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How to List Your Business With Google Places

Google Places, formerly known as the Google Local Business Center, allows you to place information about your business so that you can show up on Google Maps. When local customers go to Google to search and type in search terms related to your business category, Google shows searchers a small map that contains the names and website links of businesses near them. Showing up on Google Maps gives you the chance to attract local eyes to your business.

Setting up a Google Places listing is not all that difficult, either. Whether you’re registering a small business or large one, you can essentially grab our own, free mini-informational page about your business from Google.

1. Your Google Account
The first thing you need to do is set up an account with Google if you don’t already have one. You can do this by clicking the “Create an Account Now” button on the Google Places homepage. Even if you do have a personal Google or Gmail account that you can use to setup a Google Places listing, it may be a smart idea to set up a separate account for your business. Once you have an account setup or you know which Google account you want to use with Google Places, you can go ahead, type your email address and password on the Google Places website, and click “Sign in.”

2. Add Your Business
Once logged into your account, you can click the “Add New Business” option. At this point, you’re asked to enter your business’ telephone number, just in case Google already has information about your business or it’s already listed. When Google Places tells you that no business has been found, you can now enter in basic information like your business address and phone number, a short description of your business and your business’ website. You also want to select up to five categories for your business so Google can accurately classify it in its search engine.

Other information that Google Places allows you to add includes the payment methods you accept from customers, your business hours, as well as photos and videos. You can upload up to ten photos and five YouTube video links, all of which would behoove you and benefit your business. Adding this extra profile information to your business listing can help match your business to more search terms, which ultimately helps more visitors and potential customers find you within Google. When you’re finished entering information about your business, click the “Submit” button.

3. Verification
The final step in the process of registering with Google Places and adding your business to Google is to verify that you are the owner of the business. Verification involves Google sending you a PIN number and typing it in on the screen to confirm the number. Google Places allows you to complete the verification process either by mail or by phone. Verification by mail takes longer than by phone–the phone verification is usually instant. Once you select the phone option, you’ll instantly receive an automated call from Google, giving you a PIN number. Type this number on the Verification screen to confirm that you’re the business owner.

With the increasing number of people using the internet today to find information, having your business show up in the search results on Google Maps is crucial. In fact, NetMarketShare reports that–as of November 2010–Google holds approximately 85% of the market share for internet searches. Google Places makes it very easy to add your business and virtually every business owner can take advantage of this exposure should they choose to.

Advantages of a Home Based Business Franchise

The trend towards creating a home based business is not a novel concept. During the last few years, more and more people have sought a solution to the rising threats of unemployment, long commutes and unbalanced family life that traditional business and full-time employment brings. Everyone understands that they need to generate an income but many are now becoming more creative in how they achieve this objective.

Creating a home based business is often seen as the solution to this challenge. A home based business gives the person more control over their time and allows them the freedom to work around family commitments and personal preferences. In the case of some parents, it allows them to spend more time with their children and arrange their work so they can be a more engaged parent. In other cases, it allows the person to live in the location of their choice without having to settle for a location simply because their job demands this from them.

However, moving from employment to a home based business is a huge move. The person needs to understand technical and computing issues, business law, banking requirements, business taxation, marketing as well as the details of the particular business that they are entering into. It is for these reasons that many who are in the process of researching home based businesses are attracted by a home based business franchise. Some people sometimes refer to this concept as a ‘business in a box’. A home based business franchise is typically internet based, but not always. It basically outlines the steps that the newbie buying the franchise or the opportunity needs to take to get started and to create a successful business. In most cases there’s a step by step training guide that shows the person exactly what needs to be learned. This is often in the form of videos, webinars, or simple instructions. At a time when there are countless other tasks for the new business owner to master, a home based business franchise aims to simplify the business part as much as possible.

Typically there is often a forum within these groups. The forum allows everyone to communicate freely, ask questions, give recommendations and post comments. It is invaluable to a new person setting up a business to have this level of support and to have a dedicated resource where their many questions can be answered. The person’s learning curve is extremely steep during this time and a community like this can speed up the learning process. It helps the newbie avoid the mistakes and possible pitfalls of those that have already gone through the process. In addition, they often have physical events where all members meet up and exchange information and successful strategies. This is a far cry from the experience of those who don’t take the home based business franchise route. It is much more difficult to gain momentum when you literally have to create everything from scratch. In many cases, the business owners who do this are ‘reinventing the wheel’ and often times get caught in the ‘busy’ trap. This is when they are extremely busy but aren’t focussed on income producing activities.

In addition, a home based business franchise often provides marketing templates, sales assistance, mindset training, supplier discounts and updated software. Although the costs of these are covered in the initial fee and in the monthly subscriptions, they certainly make it easier for the new member to become more successful in a shorter timeframe.

From my own experience, when I decided that I wanted to move from my traditional business as a business coach to a home based business, I was very focussed on finding a home based business franchise. I loved the work that I was doing as a business coach – training teams, coaching business owners and creating marketing campaigns for my clients. However, I was driving over a thousand miles a week, working extremely long days and constantly stressed out due to poor diet and lack of exercise. I decided that I wanted to be home based while still doing the type of work that I loved. One of the opportunities that allowed me to do that was YourNetBiz. In addition to the mentoring from my YourNetBiz sponsor, this system provided the step-by-step framework to get started. It provided the products, taught me about online marketing and it continues to provide leading edge support, software and community interaction.

If you’d like to find out about this home based business franchise and other opportunities, visit http://aileen-gallagher.com