This is an expanded lesson on setting up your Google Places account.
Google has made it so easy for people to find you from their cell phone. Any cell phone that can download the Google Maps App. has the power to lead customers right to your doorstep. There are more cell phone in use in the US than there are computers. More and more people don't wait until the next time they are at their computer to do find what they need.
The internet provides instant gratification for shopping online, but our cell phones provide instant gratification in the real world.
Looking for food? With Google you can speak your request "restaurants" and all the restaurants within a reasonable walking distance will show up on your cell phone. The next person to request "jewelry" or "gold buying" or "jewelry stores" in your local area will be lead right to your doorstep. You can't get better free advertising.
If your business has been around for a while you probably already have a Google Places account and just need to prove your ownership of it to gain access.
To find your Google Places account, go to google.com and search the Maps for your store name and address. Your store will show up as a pointer on the map with a "more info" link that will display the full set of information about your store.
At the top of the listing you will see a "Business owner?" link to click and follow the directions on that next page. During the verification process Google will want to call a phone number to verify your account. The phone number will need to be a landline so Google can verify your address against the telephone company records.
Once you have access to your Google Places account you should fill out everything you can. The more information you put into that account, the more customers will come to your door.