If you are just starting your business, or if you have just developed a new product or service for an existing business, one of the first questions you need to answer is, "What should I name it?" And while you may feel pressure to make this decision quickly, I caution you to not make it lightly. What kind of things should you take into consideration when choosing a name?
Don't Use Your Own Name
Well, first of all, use a name other than your own name. I often see service business professionals opening up shop and simply using their name, and the title of the service they offer. For example: Joe Smith, Accountant. I made this mistake myself, early on in my business, operating as Debbie LaChusa, Marketing Consultant. Why don't I recommend this? Because your name means absolutely nothing to your prospects. Often you only have a split second to get a prospect's attention. Make the most of that split second by having a name that communicates something of value about your business. Or a name that tells your prospects what your business is all about, or represents a benefit you offer, or how you deliver your service differently or better than your competitors.
Create A Meaningful Name for Your Business
When I was operating without a business name, I remember calling prospects and clients, and having the receptionist ask, "Debbie with what company?" I realized relatively soon that if I wanted to be taken seriously, and I wanted to be quickly understood, I needed a company name. I was trying to build a business after all, and I wanted people to recognize who I was and what I offered. So I started using the name, DLC Marketing and I incorporated to make it official. Now I at least had a real business name, and when I contacted prospects they took me seriously. It was amazing the difference it made in the number and caliber of clients I was able to land. All of a sudden, I was a company, not an individual. Mind you, nothing else had changed. My services were still the same. I still worked out of my home. I still did not have a staff (although I had to hire partners to help out with all of the work!). But suddenly I came across differently when calling on prospects.
But even then I thought, DLC Marketing, Inc. still isn't a great name. What does it tell people about what I do? It tells them I do marketing, and certainly I, or my web site copy, could explain my services and how I was unique. But what if they never got past the still somewhat nondescript name?
Choose A Name That Communicates An Idea
So I started thinking about how I could name my business differently to communicate my unique selling proposition more clearly. And that is when I came up with the name 10stepmarketing. To avoid having to re-incorporate, and because 10stepmarketing is a service I am offering that is closely related to the marketing consulting services I offer through DLC Marketing, Inc. I have chosen not to re-name my business, but to rather just market using the 10stepmarketing name. The initial response has been amazing. Suddenly people instantly want to know more about what I do. They ask questions and they want an explanation. That never happened with the other names I was using.
You see, the name 10stepmarketing communicates an idea. Something the other names did not do. So the prospects I encounter that resonate with the idea it represents immediately want to know more. Is 10stepmarketing a great name? I don't know. But I do know it is strategically focused on the services I deliver, and I am almost embarrassed to say that my previous business names were not (I am a marketing consultant after all. I should know better!). And I can't argue with the response I have received thus far.
(C) Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa, 10stepmarketing
About the author:
20-year marketing veteran Debbie LaChusa created The 10stepmarketing System to help small business owners successfully market their business, themselves without spending a fortune on marketing. To learn more about this simple, step-by-step program and to sign up for her FREE audio class and FREE weekly ezine featuring how-to articles, tips and advice, visit http://www.10stepmarketing.com
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