How to Claim Your Catering Business on Google My Business for FreeJul 19, 2023
Did you know you can claim your catering business on Google My Business even if you don't have a physical storefront? Or that you can use a rented commercial kitchen as your business address? FYI - for this blog post, I will use the name Google My Business instead of Google Business Profile because people are more likely to type Google My Business in the search bar on Google.
Now, that said - you might be wondering why is this important? Let's paint a picture to illustrate:
Imagine this scenario: It's a beautiful Saturday afternoon. A couple is planning their wedding, and they're on the hunt for the perfect caterer. They've heard about your business through a friend, but they can't remember the name. They turn to Google, typing in 'catering services near me.' Pages of results pop up, but your business is nowhere to be found. Why? Because you haven't claimed your business on Google My Business.
You see, Google My Business is not just a tool; it's your lifeline in the digital world. It's the bridge that connects your catering business to your customers. It's the platform that puts your business on the map, literally and figuratively.
And the best part? You don't even need a physical storefront to claim your business. You can use a rented commercial kitchen as your business address.
However, if you don’t want to rent a commercial kitchen space, you can still claim your business on Google.
Before I go any further, if you are planning on starting a catering business or you want to grow your existing catering business, make sure to click on the link below in the description to get my Free PDF to discover the six things you need to do to start getting free local leads from Google.
Here are the steps to claim your catering business on Google My Business without a physical address:
Create a Google My Business Account
- Start by visiting the Google My Business website (www.google.com/business) and sign in with your Google account. If you don't have a Google account, you'll need to create one.
Start the Listing Process
- Click on "Manage Now" and enter your catering business name. If your business doesn't appear in the dropdown menu, click on "Add your business to Google".
Choose the Business Category
- You'll be asked to choose a category for your business. Choose the one that best fits your catering business.
- Here's where things are slightly different for businesses without a physical address. When asked if you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office, select "No."
Specify Service Areas
- Next, you'll be asked to specify the areas you serve. This is important for catering businesses as it lets customers know where you're available to provide services. You can add cities, postal codes, or other areas that you serve.
- Add your business phone number and website. This information will be visible to customers on your listing.
Finish and Verify Your Business
Note: I usually don’t spend too much time adding too many pictures and optimizing my profile until they verify my account. Because if there is a problem and they don’t verify your account, your business will not show on Google anyways, so don’t waste your time on this yet. You can come back and optimize the listing after you are claimed.
- To complete the process, Google needs to verify that your business is legitimate. Usually, this is done by sending a postcard to your business address with a verification code. However, sometimes Google requires you to add your home address to send you the postcard. And other times, since you don't have a physical address, you can choose to verify by phone or email if those options are available. It just depends on how Google wants to verify you. Each case is different for some reason. I have had students that have been verified with phone calls and some with postcards sent to their homes. And keep in mind that you are not allowed to use virtual offices and PO Boxes. That’s strictly against their rules. However, you can use a friend’s or family member's address to claim your business. But make sure to let them know about the postcard because there is a code on there that you need to input into your profile to get claimed by Google.
Remember, it's important to keep your Google My Business listing up-to-date with accurate information. This includes your service areas, hours of operation, and contact information.
Let's now explore another option that can give your catering business a physical presence.
Using a Commercial Kitchen as Your Business Address
Following the steps we discussed earlier, you would start the process of claiming your business on Google My Business. But this time, when asked if you want to add a location customers can visit, you would select 'Yes.'
Then, you would enter the address of your rented commercial kitchen. This address will be visible on your Google My Business listing and on Google Maps, giving your business a physical location that customers can see.
Now, you might be wondering, 'What if Google wants to verify my address?' Well, Google has a process for that. Sometimes, they might ask you to record a video of the commercial kitchen space and the outside of the building. This is to confirm that your business operates from that location. Other times they will just send a postcard. Then you have to let the kitchen manager know that you are waiting for an important postcard from Google.
But why go through all this trouble? Why is having a physical address for your catering business a good idea?
Firstly, it adds a layer of legitimacy to your business. When potential clients see a physical address on your listing, it reassures them that your business is established and trustworthy.
Secondly, it provides a location for potential catering clients to come for tastings. This can be a game-changer for your business. Tastings allow clients to experience your culinary skills firsthand, increasing the chances of them choosing your catering services for their events.
So, by using a commercial kitchen as your business address, you're not just claiming your business on Google My Business. You're also enhancing your business's credibility and providing a tangible experience for your clients.
Now that we've discussed how to claim your catering business on Google My Business, whether you have a physical address or not, let's move on to the next crucial step - optimizing your listing.
Claiming your business is just the beginning. The real magic happens when you optimize your listing to make it more appealing and informative for potential customers.
Why is optimization important? Because an optimized Google My Business listing can significantly improve your online visibility, attract more customers, and ultimately drive more bookings for your catering services.
Firstly, keep your information up-to-date. This includes your service areas, hours of operation, and contact information. If you change your phone number or extend your service area, update your listing immediately. Accurate information is crucial for customers trying to reach you.
Secondly, add high-quality photos. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the catering business, a picture can be worth a thousand bookings. Upload photos of your dishes, your team in action, and events you've catered. These images give potential customers a taste of what they can expect from your services.
Lastly, encourage customer reviews. Reviews are powerful. They provide social proof and can significantly influence a potential customer's decision. After every event you cater, ask your clients to leave a review on your Google My Business listing.
But don't just collect reviews, respond to them. Thank the customers who leave positive reviews and address any negative feedback professionally. This shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving your services.
Remember, an optimized Google My Business listing is more than just an online billboard for your catering business. It's a dynamic platform that allows you to engage with customers, showcase your offerings, and build your online reputation.
As we wrap up today's blog post, let's take a moment to revisit the key points we've discussed.
We started by highlighting the importance of Google My Business for your catering business. We emphasized that even without a physical storefront, you can claim your business on this platform. We also explored the option of using a rented commercial kitchen as your business address.
But claiming your business is just the first step. We delved into the importance of optimizing your Google My Business listing - keeping your information up-to-date, adding high-quality photos, and encouraging customer reviews.
Now, I want to leave you with this thought: Every day you delay claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing, you're missing out on potential customers. Customers who are actively searching for catering services, who could be tasting your delicious creations, who could be spreading the word about your business.
But they can't do any of that if they can't find you.
So, I urge you, don't let another day go by. Claim your catering business on Google My Business. Optimize your listing. Make your business visible to those who are searching for your services.
"Remember, in the digital world, visibility is key. And Google My Business is the key to that visibility."
Don't let your business be the best-kept secret. Let Google My Business unlock your potential and connect you with the customers who are searching for you right now.
Good luck, and remember to do something different for your business today so you can live a better life tomorrow.
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