Let’s talk about your business name for a minute. Have you chosen one? Are you changing yours?
STOP! Consider a few things before you make this decision that has long-lasting ramifications.
Does the name you’ve chosen reflect what your business is/does? An immediate understanding of your product or service incorporated into your business name goes a long way toward reaching your customers. That’s not to say you can’t get creative or choose something that doesn’t fit into that box. TIP: Don’t choose something that’s personal only to you (i.e. your kids’ names or your nickname from high school) UNLESS it comes with a story you can tell that relates back to how or why you started the business. There has to be that connection for your customer – not just for you.
Is it really necessary for your personal name to be part of the business name? Keep in mind that once your personal name is tied directly to your business name, YOU are that business. That means whatever you personally post on social media ties back to your business. That means how you act in public outside of your business ties back to your business. That also means if you add a partner, pass it on to your children, decide to open a second location, or any number of other growth opportunities, the name may become irrelevant. *There are a few exceptions: lawyers, doctors, and real estate agents immediately come to mind.
How many other businesses have similar names to the one you’re considering … in a 3-state radius? Yes, a 3-state radius. People travel. People move. People do business with people who are their neighbors and that doesn’t mean just next door anymore. Be sure your business can’t be confused with another business that may or may not offer similar products & services as you.
And finally, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Ask Google. Search social media networks. Perform a hashtag search. Ask friends and family for input; but more importantly, ask other business owners, your chamber of commerce rep – people who DON’T know you will give you honest feedback. Don’t end up with a business name that Google says is the definition of “whiskers” when someone types it into a search engine trying to find you. Unless of course, you’re opening a cat sanctuary.