Naming Your Business

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A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but would anyone really want to smell a flower called a Jake’s Morning Breath?

Freelancers and business owners need to consider much on the topic of branding, and it boils down to two basic choices: does one stick with a personal name (Jane Doe) or does one fashion a business name?

name

Personal Names in a Business World: Pros

1.This is a choice many first-time freelance business owners make.  It’s unassuming, it’s honest, and most of all, it’s easy.  You don’t need the resources you would need if you were to choose and register business names, although it’s a good idea to check the laws in your local area, anyway.

2.It’s low-key.  If you’re not sure whether you’re in the business for the long haul or not, sticking to your personal name is probably the way to go.  No need to invest in stacks and stacks of business cards that will just be recycled should you stumble upon something better along the way.

Personal Names in a Business World: Cons

1. Some people and businesses will take you less seriously and assume that rather than taking the time to come up with a clever business name and logo, you just used your given name and started the job yesterday.

2. If you have a common name like Jane or John Doe, this can be both confusing and, again, seem unprofessional.

3. On the other hand, do you have an uncommon name, perhaps one that’s difficult to spell?  This may also hurt your business, especially if you conduct business outside of your local area and even overseas.  Your name could also mean something unfavorable in another language.  In example, I once knew a guy named Terry Aho.  I don’t know where he was from, originally, but when he went to Japan, he learned that his last name meant “idiot” in Japanese.

Down to Business: Pros

1.It lends you credibility from other businesses, given that it’s a good name.

2.Creating a clever business name and logo allows you to clearly communicate your business’s goal, values, benefits, and more.  It can also make you more memorable to clients.

Down to Business: Cons

1.The tricky part is figuring out what that clever name is.  Many companies pay people to think up brands on their behalf.  A good rule of thumb is to research, bounce ideas off of people in the same field (preferably from different backgrounds), and to really think whether or not you’re happy with the name before printing off those business cards.  Be sure, also, that it’s a unique name and not one easily confused with other brands, although this can work to your advantage in some instances.

Author Info

Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education performing research surrounding online colleges and their various program offerings. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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Andrew
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Excellent short and sweet article about naming business names. Love how it mentioned both pros and cons. Definitely interesting to see different point of view!

Chris Sandler
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Love your article… You have explained well the advantages and disadvantages of naming ones business. It really helps a lot. Thanks. Keep on writing interesting and informative article. :)