If you wish to name your business or a website that you run after your own personal name, it is extremely important for you to spend time thinking about it. This is because there are many different pros and cons when you name your business after yourself. When you are deciding a name for your business, you need to make sure that it is something related to the product or service that you provide. This will help to avoid any confusion relating to what type of business you are running. This is mainly necessary for marketing purposes. Whilst it’s common to see businesses named after the owner or combination of owners’ names, it has its pros and cons.
Let’s take a look at some of these guidelines, pros and cons that you need to keep in mind when you name a business after yourself:
A sense of connection
Much of the time, businesses or brands that are named after the owner’s, give customers a sense of connection to the brand. They rely on the brand more than other businesses. In a way, customers have agreed that they find it more trustworthy when businesses are named after the owner. Although this may not be the case always, it is much of the time. It has also been seen that for businesses where dealing with clients on a regular basis is a thing and trust needs to be built immediately, this is a good approach.
Strong personal branding
If our personal brand is strong, then that may be another reason to go with your name or a variation of it. I chose ‘Stone Business Coaching’ because of my strong existing brand presence due to the expansion of my prior businesses. It made sense to trade on that brand presence rather than to create a name that no one knew. Fortunately, Stone is also a word which can simply mean ‘rock solid and stable – a foundation of strength’. Likewise, if you are famous, well-known or prominent in your industry, then your name will have value.
Check if it is taken
It comes as no surprise that our names may not be unique. In fact, there could be people who have other businesses with the same name as yours. This is why it is a good practice to search if your name is already taken and in use by some other company. Search both ASIC and domain names. You want to lock in both the website domain as well as the registered business name. If the name is taken then move on and work on another. For this reason also, it’s wise to register the name and lock anyone else from using it. Trade Marks can also be useful in this way. Imagine you spend a decade building on a name, then someone else comes along, Trade Marks it or register it and demands you stop using your name. It’s happened before many times.
Expectation of extensive owner involvement
The biggest disadvantage of having your own name as the name of your business is the fact that your customers will expect you to be very involved with the business. This can act as a limitation to the growth of your business. Customers might even expect to be able to meet you in person and even your employees might have the image of you being extensively involved in the business, limiting the growth of the business. Flip the coin and the advantage is that people will have trust that you are a business where the owner is strongly involved and cares about what is happening in the business.
Selling is more challenging
The common phrase, “Businesses are worth more when they are not reliant in one person”, sits perfectly in this situation. This is what makes selling in a business that is named after the owner of the business challenging and difficult. This is one other thing that you need to consider when you decide to name your business after yourself. Will Robert Thompson want to buy a business called Mary Jane’s Accounting Services?
Advertising becomes crucial
Advertising becomes extremely crucial when you run a business with your name or a name which doesn’t say what you do. If my business was called ‘Donna Stone’ or ‘Results!’ would you know that I did business coaching. Perhaps I sell real estate and get great results. If you have a name which doesn’t say what you do, then you have to spend time and money marketing the brand, not just the products or services. This is also crucial not just because it can confuse your future clients but it can even affect your search engine ranking.
Having a unique name
Within the business that you plan on starting out, if there are way too many self-named businesses, then you can stand out by just having a unique name. When you start a business, you only need to think of ways to stand out from the rest of the crowd, you need to keep thinking creatively, and this is just one of those ways. Create a unique name that is relevant to your business and gives out an idea of your business. Be professional at all times.
Think about the future
What if in the future you want to sell your business off to someone else? Your business name should be such so that it can be used in the future by someone else. This is the greatest advantage of having a business that has a unique name that is relevant to the business. Another thing that you need to consider is if, in any case, you do happen to sell your company to someone else and the company develops a lousy reputation or goes into bankruptcy, then it is your name that will go down the drain, and you certainly don’t want that!
Thus, just like everything else, even naming your business after yourself has its pros and cons. You need to weigh out all options and find out what is best for you as an owner of the business. It is also dependent on the kind of business you are starting. Please though, never name a business after yourself because of ego. You want to see your name up in lights or see your name on the sign. That’s ego and emotion. Do it for the right reasons. Thus, there are many things to consider before you name your business after yourself. If you still feel like, it is a good option for you to do so, you can go ahead by all means, if you are confident about yourself and the growth of your business.
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