Icons & Innovators - Hasan Mirjan from SphereMail.co - GO.CO Blog

If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to establish a business presence in another state, getting an address is your first step. A local address lets you register your business with government agencies and receive postal mail. But what if you don’t have the resources to open another office and hire new staff? That’s where SphereMail.co can help.

Subscribers to SphereMail can pick an address at any one of the company’s channel partners to get their own private mailbox where they can receive incoming postal mail. SphereMail provides a secure virtual mail service for users to receive notifications that mail has arrived. Then, through SphereMail’s platform they can request additional actions, like send a photo of the envelope, scan, shred, or discard. Depending on their subscription plan, users can also spend a few days per month working on-site at the local address, as well as host business meetings in the site’s conference space.
Inspiration for growth
hasan-mirjan-spheremail.coHasan Mirjan was inspired to launch SphereMail almost 10 years ago after opening his own co-working space in San Francisco, California. “At the time, the industry was just getting started,” said Mirjan. “What really appealed to me about co-working was that it provided entrepreneurs with a way to collaborate, grow their networks, and participate in a community. I had just moved to San Francisco from Southern California, and I was looking to make new connections. Co-working was the ideal solution.”
As his business grew, he started thinking about what was next. “I asked myself: ‘How can I grow and scale my business?’ Of course, I could open a second co-working space elsewhere, but my growth would still be limited. I began thinking about generating other streams of revenue. That’s when I came up with the idea for launching my virtual mailbox platform SphereMail.co.”
Expansion helps local economies
Originally, SphereMail handled the incoming postal mail for the entrepreneurs using his co-working space. Soon, however, Mirjan began reaching out to other co-working businesses in order to open up his virtual mail platform to a larger user base.
“In the early days, we had to do some education. People had never heard of our business concept before. SphereMail really started to grow when co-working spaces began to understand that it wasn’t only helpful for entrepreneurs looking to receive mail at a physical address, it also really helped them to grow their own business,” said Mirjan.
As SphereMail continued to expand, Mirjan was excited about the possibilities. “At your single co-working location, you can offer an infinite number of mailboxes that can be used by people all over the world,” said Mirjan. “Not only does this help your local business thrive, but it also gives a boost to the local economy. When a business registers locally, it’s now generating revenue for the city and the state.” His customer base soon expanded to include a wider range of companies, including luxury apartment buildings, universities, and corporations.
Innovation never stops
With SphereMail’s increasing focus on the enterprise level, Mirjan started thinking about how to better serve entrepreneurs just starting out—those who didn’t mind having an address at a local pack-and-ship store. As a result, he recently launched ZenMail.co. “It’s the same platform, but it caters to pack-and-ship stores, both mom-and-pop and big franchises. The users who get these addresses want a lower price, and they don’t mind that it’s at a pack-and-ship store. So the prices can range from $9 – $49, depending on the plan.”
When asked about his biggest challenges, Mirjan is circumspect.
“Challenges arrive every day. They’re just at different scales, and they’re different types. When you start your business, you’re wondering, ‘Where do I start? How do I know if my idea is going to work?’ Later when you’re in growth mode, you’re asking yourself, ‘How can I get my business to the next level? How am I going to fund this growth?’ Every time I want to take the business further, it’s as if I’m starting a brand new company because it’s all new territory, every time,” said Mirjan.
Exciting times ahead
Recently, business has been surging upwards for SphereMail as the tech industry experiences a boom. “Right now, the tech industry is in a great period. Technology is moving forward at a really fast pace. The exciting thing is that we are getting inbound customers without having to do a lot of sales. And we’re not only talking about end users but also business users. The challenge is how to accommodate everyone at the same time,” said Mirjan.
With customers coming to them, SphereMail can focus on providing everyone with the services that best meet their needs. “We’re not necessarily focused on making the sale. These days, it’s more about providing everyone with the best solution. If SphereMail isn’t a good fit for them, I’ll send them to ZenMail. Their business may be at a point where they only need to spend $9.99 or $14.99 per month until they see how their business grows.”
As SphereMail continues to grow and succeed, Mirjan is looking forward to the future. “The real exciting times are still to come.”
Advice for entrepreneurs
For Mirjan, being a business owner is highly rewarding. It’s all about having a vision and turning it into reality.
“When you start something from nothing—that’s incredibly satisfying. You have an idea. You invest time into the idea and you make it happen. Finally, you see customers coming in and actually paying for what you’ve created. It’s a great feeling.”
If you’ve always wondered about becoming an entrepreneur but haven’t taken the plunge, Mirjan has this to say: “People will buy or lease a luxury car and spend $400-$500 per month on something that’s going to depreciate. Why not take those payments and start a business instead? That’ll help you make money. With a luxury car, you’re going to lose money anyway. So why not just take a risk and do it?
Do you have an idea that’ll work? According to Mirjan, you need to jump in and find out. “In my opinion, if you make the first dollar, then you have a viable business. No matter what it is. After that, you need to ask how you are going to scale it and make it into a real business. Don’t forget to keep tweaking your idea, too, because nothing stays the same.”
Why “.CO”?
Seven years ago, when Mirjan started SphereMail, the .com domain extension was the default choice for new businesses launching a website. Acquiring the right “.com” website address often came at a premium. What was it about “.CO” that stood out?
“Today, you’re not really stuck with .com. Plus, .CO almost sounds like .com. When we tell someone we’re SphereMail.co, and they reply ‘Okay, .com,’ we say ‘No, just .CO—just remove the m’. We even acquired SphereMail.com, but our .CO address worked so well we decided to keep using it. When ZenMail launched, we used the same extension. It’s very easy to communicate.”