Once logged in, you can click on Add your business and follow the process through.
At some point, Google will need to send a verification code to you, either by phone, mobile or postcard. If you choose phone, make sure your switchboard is ready to deal with it when the call comes in!
Once you've got the verification code, you key that into your business listing entry and, pretty soon you appear on the Local Listings.
And once you've done that, Google Places will appear as an option when you log into your Google account.
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Iain Wilson is Director at Blot Design. Follow on Google+