was very down to fork over the $96 plus the cost of groceries if it meant serving my family something other than frozen lasagna. I filled out the five-minute questionnaire and got a response and a meal plan the next day.

Coincidentally, I came down with the flu a couple of days before Perry was set to cook at my house, so she had to do all food prepping elsewhere. (Bc, germs.) She arrived with a smile on her face and sack full of home-cooked meals ready for my crew. She also included a little bottle of her homemade flu remedy that I’m convinced allowed me to live to see another day. It’s the little things!

The food was packaged family style and was absolutely amazing. Even the picky kiddos enjoyed the food, which is a downright miracle in itself.


This is what we had:

  • Jambalaya
  • Stuffed peppers on a bed of seasonal greens and veggies
  • Chicken spaghetti with zoodles

10/10— we will be using Not Just Catering on the regular moving forward!


About Eryka Perry at Not Just Catering

Perry went to school to be in the medical field but found herself with a culinary arts degree after a twist of fate landed her a scholarship in the culinary program.

“I kept noticing that there was a connection in my interests to the science and nutrition I was studying in school to the cooking at culinary school I was doing on the weekend,” she said. “So I opted to combine the two.”

A few years later she started Not Just Catering, dabbling in personal chef work and health coaching along the way.

Now in its fifth year, the company has seven employees comprised of local health coaches, private chefs and menu consultants. The team works out of Forge, the coworking space in The Pizitz in downtown Birmingham. She says working out of Forge has allowed her and her team the space they need to plan ahead and really focus in on the business side of their work when needed.

“It’s such a blessing that we are able to have a place to spread out and focus on the planning side of things,” said Perry. “The place has great energy—I can knock out a serious to-do list when I need to at Forge!”


Gift cards are available if you’d like to give the gift of a home cooked meal or three. I highly recommend this as a gift for a new mom or someone needing a little extra TLC and a few good meals.

Interested in knowing more about Not Just Catering or signing up for their traveling chef services? Visit their website here.

What Are The Perks of Coworking?

What Are The Perks of Coworking?

By this point, you’ve heard of coworking but you may still be wondering what are the benefits and is it really worth it? We’re here to tell you a little more!

Coworking spaces exist for all types of workers- freelancers, writers, independent entrepreneurs, remote workers, etc. So if you’re all working independently, how does the coworking environment really benefit anyone?

Coworking gives you an opportunity to observe and learn from others who also value their freedom.

Working in close proximity allows you to network and even collaborate with professionals in your own field and in others.

Not only are you avoiding loneliness, research shows that your productivity will grow while working in a coworking space instead of at home or in a coffee shop. It’s good to separate work from home where there’s no real accountability. The energy you will experience in a coworking space will inspire you and keep you accountable at the same time.

A coworking space will help you take your work more seriously. It’s important to have a dedicated space to focus on work and it’s also smart to get out of your pajamas or yoga pants and come into a workspace!

You can also impress potential clients by holding meetings in the conference rooms provided at the coworking space. You would rather your first impression be a professional space rather than your home or a coffee shop!

Coworking spaces are the perfect atmosphere for growing your team. Just because you hire a new employee doesn’t mean you need to get a dedicated office- you can continue using open space and rent meeting rooms when necessary. We’ve seen that half of Forge members have grown their business since joining the space!

The list of advantages goes on and on: free coffee, super fast wifi, access to printing, educational and networking events, and much more. Coworking may be the perfect solution for your business so schedule a tour of Forge if you haven’t already!