Wyoming Business Tips for Oct. 21

October 15, 2012

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Debbie Gorski, Wyoming Entrepreneur social media community manager

“A customer of mine told me recently I should be listed on Google Places. How and why do I want to do that, and does this mean I have to be involved with social media?” Henry, Ten Sleep

You do not need to create a social media presence, but I highly recommend you at least list your business.

If you have done a search to find a barber, for instance, your Internet search usually will display a map listing businesses closest to your IP address or geo-location. Your competition may be listed; don’t you want your business listed as well? Here is why:

• Your business may be listed already through Google maps and the information may be incorrect or outdated.

• Trends show most people search for a business through online means -- commonly through computer, iPad or smartphone.  When I am home, I jump on the Internet on my computer to search for an address or phone number. If I am traveling, I use my iPad or smartphone.

• More sales. Make it easy for somebody to find you.

The good news is that it only takes a few minutes and plenty of free sites are available to list your business, such as Google Places, Yahoo Local Yelp and Yellow Pages.

When listing a business, make sure that you include the address, phone number and hours of operation. People want the basics. Make it easy for them and update whenever you change this information. Include a photo of the business as well.

What if you don’t have a physical address or you operate your business from home, but don’t want your home address listed? To register with Google Places, specify a service area and hide your physical address if it is your home, for instance.

Getting your business listed is easy. Be sure to take advantage of the help or support page if the business does not seem to fit the template provided.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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