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  • Diana Schneidman

How to name your solopro business

Should a new one-person business carry the name of the individual or something entirely different?

I don’t think the name of the company makes a bit of difference as to whether or not you get clients. I suspect your best clients are sophisticated enough to determine the size of your business. They are also sophisticated enough to assess your ability to fulfill your commitments. They aren’t fooled as to size because you have a name like Universal International Corporation.

You present yourself to them as a professional and they appreciate you for what you are. Therefore, it’s just fine to start marketing with your personal name.

As your business grows, you may decide to rename your business. However, there’s no reason this needs to be done right from the get-go.

When you get around to it, the story could go like this:

Way back in 2010, John Jones decided to offer businesses the best in actuarial consulting services. From that small beginning at his kitchen table, John Jones International Inc. has grown to become the industry leader with 25 offices in major cities around the globe. (Works for me!)

The primary consideration in founding a new freelance or consulting practice is how to obtain clients quickly. And the best way to get business quickly is to contact the best people directly. This takes a lot of effort and it may not be particularly pleasurable.

Among new solopros there’s a real danger in branding a business. The danger is that we will fill our time with intellectually stimulating branding activities rather than tedious phoning.

If you are contemplating this naming issue on Day One, ask yourself if naming the business and all the associated work (including logo design, website work, maybe even asking family, friends and focus groups for input) will pay off more quickly than contacting possible clients.

Sometimes the situation is quite the opposite. You’ve developed a unique business name and other branding elements, and now you start introducing them in the marketplace. You are off to a slow start and find yourself second guessing your decisions. If this is the case, simply carry on with the business name you have adopted. You’ve expended time and money to take it this far, so stay the course. It will take even more time and effort to reverse your efforts, when more than likely, what you’ve developed to date is just fine.

Originally posted 6-1-10

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