How to Put Your Business in Google Maps

Marketing is an important part of business. The broader audience you can reach the better. There is basically a number of ways to do so, but not all of them are as effective as you thought they would be. For both online and offline businesses, marketing is fairly a challenge and it all comes down to what is being delivered, to who it is being delivered and how it is delivered.

People have become more dependent on the internet to find what they need.This applies on almost anything : from products, services, information, people, everything and anything. This would pretty much include finding companies and what they offer. And through the internet, marketing has reached levels and market niche that seemed to be impossible years back.

Different search engines and websites have developed and are now applying different methods to better serve both entrepreneurs and customers. Different online applications have made these methods of marketing and searching a very effective way of attracting new clients and returning customers.

One of the best and free options available is Google Maps. There are more people searching for businesses online than anywhere else and through Google Maps your business will be able to reach millions of Google Maps users, quickly and for free, specifically with Local Business Center. So it’s important to make sure your business listing can be easily found on Google and Google Maps. With the use of Local Business Center, it is easy to create a great listing; all it takes is just a few minutes and it doesn’t cost a thing.

With Local Business Center, you can control your listing and speak for yourself. If you already have a website, your business probably already appears on Google, but even if it does, you should still claim your listing and check to make sure its details are accurate and thorough. Your improvements will start appearing as soon as you verify them through the Local Business Center.

By doing so you can be sure that your business is properly represented and at the same time extends to markets which used to be beyond your reach. This article will help you in broadening your marketing with the use of Google Maps.

First, go to google.com. Then key in the type of business you are under or would want to be classified in. Sample would be typing in carpet cleaning St. Marys Georgia. The Google Maps Listing for this search will come up. And you can see that there are several businesses under this type listed ranked from one to 10 for the first page. This is where your business information will appear after getting it listed in Google Maps.  Note that the Google Maps listing comes up on the first page, often as the #1 LOCAL listing in Google.  This is like getting on the first page of your local yellow pages, for free!

Getting started, you can either go to the search area of Google and key in local business center. Click on the link that appears for this. Or you could go directly to the URL space and type in http://www.google.com/localbusinesscenter.

You can sign in with your Google Account if you already have one. If you don’t have a Google Account yet, start by creating your personal Google Account. Once you have provided your email and password and logged in click on Add new listing or business. From here a form should be filled up with your basic business details as you would like them to appear in the listing.

Upon doing so the map on the left will zoom into your location as you type in your address. You can move the marker if you like if Google’s best guess isn’t quite spot-on or not exactly where you think it should be.

After filling in the location details make sure to fill in your main phone number. Google will contact you through this number for verification. If you have a website address, key it in with http:// at the beginning. Then you should write a business description that emphasizes what your business is all about making your business unique or better than your competitors. This is a means by which you could be distinguished from the others and easily be found through specific keywords. Details of what your company provides, where the service area is and where it is close to or any landmarks that they could take note of would be very could inputs for the description. Then click next. On the following step select the listing or category that you want to claim (make sure it’s the most similar to your business). When done, click on the category of your choice. You can also add another category if you think that it could be part of another.

If your business is not on the listing or doesn’t match any listings, click the Add Category button at the bottom to create a new listing. Note: In the list of close matches, if the business name on a given listing is wrong but the address is right, click the Claim Listing or Category button and Google Maps will use your preferred name. However, if the address is wrong and you can’t receive mail sent to that address, you will not be able to verify your claim. In that case, you should click Add Category at the bottom of the list to create a new listing for your business.

Next step, include your hours of operation and payment options. This information is useful for both repeat and potential customers. Then you should add more details to make your business stand out. You can also add relevant information that doesn’t fit anywhere else. Information such as delivery zone, house specialties, return policy, or anything else that you would like to share. In marketing, you would want to catch the attention of as many potential customers as you can.

You can also add an image to help your listings stand out in Google Maps search results. You can use snapshots, logos and images. If you have videos on YouTube, you can place them directly in your listing as well.

Finally, verify your listing, if possible do it by phone. If you have easy access to the phone number on your listing, choose phone verification. You can either choose to be called now or in 5 minutes. Google will call you, and once you enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN), your listing will be immediately verified. A Thank You notice will appear in the window

If you are not near the phone or have a voicemail system, you should choose postcard verification. Google will send you a card with a PIN for you to enter before mailing it back. But it will take a coupe of weeks to complete.

