Will we stop getting mail on Saturdays? Will the U.S. Postal Service raise its rates? The answer to both questions is leaning toward “yes.”

Federal regulators are pondering slashing most Saturday postal deliveries or significantly upping the price we pay for stamps. Cutting out Saturday deliveries would save the post office an estimated $3 billion a year. In the meantime, the Postal Service wants to raise the price of stamps again.

Critics of both plans say that raising rates or limiting delivery service will push businesses toward other options. Critics also warn that it will put a burden on small businesses that are already struggling in a down economy.

While the cost of goods continues to rise with inflation, virtual office systems are helping small businesses slash costs rather than compromising services. Small businesses can turn to virtual office systems to cut down on traditional mail services, as well as traditional travel. Indeed, a virtual office space is a smart alternative to traditional office space, just as e-mail is a smart alternative to snail mail in many cases.

In a knowledge-based economy with technology at the fore, the virtual office system makes smart business sense for companies looking to hedge against other areas of the economy, including postal services, that continue to get more expensive.

What is a virtual office system? It includes live answering and call forwarding services, access to fully equipped conference rooms, mail receipt, an 800 or local phone number, and more. A full virtual office system with all the options, including the virtual receptionist, virtual office, virtual assistant and web conferencing, typically costs less than traditional office space.

So while you can’t stop the price of stamps from increasing, you can curb your office and staffing expenses with a virtual office system—and you’ll enhance your small business image as you tap into these low-cost services.

To learn more about inflation and why it happens, check out this video: