I gave a talk to a group of Small Business Owners in the South End of Boston this week. It was a really great event, where I met some incredibly savvy business owners who owned everything from a Dog Boutique and a Concierge Business to a Custom-Made Jewelry Store and a Facial Spa. But when I asked if they had signed up for - or knew about - Google My Business, many of them were unaware of its existence. And that, ladies & gentlemen, is why you hire someone like me. So I can help you put your business on the map (or the Google Map, as it were).
I even went so far as to ask the Small Business Owners if they had ever signed up for a Google Service in which they had to receive a postcard from Google in order to verify their location. Well, then at least one hand went up. So that was at least promising!
I explained to everyone how, when you're on your phone and you Google something, say, "Dog Boutique" - the results that will be returned to you immediately will be based upon your current location. In this case, the Dog Boutique owner had actually filled out the Post Card and necessary information for Google My Business. I simply Googled "Dog Boutique" on my phone and showed everyone in the room how this woman's store showed up on my phone as one of the first results, including directions to her store, store hours, and a phone number.
If you have a brick & mortar business, you should sign up for Google My Business. You'll have to put in your business information, hours, address, and a logo. And then, you'll have to wait for a postcard to be delivered to your address, from which you will have to add a code to verify your location. Yes, waiting on a post card is so old-fashioned. Yes, having one more thing to manage can be annoying. But, the visibility you will gain from this is huge.
If you haven't signed up for it yet and you have an actual location where you perform business, do it now. Let me know in the comments how it worked out for you!
Do you work out of your home? You can still set up a Google + Business Page that will help you gain some visibility. Or, if you want to end-around it, in many big cities you can sign up for a virtual office for as little as $50/month, which includes a prestigious office address and mail forwarding.