You’ve successfully completed your Google Maps listing.

6 Work From Home Business Opportunities to Earn Some Additional Income

We are all looking for an opportunity to earn some additional income these days. I guess it is a sign of the times. However, if you have some spare time and have a hobby you can turn into a business, then it’s not a bad idea.

There is literally thousands of legitimate work from home business opportunities you could choose from. It is just a case of deciding what you want to do and what products and services there are markets for. Here are 6 home based jobs others have done and made money from. That’s not to say they will suit your needs and skills, but they might get you thinking about the numerous possibilities. Here are 6 home based ideas to think about:

1. Do Bicycle repairs

How many people have bikes sitting in their garage not being ridden because they are in disrepair? If you are talented with a bicycle, why not give it a try! This type of business would be perfect for a part timer. Maybe you could even offer a pick up and delivery service, or mobile bicycle repairs workshop.

2. Antique book and magazine dealer

If antique books are a passion of yours you could become a dealer. Some books or magazines can be found at garage sales and fleas markets way below market value. Just be sure you know what you are looking for, and you could be on your way to a very profitable antique book business.

3. Become a coach or mentor

Those who have the gift to inspire, the knowledge to lead, and the kindness to help would make great mentors! If you have expertise in a given field start a business coaching or mentoring others who would like to aspire to their fullest potential. This could be the perfect business to run from home.

4. Home plan designer

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be an architect to plan homes. There are many software programs out there that will help you draw up beautiful home plans.

5. Start a bookkeeping business

If you have a knack for bookkeeping, this home based business may be for you. Many home based, small and medium sized businesses need bookkeeping help. Offer a professional service that meets the needs of individual clients. Advertise in your local telephone directories, shopping centers and small business information centers and on the internet. Make sure you have the necessary qualifications to legally give advice to run a home based bookkeeping service.

6. Become a yoga instructor

If you have the room and knowledge, start a home-based business offering yoga instruction to individuals as well as class groups. Running yoga sessions is an ideal work from home job.

Those are just a few of the thousands of legitimate work from home business opportunities that abound. Start jotting down ideas that could fit with your skills and interests.

Minority Business Enterprise Centers For Minority-Owned Businesses

The Minority Business Development Agency, also referred to as MBDA, is an agency operating within the United States Department of Commerce that’s primarily responsible for the promotion of growth and competitiveness of the country’s minority-owned businesses.

The MBDA has constituted the Minority Business Enterprise Centers (MBEC) Program wherein it aims to assist minority-owned business establishments by supplying them with electronic and one-on-one business development services for a reasonably nominal fee.

The program is designed and created to provide a vast range of services to its clients, including initial consultations, and identification and resolution of specific business issues that could somehow lead them towards the right direction, which in their case is towards the improvement and growth of their business in the marketplace.

In addition, the Minority Business Enterprise Centers will have to provide clients with advice and counseling in the fields of business assessment, strategic business consultancy, access to capital and markets, preparation of financial packages, business planning, information and management, marketing, assistance, engineering, production, identification of probable business opportunities and construction assistance.

The MBDA has designed the MBEC program to provide clients with management and technical assistance, and at the same time prohibit them from offering the clients with loans and financial aid.

The MBDA will get into cooperative agreements with eligible applicants and will provide funds ranging from $155,000 to $400,375.

Institutions or organizations will be considered qualified for run a Minority Business Enterprise Center if they are of the following:

a) Nonprofit organizations
b) For-profit firms
c) State and Local governments
d) Native American tribes
e) Educational institutions

The Catalog of Federal Assistance has outlined that the beneficiaries of the Minority Business Enterprise Centers include Americans, Native Americans, Aleuts, Asian Indians, Asian Pacific Americans, Eskimos, Hasidic Jews, Puerto Rican, and Spanish-Speaking Americans who owns small businesses.

The Department of Commerce, the primary agency funding the MBEC program, is the country’s principal agency accountable for ensuring the expansion and advancement of the economy and technological advancements through vigilance in international and domestic trade policies.

The MBEC program is very much essential to the Minority Business Development Agency and the Department of Commerce because it enables them to realize their objectives and mission as an agency and an institution.

In the fiscal years 2006 and 2007, the MBEC program was able to assist 4,254 clients and obtained a minimum of $614,269,965 in combined financings and contracts.